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Explore the beauty of Africas heartland

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that takes you from the vibrant city of Nairobi, Kenya, to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, a natural wonder that straddles the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. This comprehensive travel guide outlines an itinerary that seamlessly combines road and train travel, allowing you to immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes and rich cultures of both East Africa and Southern Africa.

Africa Heartlande

Dates of travelling

Selecting the right travel dates is crucial for a memorable journey. Consider both weather conditions and peak tourist seasons. While the dry months from May to October are popular for visiting Victoria Falls due to better visibility and less rainfall, keep in mind that the falls are at their most dramatic and impressive from March to April.

Requirements and Tips for the travel

Ensure your travel documents are in order. Obtain the necessary visas for all countries you'll be passing through. Check and adhere to health recommendations and vaccination requirements. Pack wisely, bringing along comfortable clothing, essential toiletries, insect repellent, and any prescription medications.

Sample Trip Budget (Essentials only)

Allocate a budget that covers the essentials:

- Transport (bus and train): $300 - $500

- Accommodation: $20 - $50 per night

- Food: $15 - $30 per day

- Sightseeing and activities: $50 - $100

- Visa fees and miscellaneous: $100 - $200

Transport: Nairobi to Dar es Salaam by Bus

Embark on the first leg of your journey by taking a long-distance bus from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam. As you traverse the countryside, you'll catch glimpses of both rural landscapes and bustling towns. Opt for reputable bus companies to ensure a comfortable and safe journey.

  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Nestled along the picturesque shores of the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam stands as Tanzania's bustling gateway to a myriad of cultural, historical, and coastal wonders. This vibrant metropolis, a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, beckons travellers with its rich tapestry of markets, museums, and beaches, offering a captivating glimpse into the heartbeat of East African life.

East African Life

Things to See and Do in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam, as Tanzania's largest city, presents a diverse array of experiences that cater to various interests:

  • Kariakoo Market:Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by exploring Kariakoo Market. This bustling marketplace is one of East Africa's largest, offering a wide range of goods including fresh produce, textiles, spices, and handicrafts. Engage with local vendors and soak up the authentic atmosphere.
  • National Museum and House of Culture:Discover Tanzania's rich history and cultural heritage at the National Museum. Exhibits showcase archaeological artefacts, traditional crafts, and historical relics, providing insights into the country's past. The House of Culture, located nearby, hosts cultural events and performances.
  • Coco Beach:Unwind on the picturesque shores of Coco Beach, where the Indian Ocean's soothing waves meet the cityscape. Take leisurely walks, relax under palm trees, and enjoy beachside cafes serving local delicacies and refreshing beverages.
  • Askari Monument:Pay homage to African soldiers who fought during World War I at the Askari Monument. This iconic statue commemorates their bravery and serves as a reminder of the nation's history.
  • Village Museum:Immerse yourself in Tanzania's diverse ethnic groups at the Village Museum. Experience recreated traditional villages representing different tribes, complete with huts, artefacts, and cultural displays. This interactive museum offers insights into the country's cultural mosaic.

Accommodation in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam provides a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets:

  • Luxury Hotels: Indulge in luxurious comfort at hotels like Serena Hotel, Ramada Resort, and Hyatt Regency. These establishments offer impeccable service, upscale amenities, and breathtaking views.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Opt for accommodations such as Slipway Hotel, Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, and Sea Cliff Hotel. These options strike a balance between comfort and affordability.
  • Budget Accommodations: If you're seeking budget-friendly choices, consider hostels and guesthouses like Safari Lodge and JB Belmont Hotel. These options provide essential amenities at a lower cost.

Navigating Dar es Salaam

Navigating the city is relatively straightforward due to several transportation options:

  • Bajaj (Tuk-Tuk): Bajajs are popular three-wheeled vehicles commonly used for short trips within the city. They offer an economical and convenient mode of transport.
  • Dala-Dalas: Experience local life by using Dala-Dalas, minibuses that serve as the primary mode of public transportation. Each Dala-Dala follows a specific route, making them a unique way to explore the city.
  • Taxis:Taxis are readily available and provide a more comfortable and private mode of transportation. Negotiate the fare before starting your journey or opt for metered taxis.

Dares Salaam General Travel Guide

Before embarking on your Dar es Salaam adventure, keep these points in mind:

  • Language: Swahili and English are the official languages. Learning a few basic Swahili phrases can greatly enhance your interactions with locals.
  • Currency: The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). While credit cards are accepted in larger establishments, it's advisable to carry cash, especially for smaller transactions and markets.
  • Safety: Exercise caution and remain vigilant, especially in crowded areas and unfamiliar locations. Safeguard your belongings to prevent theft or loss.

Maps in Dar es Salaam City 

Secure city maps from your accommodation, tourism offices, or online sources. These maps provide detailed information on major landmarks, roads, and public transportation routes. Navigating with a map in hand ensures you make the most of your time in Dar es Salaam.

Exploring Dar es Salaam is an opportunity to immerse yourself in Tanzanian culture, uncover historical treasures, and experience the urban vibrancy that sets the stage for your journey to the mesmerising Victoria Falls.

Transport: Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi

  • Kilimanjaro Ordinary Train: Embark on a truly unique journey aboard the TAZARA train, which takes you from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi. Revel in the breathtaking scenery as you traverse Tanzania and Zambia.
  • Mukuba Express Train: Depart from Kapiri Mposhi on the Mukuba Express Train, continuing your scenic railway adventure to Lusaka, the vibrant capital of Zambia.

 Transport: New Kapiri Mposhi to Lusaka

Transition from the railway to road travel as you journey from New Kapiri Mposhi to Lusaka. Whether by bus or local transport, this leg of the journey allows you to soak in the surroundings and anticipate your next destination.

  • Lusaka, Zambia

Lusaka, the dynamic capital of Zambia, emerges as a vibrant urban hub that encapsulates the nation's energy and diversity. As the political, economic, and cultural centre, Lusaka boasts a unique fusion of contemporary developments and indigenous traditions. The city's bustling markets, museums, and verdant parks provide a glimpse into Zambia's past, present, and aspirations for the future, making it an intriguing destination that invites exploration and engagement with the heart of Southern Africa.

Southern Africa

Things to See and Do in Lusaka

Lusaka, the vibrant capital of Zambia, offers a range of cultural, historical, and recreational activities:

  • Lusaka National Museum: Immerse yourself in Zambia's history and culture through artefacts, sculptures, and exhibitions that highlight the nation's heritage.
  • Munda Wanga Environmental Park: Experience a mix of wildlife, gardens, and conservation efforts at this park. Observe animals, explore botanical gardens, and engage in eco-friendly activities.
  • Kabwata Cultural Village: Discover local arts and crafts, from traditional sculptures to contemporary paintings. Engage with local artists and gain insight into Zambia's artistic heritage.
  • Arcades Shopping Mall: Enjoy modern shopping, dining, and entertainment at this mall. It's a great place to unwind, grab a meal, or shop for souvenirs.
  • Freedom Statue: Visit the iconic Freedom Statue, which represents Zambia's struggle for independence. This landmark is an embodiment of the nation's history and aspirations.

Accommodation in Lusaka

Lusaka offers a diverse selection of accommodations catering to various budgets and preferences:

  • Luxury Hotels: Choose from luxury options like Radisson Blu Hotel, InterContinental Lusaka, and Taj Pamodzi Lusaka. These establishments provide top-notch amenities and services.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Consider accommodations like Southern Sun Ridgeway, Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower, and Cresta Golfview. These hotels strike a balance between comfort and affordability.
  • Budget Options: For budget travellers, guesthouses and lodges such as Lusaka Backpackers and Kalulu Backpackers provide wallet-friendly stays.

Moving Around Lusaka

Getting around Lusaka is relatively convenient, thanks to various transportation options:

  • Minibuses (Commuter Buses): Minibuses, known as "combi" or "kombi," are the primary mode of public transportation. They follow set routes and are a cost-effective way to travel within the city.
  • Taxis: Taxis are widely available and provide door-to-door transportation. Negotiate fares before starting the journey or opt for metered taxis.
  • Car Rentals: Renting a car is an option for travellers seeking more independence in exploring the city.

Lusaka General Travel Information

Before exploring Lusaka, consider the following travel information:

  • Language: English is the official language, making communication with locals relatively easy.
  • Currency: The Zambian Kwacha (ZMW) is the local currency. Credit cards are accepted in larger establishments, but having cash on hand for small transactions is advisable.
  • Safety: Stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings. Keep valuables secure to prevent theft. While Lusaka is generally safe, exercise normal precautions.

Lusaka City Maps

City maps of Lusaka are available at hotels, tourist information centres, and online resources. These maps provide a detailed overview of major streets, landmarks, and attractions. Utilising a map helps you navigate the city efficiently, making the most of your time in Lusaka.

Lusaka, a blend of urban and cultural experiences, offers a gateway to Zambia's history and contemporary lifestyle. Engage with local communities, explore museums, and enjoy modern amenities before continuing your journey to the mesmerising Victoria Falls.

  • Transport: Lusaka to Livingstone Town

Embark on the next leg of your journey, transitioning from the capital city to Livingstone Town, your gateway to the iconic Victoria Falls.

  • Transport: Livingstone to Victoria Falls Town

Arrive in Victoria Falls Town and prepare to be captivated by the natural splendour of the falls and the surrounding area.

  • Livingstone Town, Zambia

Nestled on the banks of the majestic Zambezi River, Livingstone Town stands as a captivating gateway to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, one of nature's most impressive masterpieces. Named after the legendary explorer David Livingstone, this enchanting town offers a blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty. From heart-pounding adrenaline activities like bungee jumping and white-water rafting to serene encounters with wildlife and the sheer wonder of the falls themselves, Livingstone Town beckons travellers to embark on a journey of discovery and exhilaration amidst Zambia's breathtaking landscapes.

Livingstone Town

Things to See and Do in Livingstone Town

Livingstone Town, named after the famous explorer David Livingstone, is the gateway to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. It offers a variety of activities and attractions:

  • Victoria Falls: Stand in awe of the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Witness the immense curtain of water and experience the mist and thunderous roar.
  • Adventure Activities: Engage in adrenaline-pumping adventure sports like bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting in the Zambezi River, and helicopter flights over the falls.
  • Livingstone Island: Take a guided tour to Livingstone Island, the place where David Livingstone first saw the falls. During low water seasons, you can swim in the famous Devil's Pool on the edge of the falls.
  • Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park: Embark on a game drive or walking safari to spot wildlife including elephants, zebras, giraffes, and various bird species.
  • Livingstone Museum: Learn about the history and culture of the region at the Livingstone Museum. Exhibits cover archaeological artefacts, ethnography, and Livingstone's legacy.

Where to Stay in Livingstone Town

Livingstone Town offers a range of accommodation options catering to different budgets and preferences:

  • Luxury Lodges: Pamper yourself at luxury lodges like Avani Victoria Falls Resort and The Royal Livingstone Hotel, both offering stunning views of the falls and excellent amenities.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Consider accommodations like Chrismar Hotel Livingstone and Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone. These options provide a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.
  • Budget Lodgings: For budget-conscious travellers, Jollyboys Backpackers and Fawlty Towers Lodge offer affordable stays with basic amenities.

Livingstone Maps

Maps of Livingstone Town are available at hotels, tourism centres, and online resources. These maps provide a clear layout of the town, major roads, attractions, and access points to Victoria Falls. They are valuable tools for navigating the area effectively.

Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

While not in Zambia, nearby Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe offers a different perspective of the falls and unique experiences:

  • Victoria Falls Bridge: Walk across the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge for spectacular views of the falls and the Batoka Gorge. You can also partake in the thrilling Victoria Falls Bridge Swing or Zipline.
  • Rainforest Trails: Explore the rainforest trails on the Zimbabwean side of the falls for up-close views and stunning photo opportunities.
  • Elephant Encounters: Engage in ethical elephant interactions and experiences, where you can learn about these magnificent creatures and even take elephant-back rides.
  • Curio Markets: Shop for local crafts, souvenirs, and artworks at the curio markets, showcasing Zimbabwean craftsmanship.

Livingstone Town is a vibrant hub that offers not only the breathtaking Victoria Falls but also a plethora of adventure, culture, and relaxation opportunities. Engage in heart-pounding activities, learn about the area's history, and enjoy comfortable accommodations. Additionally, a short visit to Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe adds an extra layer of discovery to your journey. These two towns, connected by the awe-inspiring falls, promise an unforgettable experience that encapsulates the natural and cultural wonders of the region.

 Return Trip: Victoria Falls Town to Nairobi

Begin the journey back to Nairobi, retracing your steps with a mix of road and train travel.

  • Victoria Falls Town to Livingstone

Cross back into Zambia from Victoria Falls Town and travel to Livingstone, where you can further explore the town's attractions and activities before continuing your journey.

  • Livingstone Town to Lusaka

From Livingstone, embark on a road trip to Lusaka, Zambia's capital city. The journey offers a chance to soak in the country's landscapes and urban life.

  • Accommodation in Lusaka

In Lusaka, you'll find a variety of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget lodgings. Choose based on your preferences and budget. Luxury options include Radisson Blu Hotel and InterContinental Lusaka, while mid-range choices include Southern Sun Ridgeway and Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower.

  • Lusaka to Dar es Salaam by Bus

Travel by bus from Lusaka to Dar es Salaam, where you can experience a road journey through different landscapes and towns. Make sure to choose a reputable bus company for a safe and comfortable trip.

  • Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam by Train

Board the train from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam, completing the journey on the historic TAZARA railway. This train ride offers picturesque views of both Tanzania and Zambia landscapes.

Dar es Salaam to Nairobi by Bus

Conclude your return journey with a bus ride from Dar es Salaam back to Nairobi, completing the loop. The bus journey provides another opportunity to see the changing scenery and experience the road trip once again.

This return trip not only allows you to revisit some of the places you've already explored but also offers the chance to see them from a different perspective. It's a continuation of your adventure, offering new experiences and memories as you journey back to Nairobi.


This meticulously planned road and train journey from Nairobi to Victoria Falls offers an unrivalled blend of diverse landscapes, immersive cultural experiences, and unforgettable moments. From the bustling streets of Dar es Salaam to the serene majesty of Victoria Falls, every step of the way presents an opportunity to create cherished memories that will remain with you for a lifetime. Embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Africa, forging connections and experiencing the continent's rich tapestry in a truly unique way. Your journey is not just a trip; it's a transformative experience that captures the essence of Africa's allure.


FAQs and Answers on Travel Guide from Nairobi to Victoria Falls by Road and Train**

  • What is the best time to embark on this journey?

The optimal time for this journey is during the dry season from May to October. However, for the most impressive views of Victoria Falls, consider travelling between March and April when the falls are at their fullest.

  • What travel documents do I need for this trip?

Ensure you have valid passports, visas for all countries on your route, and any required vaccinations. Double-check entry requirements well in advance.

  • What's a rough estimate of the budget required for this journey?

The estimated budget (essential expenses only) ranges from $500 to $900, covering transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and miscellaneous costs.

  • How can I travel from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam?

Start with a long-distance bus ride from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, providing glimpses of both rural landscapes and towns along the way.

  • What can I do and see in Dar es Salaam?

Explore the bustling Kariakoo Market, visit the National Museum, enjoy the Indian Ocean beaches, and more. Consider staying at hotels like Slipway Hotel or Tanzanite Executive Suites.

  • What are my options for transportation within Dar es Salaam?

Taxis and bajaj's (three-wheeled vehicles) are common modes of transportation within the city.

  • What are the notable attractions in Lusaka, Zambia?

Discover the Lusaka National Museum, Munda Wanga Environmental Park, and vibrant local markets.

  • How can I travel from Lusaka to Livingstone Town?

Transition from Lusaka to Livingstone Town by road, opening the door to experiencing Victoria Falls.




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