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Written by Jill Masterton   
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 15:17
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Zambia Safari 2006
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Our trip to Zambia 2006

16th June dawned brightly and we got our vehicle ready and the final packing done and left home at about 07h30.  I finally realized that we were at last on our way to Zambia – to visit Kitwe where I grew up and to visit the Luangwa Valley which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful wildlife areas in Africa. 

We drove to a small border post to get into Botswana – and continued to Francistown in Botswana where we stayed at a small but attractive stopover place called Woodlands – after the Woodlands Kingfisher.  Early next morning we were on our way to rendezvous with some friends with a 4 X 4 at Kazungula Border Post.  We were late, so we had to get a move on.

After a badly potholed road from Nata hindering rapid progress, we eventually arrived at the ferry across the Zambezi at about 11h00.  We were fortunate enough to take the first ferry available.  We met our friends in the mêlée that is the Zambian border post at Kazungula.  This dusty place is totally chaotic, without any signage or directions for  travellers.  Money touts abound and the government offices are as dirty as the officials are officious.  One needs several pieces of paper for which one pays many Kwachas, US Dollars and Rands in order to pass through the boom into Zambia.  This takes a lot of time and becomes frustrating when the official who has to give you your final piece of paper has decided to take an hour off for lunch!

Finally we were on our way to Livingstone – some 70 kilometres away at 15h00.  We showed our companions the way to the Victoria Falls and went to set up camp at Maramba River Lodge.  We were unable to buy any maps of Zambia before we left, so we had one that I had downloaded from the internet that showed major towns and roads, but no distances.  We were told that it was about 250 kilometres to Lusaka, so we had a lazy breakfast and left Livingstone at 09h00.  Once on the road, we realized that Lusaka was over 470 kilometres away – so – once again, we had to put the foot down – we were supposed to be in South Luangwa National Park that night.

We soon discovered that nobody in Zambia tells you how far a place is in kilometers – only hours.  This is because of the varying state of the roads, I think.  We started on our way out of Livingstone on good tar, only to meet a long patch of very badly potholed tar about 40 kays out.  This bad road continued all the way to Zimba, the first town marked on the “map”.  From Zimba all the way to Lusaka there was a wonderfully good road and we managed to reach Lusaka by 16h00.