How to get to us
If you fly to Lusaka (and maybe also to Mfuwe): We recommend the combi Emirates and Proflight.
Emirates and Wildlife: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZA9xVsPbpU
By car from Mfuwe to Malama Umoyo Cottages
- Mfuwe International Airport – Malama Umoyo, tarmac and dirt road, 70 km, 2 ½ hours
By car from Lusaka to Malama Umoyo Cottages
- Lusaka – Petauke, all tarmac, 400 km, 5 hours
Two options from Petauke
- Petauke – Malama Umoyo Cottages, dirt road, 140 km, 5 hours. You need a 4×4, this road is challenging but fairly well to drive from May until November (even if you have no 4×4 experience). Other months might be difficult due to the rains
- Petauke – Chipata – Mfuwe – Malama Umoyo, tarmac until Mfuwe, dirt road to Malama Umoyo Cottages, 340 km, 6 hours
You can reach Malama coming from Lusaka both ways in one day but you really have to rush and you will miss the beauty of rural Africa, nature and a lot of wildlife, or you will reach Malama in the dark. Remember that you need also time for fuelling, eating, drinking and resting. Therefore we advice you to stay over halfway at Chimwemwe Lodge in Petauke.
By car from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Malama Umoyo Cottages
- Lilongwe – Mjinchi border – Chipata – Mfuwe – Malama Umoyo, tarmac until Mfuwe, dirt road to Malama Umoyo Cottages, 320 km, 7 hours
Follow the great East Road. At the Petauke junction you can turn left and follow the road through Petauke to Malama. From Petauke you can also proceed to Chipata – Mfuwe – Malama. The Petauke road is a scenic gravel and sand road through the hills. The road to Mfuwe via Chipata is all tarmac.
Additional information when driving from Petauke to Malama Umoyo through the hills:
The distance from the Petauke junction (at the great East road) to Malama Umoyo is about 140km and it will take you about 5 hours. Petauke city is about 5 km’s left from the great East road. The road from Petauke to Malama is a reasonably fair road but a 4×4 is advisable to cross the rocky hills. After about 60km’s you turn left to Malama (GPS: S 13°56’49” E31°36’52”). See photo below.
Attention (do not miss): Turnoff to Sandwe and Malama (Coming from Petauke)
Petauke is your last opportunity to do your shopping and taking in enough fuel for your trip. If needed, you can stop-over in Petauke. We personally like to spend the night in Chimwemwe lodge which is very close to Petauke junction. This place also has camping facilities. If you come form Lusaka, we advice to do your shopping as much as you can in Lusaka. On your way from Petauke to Malama you will see true African rural life. When entering Malama, you will see the (probably dry) Lusangazi river which is the border with the national park. From the power lines it is 5 km to Malama village. Proceed for another 10 km’s (from Malama village) and then turn right (this is where the Lusangazi river meets the Luangwa river). After about 8 km you will drive through Mwelwa village. From there it is only 2 km to Malama Umoyo cottages. Until you meet Malama Villlage (where the Chief’s palace is), you may not see a lot of wild animals. From there you will.
From one of our guests (MS, CA, USA): “I would highly recommend driving in from the south, via Petauke to see the beauty of rural African life. The road-track is rough and you’ll need a good 4 wheel drive but it is very much worth it and something the typical Africa tourist doesn’t experience”
Tips when coming from Chipata
From Chipata, it will take you about 4 hours to reach us. Please note, that Chipata has reasonably good supermarkets (Shoprite, Spar) and other shops. If you use camping gas: This can be found at Afrox in Chipata which is located near the turnoff to Mfuwe. In case you might not find Afrox, then ask for Marhaba.
Tips when coming from Mfuwe
Also in Mfuwe you will find reasonable supermarkets like Mayana and one at the filling station. Normally there is fuel in Mfuwe (Oasis) but to be sure fill your tank in Chipata and top-up again in Mfuwe. When starting off at the filling station, drive about 300m to the South Luangwa main gate and turn left (also tarmac). Follow this road about 2,5 km’s and then turn left. You will see a lot of sign posts (like Kafunta, Wild life, Nkwali and Mopani). From here, Malama Umoyo cottages is a 40 km drive km via a gravel/sand road. After 13km’s turn left (right you see signpost to Chipembele). After another 10km you will reach Manchesa (National Parks check point) camp and from there it is 17km to Malama Umoyo cottages.
Using a 4×4 is advisable. The road to Malama is rough, but not as bad as many seem to think. During the months April and November, the road can be wet and muddy, so when driving to Malama during these months, we advice you to use a good reliable 4×4 and good driving skills. Driving from Mfuwe to Malama is a game drive experience by itself. You will pass many beautiful places and for sure you will see a lot of wildlife. Please do not drive fast and make way for the animals. Drive carefully and act responsible when meeting big animals (like elephants, hippo’s and buffalo’s).
If you are looking for a good place to stay in Mfuwe, please let us know, and we will assist you to find a reliable and affordable place.
Two photos above: Typical road sections from Mfuwe to Malama
Road section from Petauke to Malama
Car rental services.
In Mfuwe: Njobvu safaris (open game drive vehicles)
In Lusaka: Limo Hire Zambia, LHZ or City Drive Rent a Car. They provide 4×4 cars with fridge and fully equipped camping/rooftent cars. When you arrive at Lusaka airport, they can deliver your rental car there if you like, or bring you to their office, where your car will be ready for you.
Please have a look at www.citydriverentacar.com or contact directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call: +260 211 295290 or +260 966332422.
Map: South section of the National Park.
Malama Umoyo Cottages GPS S13°22’46” E31°37’06”. You can also find Malama Umoyo at Tracks4africa (Downloadable at a fee) If you need a GPX file when driving from Petauke or Mfuwe: Just ask and we send you.