There’s no better way to really experience Zambia than to traverse its 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 (especially during the wet season from about November to May when the black cotton soil becomes sticky mud), and so is plenty of planning and patience. Road conditions vary widely and passage can often be slow and gruelling; 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 driving!


Border Crossing

Vehicle and Accessories

Navigation and Driving

Food and Water

Insects and Mosquitos

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.

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The Eastern Route

From the valley to the mountains…

South Luangwa National Park

North Luangwa National Park

Nyika Plateau National Park 

The Southern Zambezi Route

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

Victoria Falls

Lake Kariba

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Northern Circuit

Swamps, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife, a historic manor house, hot springs and Dr David Livingstone’s final resting place.

Kasanka National Park

The Bangweulu Swamps

Livingstone Memorial

Lake Tanganyika

Nsumbu National Park Cancel

Out West

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

Kafue National Park

Chimfunshi Chimp Sanctuary