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jmms 16 Aug 2009 23:20

I need some help PLEASE.
Hi all.

I need some help PLEASE.

I’m planning a RTW trip in aid of MS (view my website for more info on Johan Marais Multiple Sclerosis).

I need to get any advise on the road between Lilongwe (Malawi) and Lusaka (Zambia)

View the map here

Things like:
a)Filling stations,
b)The exact distance
c)Resorts on route
d)Things to look out for on this road

Basically any info that would be of help is welcome

I will also update this post with new route's that I would need some help on.
In advance, Thanks for the help..

Johan Marais

Bertrand 17 Aug 2009 09:52

Welcome to Horizons
May I say how sorry I am at what has befallen you and how much I admire your courage and undertaking- Awesome -

The distance between Lilonge and Lusaka is as near as I can work out 710 Kilometers
Not having done that route I cannot speak of its surface but the road is the M12 from Lilonge to Chipata then the T4 to Lusaka

If I can be of any help to you in the UK, please get in touch.
Good luck:thumbup1:

dave ett 17 Aug 2009 17:29

Good luck and I hope you have a great run.:thumbup1:

I've google-mapped the road and there appear to a few fuel stations about mid way along it. No idea how accurate this is though...

dave ett 17 Aug 2009 17:48

I've created the route on Mapsource using 'Smelly bikers Worldmap (central)' and it is ROUGHLY 441 miles. I suspect the actual distance will be a 10-20% more than this as the map is not massively detailed in this area of the world.

If you are taking GPS (and I'd be amazed if you weren't) then see here for the best global mapping software:

Smellybiker's Wanderlust Worldmap • Index page

Tracks for Africa is also a good source:

Tracks4Africa - Mapping Africa, one day at a time

Bertrand 17 Aug 2009 18:18


710 Kms = as near as 443 miles (sorry, I was brought up metric!) so looks like we both got the distance about right- I'd have to disagree on adding such a big margin though. Still, a few extra litres of fuel in Africa are never a bad idea!

jmms 17 Aug 2009 19:39

thanks all for the great help. :clap:

Bertrand 18 Aug 2009 16:48

Shameless bump :innocent:
Looking up National Parks along your route, I have found
Lower Zambezi Nat.Park about 130 Kms ish east of Lusaka borders it seems the T4
North of Petauke (about 120Kms) there is the South Luangwa national Park but I cannot see a road to get there from the T4- There may be a compacted earth or gravel track- hard to tell on G.Earth

Total Fuel at Chipata Lat -13.632348 Long 32.630053
Plenty in Lusaka
still looking for some in between for you
Accomodation - see here
If you contact some they might be able to tell you what you need to know and the info will then be up to date.

jim 20 Aug 2009 11:27

I did the road in 1997 and it was really terrible, but then I did part of it again recently and it had been totally rebuilt. I think its now good all the way through. . I can ask some friends in Malawi for more reliable info.
Ill be back in Cape Town in Sept and if you need any more specific advice or info Id be glad to help, Ive been to Malawi and surrounds quite a few times by bike.

Best of luck and well done!

Jim :thumbup1:

mikeb8man 30 Oct 2009 19:29

Hi johan,

I rode from Lilongwe down to Lusaka around March 2008...
As far as I can recall, it was fairly good most of the way...
I think that in places there can be bad potholes etc...but im afraid I cant remember exactly where...
There is plenty of fuel as I recall, and I can recommend a place to stay along the way, just the other side of the Luangwa River, there is a bush camp, I forgot the name of it, but Im sure if you search on here you will find it...either way there is a big sign on the road as you come over the river bridge...it has camping etc. and the owners are very nice....

Another thing about this strech of road is that there are no real places to stop on the side of the road to eat...weird since it is the norm in a great deal of other African countries, but was little to find along here...
Once you get into Lusaka, if you need any bike requirements, or if your just in need of some advice on routes/equipment or anything, there was a really cool friendly place just outside of town...I forgot the name of it but if ask around the motorcross track on the outside of town, its not from there..Its a motorcross dealer, but they have overlanders come through there for parts and tyres etc...not much going on in town, other than a honda dealer i think....
I covered this distance fairly comfortable in two days, staying at the above mentioned bush camp on the Luangwa river, on the first night...
hope some of that information helps, and have a fantastic trip!!!
If you require any more information, feel free to ask and I will try and dig some things up....
good luck

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