Home Articles Tales of Zambia By boat, plane, and train.
By boat, plane, and train. Print E-mail
Written by David Alwyn Lougher   
Monday, 04 January 2010 14:45

It was the end of the school term at Kalabo Secondary School . I had arranged to meet up with my youngest brother Dan, on a visit from UK, at our sister Margaret's home in Ndola. It had been a tough end of term. I had gone down with malaria and hospitalised for five days. I then had to mark my Biology and RE mock exam papers - about 120 scripts and then write reports. I failed to get the saturday flight but there was a flight from Mongu,the provincial town, the next day. But how was I to get there? The answer came from Peter, a fellow teacher, who offered to take me in his speedboat.

Kalabo is situated on the Luanginga, a tributary of the river Zambezi . To get to Mongu we had to cross the Zambezi flood plain, an exhilarating experience with its wonderful water birds, which took about 2 to 3 hours. We then had a long walk , in the heat, from the harbour to the airport. Unfortunately the Livingstone flight was fully booked and I was weight-listed! There were no more flights until Thursday but fortunately I managed to get on.

The plane stopped in Senanga and Secheke before arriving in Livingstone. Although its the same plane that continues to Lusaka I was told to get off because I was not booked for the second leg of the journey. I appealed to the Swedish captain who told the booking officer in no uncertainterms that I was going the whole way , much to my relief! Eventually I made it to Ndola on a connecting flight from Lusaka.

At the airport I got a lift from a friend of my sister's who casually informed me that my brother Dan was in Livingstone ! My sister had written telling me to meet Dan in Livingstone but the letter did not arrive in time. All that effort I had made to get on that Livingstone flight had been wasted.

The next day found me on the Livingstone train and after 2 derailments ( not to my train! ) reached my destination 12 hours late. I found my brother at one of the schools where there was a volley-ball tournament. We had a wonderful couple of days in a Rondavel near the Zambezi river and a visit to the Mosi-o-tunyia Falls ( Victoria Falls) , a must for any tourist.

My brother went back to Ndola with the school who had given him a lift but alas there was no room for poor me!. I had to get the train back to Ndola. After a few days I said goodbye to my brother and flew back to Kalabo via Lusaka and Mongu. I don't think my brother fully appreciated the effort I had made to meet up with him, travelling 2,200 miles by boat, plane, and train, but it gave me first-hand experience of the joys of travelling in Zambia.