The purpose of this post is to help anyone who may be attempting a similar trip through Zambia as the one that we have just finished. A lot of the information on budget travel destinations online is either out of date, or extremely difficult to find. Hopefully, this can serve to provide some sort of assistance to make travel plans easier in the future.
Departure times are subject to whenever they believe it is time to leave, not the actual scheduled time. Arrive at the bus as early as possible or you may miss it, or you might spend the entire day waiting for it to leave.
Axa bus from Mzuzu to Lilongwe – leaves at 7 AM: 3500MK per person
Mini bus from Lilongwe to Mchenji (boarder city) leaves any time once it is full: 1000-1300MK per person
Shared or private taxi from Mchinji to the boarder: 250-500MK per person
$50 American to enter into Zambia, plus Yellow Fever Card
Shared or private taxi from the boarder to Chipata: 100 000ZK for a private taxi or 20 000ZK per person for a shared taxi
Coach Bus from Chipata to Lusaka should leave at 2 PM on the Zambia Malawi Bus Line: 130 000ZK per person
Recommendation for a place to stay the night in Lusaka: Lusaka Backpackers 70 000 per person for a shared dorm
Bus from Lusaka to Livingstone leaves at 6 AM: 80 000ZK per person
Recommendation for a place to stay: Jolly Boys Backpackers 40 000ZK per person per night for camping
Cost for Victoria Falls Park Pass: 97 000ZK
Private taxi from Chipata to South Luangwa: 500 000ZK to 700 000ZK (depending on your negotiating skills – a crying Rachel can help bring the price down) for a 2 hour trip and leaves whenever. Mini bus for the same trip is 70 000ZK but might take about 6 hours or more and doesn’t leave until it is full (usually around 11 AM). If you arrive in Chipata in the middle of the night, do not allow your taxi driver to “pick up a friend” they may be trying to rob you.
It seems easier to travel to Victoria Falls than it does to travel back to Malawi. My recommendation would be to give yourself enough time to only do one leg of the trip per day, unless you are renting or booking private transportation.