I really wanted to travel from Zambia to Namibia, no matter what it took. Since I was in the area already, I might as well see both Victoria Falls and Sossusvlei. But how can I see both places without breaking the bank? Flights between African countries are quite expensive even if you take a “budget” carrier. It’s not like in Asia or Europe where cheap flights are readily available.
They say that Africa is the land of long bus rides and I had to experience this for myself. For about 600 South African Rands ($60), you can take a 23-hour bus ride from Livingstone, Zambia to Namibia.
Intercape bus “station” in Livingstone Zambia
Intercape will be the bus company that you will use to book this long bus ride. You will board the bus in Livingstone, Zambia in their “bus station”. If you look at the picture above, it really doesn’t look like a bus station. It’s best you hire a taxi to take you there as it’s easy to get lost. The bus station is in the middle of the market and there’s no sign anywhere to help you find it.
The bus ride will take you to the Zambia-Namibia border. The lineup is very long and slow moving especially in the Namibian side. This means the local Namibians are allowed to budge to the front of the line causing you to wait even longer. One of the biggest skill you will learn as you travel through Africa is patience.
Waiting outside the Namibian customs office
The long bus ride has one stop in the evening for you to buy food. Most locals buy KFC or gas station food. Karen and myself pre-purchased some food in Livingstone, Zambia prior to boarding the bus. We were grateful we bought food because the gas station food are typically processed and don’t have any nutrients. Do yourself a favour and buy some sandwiches in Zambia before boarding the bus.
Don’t be surprised when a 30 minute gas station break turns to a 60 minute or more wait time. They really don’t take punctuality seriously.
The bus’ toilet is surprisingly clean, even more so than North America’s Greyhound. I was quite impressed with the cleanliness! Another thing I should mention is that you will be bombarded with Christian propaganda in the bus.
Overall, the bus ride wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I would recommend you try it. The bus ride is an interesting way to travel from Zambia to Namibia without having to purchase expensive plane tickets.