Prepare your trip to Croc Valley
Croc Valley Camp is in a remote part of Zambia. Before you come, we suggest researching some useful information and advice. On this page we have collated some basic information, but we also recommend talking to a doctor and travel agent and reading up about the area. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure a smooth, headache-free trip to South Luangwa.
What to pack
While there are some shops in the local village of Mfuwe, they have limited stock so it is best to bring everything you need with you. Our Croc Valley Packing List is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is designed to point you in the right direction.
How to get to Mfuwe
Mfuwe Airport now has an all-weather bitumen runway and is close to Croc Valley Camp and the South Luangwa National Park. Proflight Zambia operates domestic flights between Lusaka and Mfuwe, and also connects Lusaka to Livingstone, Lilongwe and Durban. The flights are scheduled to line up with the various international arrivals and departures. Flights from Lusaka to Mfuwe run every day in high season; during the green season there are fewer flights.
Croc Valley Camp is a booking agent for the Proflight Airline and we can help you with bookings, schedules and last-minute specials to Mfuwe. We also arrange airport transfers to the Camp, which take about 25 minutes one-way on the road.
From Lusaka: Jonda Bus operates a direct connection to Mfuwe (via Chipata), which leaves daily at 5:00am from the Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminal and arrives in Mfuwe at around 5:00pm. Bus tickets are sold directly at the bus stations in Lusaka and Mfuwe.
Jonda Bus Phone Number: 09 6545 1224
From Chipata: You can take the Green Bus from Chipata Downtown Station leaving to Mfuwe daily at 2:00pm.
Green Bus Phone Number: 09 7785 9357
From Lilongwe in Malawi: You can use public transport, hire a taxi, or organise a private charter with Ulendo Airline.
Please feel free to contact Croc Valley Camp if you need any help or information for booking transport to Mfuwe.
Once in Mfuwe, give us a call and we will pick you up. It’s only a five-minute drive from the bus stop to the camp.
Mfuwe is about 1 ½ hours by car from Chipata (125 km). From Chipata it is another two to three hours’ drive to Lilongwe and 7 to 8 hours to Lusaka. You can access Mfuwe by road all year round, as the roads are tarred and in good condition. Please do not drive at night in Zambia, as it can be very unsafe due to the high number of vehicles and bicycles with no lights as well as unfenced animals roaming the area.
If you are planning on doing a self-drive Safari in the South Luangwa National Park, we strongly recommend using 4×4 vehicles.
Directions to Croc Valley Camp:
Drive to Chipata (about 15 km from the Malawi border in the Eastern Province of Zambia). Follow the signpost to South Luangwa National Park. If you are coming from Malawi, this sign is on the right just after you exit Chipata, just past the Puma service station. Coming from Lusaka, the road is on the left just before you enter Chipata.
Follow the road for approximately 1 ½ hours (about 140km). Keep following signs to South Luangwa National Park. The road is sealed the whole way. When you reach the tarmac junction at the ZESCO power station with the airport to the left, you must turn right to come to Croc Valley Camp.
Follow the tar road for about 20 minutes, going past the Oasis fuel station. You will see a big sign for Croc Valley Camp on the right; turn right there. We are on the same road as Marula and Track & Trail. Follow the dirt road and another two signs will direct you to our camp.
Food, supplies and fuel
Groceries and personal supplies
If you are planning to self-cater or camp at Croc Valley, make sure to bring food and other necessary supplies with you. Mfuwe village has only basic groceries, so we suggest shopping in Chipata, Lusaka or Lilongwe. In Chipata there is a Shoprite supermarket, Barclays and Zambian banks, pharmacies and other shops where you can stock up on for your holiday. At Croc Valley Camp, we provide a fully equipped self-catering kitchen, and you are also most welcome to order snacks and full meals at our riverside bar.
There is an OASIS fuel station here in Mfuwe. The station usually has petrol and diesel, but it is always wise to carry a couple of full jerry cans with your own vehicle in case the station runs out.
In Mfuwe, you can withdraw money either from the Zanaco ATM in the village or at the Mfuwe International Airport (Zanaco and Barclays ATMs). You can also exchange currency in cash at the airport.
Croc Valley Camp accepts Zambian Kwacha, US$, South African Rand, Euro and Pounds. We also accept all major credit cards (please note there is a 5% surcharge on credit card payments). Payments can also be made by direct bank transfer or through 3G Direct Pay.
If you are traveling out of your home country, we strongly recommend having quality medical coverage. Health care abroad is often very expensive, so make sure you have travel medical insurance that will protect you if you get sick or injured.
The Luangwa Safari Association sponsors a foreign doctor here in the Luangwa Valley, so let us know if you need any medical assistance. There is a US $200 call-out charge. The nearest hospital to Croc Valley is the Kamoto Mission Hospital situated about 50 minutes away from Croc Valley.
Please let us know any numbers that may be necessary to call in an emergency. You can add them to the check-in register at the bar when you arrive. Many medical insurance companies require to be telephoned before any treatment or evacuation.
What to know about Malaria
Croc Valley Camp is in South Luangwa, which is a malaria-prone region. It is very important you inform yourself about the disease and prevention methods.
Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite, which is spread by infected female anopheles mosquitos. It is a major cause of death worldwide, but mostly a problem in developing countries with warm climates.
People get malaria by being bitten by an infective female mosquito. This happens usually after dark. Only females mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected by previously biting an infected person. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it takes in a small amount of blood containing microscopic malaria parasites.
Malaria normally manifests itself around 10 days after being bitten by an infective mosquito. Malaria symptoms include chills, flu-like symptoms, fever, vomiting, sore joints, diarrhoea and jaundice. The disease can cause death, but you can treat malaria with medicine. The type of medicine depends on which kind of malaria you have and where you were infected.
Malaria symptoms sometimes only develop after leaving the malaria area, reducing the chances of malaria being diagnosed. If you become ill after visiting a malaria region, seek help from a medical doctor and tell them you are at risk of having malaria.
You can prevent malaria when traveling to malaria-prone regions. Prevention is always better than cure.
See your doctor for prophylaxis (malaria-preventing medicine) before you leave. Recommended malaria prevention medications change over time, so please follow the advice of a trained professional.
The best way to prevent malaria is to not get bitten in the first place. Cover up your skin with long-sleeved, lightweight clothing, sleep under a mosquito net and wear insect repellent.
Make sure your body extremities do not touch the net at night or spray them before going to sleep.
Myths about malaria
Myth 1: Some malaria cannot be treated.
Fact: If identified early and treated appropriately, almost all malaria can be completely cured. However, even short delays in the diagnosis of malaria can make treatment more difficult and less successful.
Myth 2: You can only safely take malaria prophylaxis for a short time
Fact: There is no absolute time limit on how long you can take any anti-malaria prophylactic drug (malaria prevention drug). The small numbers of individuals who will experience significant side effects from anti-malaria drugs usually do so within the first few weeks of use. Many mild side effects decrease with continued use of prophylaxis.
Myth 3: I’m only going to be in a malarious area for a couple of days, so I don’t need to bother taking precautions.
Fact: It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito. So even if you are in a malaria area for a short time, you need to take advice from a healthcare professional and follow their recommendations.
Please note: It is very important that if you are taking prophylaxis that you complete your course after you get home as directed by the health official. Malaria can develop even after you leave a malaria area if you do not complete the course.
Visas for Zambia
If you are citizen of a country that is obliged to apply for a visa, then you must obtain a tourist visa either at the port of entry or at a Zambian Embassy abroad. The cost for most foreign nationals (Including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries) is US $50 per person for single entry or US $80 for double entry. If you buy a visa at the port of entry into Zambia (e.g. at the airport), you must pay the visa fee in cash in US $. Immigration will issue the visa for a duration of 30 to 90 days.
Not sure if you need a visa? Check here for more detailed visa information.
Learn more about the South Luangwa National Park
More information on South Luangwa’s unique history, ecology and wildlife.