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Advice needed - travel to Livingstone, Zambia

Advice needed - travel to Livingstone, Zambia

Old Jan 2, 18, 3:31 am
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Advice needed - travel to Livingstone, Zambia

After some advice from anyone who has travelled to Zambia. My sister in law booked for her family (five people over 16yo) to go for two weeks volunteering in a village just outside Livingstone. She got a shock when she was quoted over £1200 pp return by a TA to get there. By this point she had booked and paid for the volunteering. (Flaming not necessary thanks).

Anyway, requirement is now to get five adults from the UK (preferably either LON, BHX or MAN) to Livingstone outbound 2nd Aug, in bound 20th Aug +/-2 days. Main driver is cost. They want to avoid difficult airports for connections if possible, I.e. difficult transit processes, lack of facilities, cleanliness (how are Nairobi and Kigali these days?). They are willing to transfer by bus or minibus from Lusaka to Livingstone if it is “safe” to do so.

Many advice at all would be great.

Happy new year.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 8:34 am
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I see it for 915 on SA via JNB. SHe can als wait a bit as prices are unlikely to go up by much until about 1-3 months out. Though doubtful it would go much lower.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 9:02 am
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I did Kenya Airways early last year to Livingstone (BHX-CDG-NBO-LVI) and TBH it was fine. Nairobi is a lot calmer and better signed than it was, say 10 years ago. In terms of cleanliness, I would say that it is probably on a par with most regional European Airports and better than some of the Med airports are likely to be in August! It has a number of coffee bars/cafes and a couple of shops selling touristy tat. I was in Business but the pricing was very competitive.
I then took the train from Livingstone to Cape Town so can't really comment on it as a departure point for the return journey.

I haven't done Kigali for a couple of years but last time I did, it was an absolute shambles and not one I would recommend for a family looking for a smooth transit.

I'd take NBO over options like JNB any day.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by FatnLoud View Post
I did Kenya Airways early last year to Livingstone (BHX-CDG-NBO-LVI) and TBH it was fine. Nairobi is a lot calmer and better signed than it was, say 10 years ago. In terms of cleanliness, I would say that it is probably on a par with most regional European Airports and better than some of the Med airports are likely to be in August! It has a number of coffee bars/cafes and a couple of shops selling touristy tat. I was in Business but the pricing was very competitive.
I then took the train from Livingstone to Cape Town so can't really comment on it as a departure point for the return journey.

I haven't done Kigali for a couple of years but last time I did, it was an absolute shambles and not one I would recommend for a family looking for a smooth transit.

I'd take NBO over options like JNB any day.
Good to know, thanks.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 9:14 am
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Another option would be to buy flights to JNB (around £700-720 on the direct services) and then use Avios for award tickets JNB-LVI; availability not great, but I can see options on the 1st or 7th, back on the 21st or 22nd, which is 9000 avios plus £56 each.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 9:24 am
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Have you check your NGO or other organizations for ticket source referral.

We (US based) have a negotiated agreement with Delta and Skyteam. I also negotiated a deal with Air Asia for our intra-Asia flights.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by roberino View Post
After some advice from anyone who has travelled to Zambia. My sister in law booked for her family (five people over 16yo) to go for two weeks volunteering in a village just outside Livingstone. She got a shock when she was quoted over £1200 pp return by a TA to get there. By this point she had booked and paid for the volunteering. (Flaming not necessary thanks).

Anyway, requirement is now to get five adults from the UK (preferably either LON, BHX or MAN) to Livingstone outbound 2nd Aug, in bound 20th Aug +/-2 days. Main driver is cost. They want to avoid difficult airports for connections if possible, I.e. difficult transit processes, lack of facilities, cleanliness (how are Nairobi and Kigali these days?). They are willing to transfer by bus or minibus from Lusaka to Livingstone if it is “safe” to do so.

Many advice at all would be great.

Happy new year.
A second vote for the new Nairobi airport being absolutely fine. Really quite pleasant.

But I would also add my vote for Kigali. It's not so bad at all now.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 4:22 am
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You can always simply get on Google Flights, and play around with the maps and dates features to find departure and destination airports with the lowest costs, and adjust the dates back and forth as well for lowest cost.
It might take ten or fifteen minutes to get a feel for how Google Flights works, but once you do, it's actually quite fun to search for far-flung destinations on a budget.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 11:17 am
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Old Jan 5, 18, 4:27 am
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We flew to Johannesburg and then flew to Livingston. Nice airport. The on demand visa didn’t have it credit card machine working so bring a lot of cash! Don’t cross the border to Zimbabwe unescorted either if you chose to go.. Zambian army guy checking my passport wanted me to pay him 20 to get clearance. He had a gun. I just stalled out and my husband quickly came behind me and he let us pass. Not a good border crossing experience! We paid extra to be formally escorted with a group crossing back.
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