Home Articles Tales of Zambia Life in Kalabo - a rural town.
Life in Kalabo - a rural town. Print E-mail
Written by David Alwyn Lougher   
Saturday, 23 January 2010 11:11

In the late 70's I spent three years as a teacher in Kalabo, a rural  town situated between the Zambezi flood plain and the Angolan border. There are five things that I miss about life in Kalabo.

Crossing the Zambezi flood plain: I will never forget the first time I flew, on a  Zambian Airways flight, over the flood plain landing in Kalabo. I've also crossed by "banana boat" with an outboard engine , which takes about  6 or 7 hours., giving you plenty of time to take in the wonderful scenery  and  bjrd life. Crossing by speedboat, which I did three times, was very exciting.

The African night sounds:  at 20.00 hrs the school generator was turned  off. I would lie in bed listening to the Zambian night sounds. There was the shrill chirrups of the Cicadas, the bull sounds of the male frogs during the mating season accompanied by the sound of distant drums from traditional celebrations in the local villages.

Traditional ceremonies: public holidays were taken up with celebrations which included traditional  dancing and drumming. One of the highlights was the agricultural show in which the schools participated. Unigue to Western Province is the Kuomboka. This is when the Barotse King or Litunga moves his household using the royal bargem the Nalikwanda, from Lelalui on the flood plain, to Limilunga near Mongu. This annual event takes place at the end of March and has become a tourist  attraction.

The onset of the rains:  by the end of October  the weather was so hot and dry that people were literally praying for the rain.Preceding the rains were the lightning storms over the flood plain coming closer each day. If the rains were heavy vast areas  would be flooded with only the tops of trees showing above the water. One teacher from England named his house "Seaview" !

Snakes: there is something about snakes that  excites as well as frightens me,Kalabo had its fair share including gabboon viipers (i saw one), adders, boomslangers, and cobras (one was killed in a teacher's toilet.

It would be interesting to read what others miss about  Zambia.