There’s no better way to really experience Zambia than to traverse it’s rich and diverse landmass under your own steam, either in your own car or a sturdy rental. For most of Zambia, a 4×4 is essential in either case (especially during the wet season), and so is plenty of planning and patience. Road conditions vary widely and passage can often be slow and grueling; fuel stations may be few and far between .

There are few parts of the world where you can still feel so close to nature and the wild, and so far away from all the mod cons so many of us are used to at home. Overall then, there’s little denying that self-driving across Zambia is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it will be a truly unforgettable experience for any that are brave enough to take the plunge. So for those of you who want to see the real Zambia in all its glory, below are some tips and suggestions to make your trip run as smoothly as possible. Happy exploring.

Depending on where you are coming from, or where you are headed, here are suggestions of routes to take to see the best of the east, west, south and northern regions of the country. This section will be expanded to include more detailed routes soon.

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The Eastern Route

From the valley to the mountains

The Southern Zambezi Route

The world’s greatest waterfall, Africa’s biggest man-made lake and the legendary Zambezi Canoeing Safari.

The Northern Circuit

Swamps, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife, a colonial manor house, hot springs and Dr Livingstones’ final resting place.

Out West

World class tiger fishing, abundant wildlife and champions for chimps.