Airlines flying into Lusaka are:
Emirates (from Feb 2011) KLM from (May 2011) British Airways, Kenya Air, Ethiopian Airline, South African Airways, Air Namibia, Egypt Air.
We have travelled on all of these and the service has been pretty good!
Once in Lusaka it is by far the easiest option to fly on to Mfuwe. It takes just over an hour in a small aircraft and provides an interesting introduction to your safari adventure. Proflight, (www.proflight-zambia.com) is the only commercial airline to do the trip. Prices vary greatly depending on how far in advance you book - the earlier the better. You will see from their website that they also have domestic flights to several other towns in Zambia including Livingstone, if you plan to see Victoria Falls too.
GPS coordinates: 13° 5' 59.37", +31° 47' 31.46” or 13.099825,31.792073
Whilst your GPS is a great tool, use it in conjunction with a human who can advise you on road conditions. In particular, do not be tempted to take the shortcut from Lusaka which turns off at Petauke as this road is impassable in the rainy season and should only ever be used by experienced 4x4 drivers! Guests who followed their GPS spent 24 hours stuck in the mud!
Directions to Marula Lodge from Lusaka by road.
Our number is 0974595838, you are welcome to call for directions.
Departing from Lusaka, take the Great East Rd towards Chipata (Approx 530km or 6+hours). You will pass Nyimba, the Luangwa River bridge and Katete before reaching Chipata.
As there are no fuel stops between Chipata and Mfuwe we suggest that you fill up at the Total garage on your right as you enter Chipata. When you are refueled and have had a bite to eat, head back out of town (in the direction in which you came in) and turn right onto the tar road at the Mamarula’s sign (not us). Follow this road (it is under construction and could take 3 hours) for approximately 100kms until you arrive at a T junction (ZESCO) where you will turn right onto a tar road towards South Luangwa. This road will take you through the Mfuwe village (after approx 17 kms) till you see a large Marula Lodge sign at which you turn right. Follow the signs to Marula Lodge which is less than a kilometre away!
We are the closest camp to the Main Gate.
Lusaka to Chipata
If you are planning to come from Lusaka by bus, be at the bus terminal before 5am. That way you can catch an early bus to Chipata. This will cost K130,000 and is a reliable way to get to Chipata.
Lilongwe, Malawi to Chipata.
Check online what the visa requirements are to enter Zambia for your country.
You will easily be directed in Lilongwe to a taxi rank where you can find transport to Mchinji near the border post. This will cost in the region of 800 Malawi Kwacha. Formalities at the border are quite straightforward, no bribes should be necessary! Once through look for a taxi to Chipata (K50000 to K80000)
Chipata to Marula Lodge
In Chipata you will be offered a variety of rides to Mfuwe. A minibus being the cheapest should not cost more than K60,000. You may have to wait several hours for a minibus to fill up and they are nothing short of an adventure. They can be a bit dodgy, so if your budget stretches to the slightly more expensive option you can get a taxi. The hire of a complete taxi should cost no more than K500,000 which if shared between four or five is reasonable. Be warned that the road from Chipata is an adventure and will take you winding through some great Zambian countryside and villages, but the trip will take at least 3 hours. Take some drinks and snacks with you!
On arrival in Mfuwe, the taxi may offer to bring you to Marula for an extra fee, but unless he offers a free drop off, call us (0974595838) and we will pick you up. It is only about 2 kms from the village. Walking this stretch is not recommended to the uninitiated due to elephants and other wild things en route!