Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs M from New York

Overall trip

On this trip, I visited Zambia between 29-Jul-2009 and 6-Aug-2009 and I travelled with 3 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:


These comments actually cover the time when we were 'on our own' in Zambia. First, we rented a 4x4 from Limohire that we drove to my daughter's village (she is a Peace Corps volunteer) in a village called Chisebwa about 15km from the Great North Road at an intersection about 50km southwest of Serenje. We also used it to visit some farmers my daughter is working with and to visit Kundalila Falls. Those experiences were off paved roads but were on fairly good single lane trails/roads.

Based on the Guide book I must admit I was fairly concerned about driving in Zambia, and seriously considered the use of a driver. However, I found the roads to be in excellent condition, except for the Great North Road north of the turnoff to Mansa, at which point one had to carefully watch for potholes. I realize the Guide book does need to be cautious (and certainly I never considered any serious off-track adventures) but it ended up being quite a bit easier to get around than I originally expected.

Second, I emailed three car rental agencies in Zambia (Limohire (who responded immediately), Livingstone 4x4 Hire (who also responded immediately but had no vehicles), and Voyagers (who never responded). So I went with Limohire. The cost for a Nissan Safari was $140/day (500km) plus fuel. We handled everything by email and, when in Zambia, by phone, and I was completely satisfied (in other words we never met in person). He did not accept credit cards so I had to wire transfer half the rental fee as deposit before the trip, and then pay the remainder plus a $1000 deposit when I received the car at the airport upon arrival. Hans, the owner, is an honest individual. Because of logistical problems I had to leave the vehicle for him to pick it up at Pioneer Camp (without getting back my deposit) so he arranged for one of his employees to meet us at the airport upon our return from Livingstone, and he was there with our deposit. Were I to visit Zambia again (and I may since my daughter may extend for another year) I would definitely do business with Hans.

Finally, just a couple comments regarding the Guide. The Sweetwater Guesthouse near Mkushi is 'no more'. The owner, Vernon Cantlay (not sure about spelling) is the father of friends of my daughter and we happened to meet him at a barbecue when we were there. He continues to own and farm the property but does not run a guesthouse any more. Also, you might want to consider checking out the Shaolom Takeaway as a funky, friendly little cafe in Mkushi. I understand the Peace Corps volunteers like it because it serves more chicken with its nshima than other cafes/restaurants in town. By the way, we enjoyed our meal there!

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Pioneer Camp, Zambia
30-Jul-2009 review: Pioneer Camp - First Night
Nkwali, Zambia
31-Jul-2009 review: Unbelievable Time at Nkwali
Tena Tena, Zambia
2-Aug-2009 review: Tena Tena review
Avani Victoria Falls, Zambia
4-Aug-2009 review: Zambezi Sun review
Pioneer Camp, Zambia
6-Aug-2009 review: Pioneer Camp review