This was "somewhere" between Choma and Botoko.... after the town of Choma we found a little road that looked interesting and took it..... and boy was it interesting, despite the "repairs" to the bridge, this thing had yer foot wobbling over the throttle with every creak you heard.
As you can see in front and to the left of my left wheel about three metres, someone had already dropped a wheel through the wood...
Imagine what his car seat must have looked like.... hahaha!!!
While on honeymoon near Victoria Falls, we came across a whole string of abandoned steam locomotives. It was quite a sight! These Garrett-type locomotives have been used at many locations around the world. I just received a report (July, 2003) from VT-member 'Margi9' that a couple of these particular locomotives are now housed in the National Railway Museum at Livingstone. That is good news!
Wonder Gorge on the Lunsemfwa River is a sight to behold. This tributary of the Luangwa River is located east of Kabwe and was created by the river cutting through the escarpment. There were no facilities of any kind when I was there in 1973 - it is in the 'bush' outback. See my next tip in this section for another unusual outing.
One of my volunteer contacts was a fishery patrol officer on Lake Mweru, in northern Zambia on the border with Zaire. He took us out on an overnight patrol of the lake (see photo for our departure) on the 'Ikana' patrol boat. It was very interesting to see how they checked out the Zairean fishing boats and the sunset on the lake was spectacular as we slept on-board.
The road from Lusaka to Monze, Zambia has no potholes, two lanes, three police check points, one town near the Kafue river and lots of life, including people walking, riding biclycles and chasing their cattle.
You pass the sight where Livinstone is said to have stopped, looked into the distance and seen the the great falls he would later visit. I never made it to Victoria Falls - it was another 4 hours down the Cairo road, (also known as The Great North road), from Monze and we had little time as it was. It was thrilling driving on this great road. The name is rich with images of late european empires and conjured up the vastness of Africa. The road from Cairo to Cape town was not completed and may never be. It runs out, turns to sand, twists and wanders into the wilderness. But this stretch through Zambia is the real thing - and as easy as it is to feel dwarfed by the scale of the African continent, this road provides a genuine link with the rest of it.
The road is also dangerous. The grades are steep at various points (such as the crest of the hill where Livingstone spied Victoria Falls) and trucks will be stalled just short of the peak of each of them. You may see nothing but a triangle of sticks or worse, you may not see the basketball sized boulder the driver placed in your lane as a warning that he was stopped ahead. Driving at night is not an option so enjoy it during the day. And get out into the countryside and see this beautiful part of the world.
Our experience was many years ago and I am sure these days it is not as bad. We had to make a trip to Mansa on business. We were living in Lusaka at the time. The Pedicle was then a dirt road and a very dusty one marked with potholes. Our trip was very eventful, for a start we were stopped at the Zaire , now DRC, border post. My husband was marched at gun point into the bush. He was then beaten and his wallet and watch stolen. I was left in the heat and guarded by another"officer" at gunpoint. We were then allowed to go over the border back into Zambia.
On our way back we were runoff the road by two petrol tankers dicing each other, we crashed off the road down into a ditch. The drivers just did not see us both fro the dust and the speed they were travelling. So our encounter was not pleasant but when we arrived in Mansa and travelled just out of the town this more than made up for it. The scenery in the area is stunning, We visited Lakes and waterfalls. A very scenic area.
Suddenly a terrible smell, a dead giraffe (saw her earlier this day), vultures eating from the dead body.
That's nature, that's also Africa. When you're on a game drive it is possible you see these things.
Visiting a school is one of the nices things you can do. When you enter the class room the children start to sing. The teacher tells something about the way of the lessons and you can look around a little bit.
There are some houses and roadside shops on the Great East Road. A small community is located close to Luangwa Bridge, in the middle of the wilderness areas. The place is a popular pit stop on the road from Lusaka to Chipata and Malawi. You can buy food, fruits, drinks and also straw hats.
Among many other things, the fishing is excellent here. The most common to catch are the big-toothed tiger fish, which are usually between 5 and 10 lbs. There are, however, catfish, which can be up to 100 lbs. Locals, who fish from dug out canoes, are sometimes pulled miles upstream as the catfish try to swim away with the current.
Two amazing places to stay here are the Kulefu and Kiambi lodges (although they are expensive). See - http://www.kiambi.co.za
If you just visit the big cities, you will miss everything wonderful about Zambia.
The rural people are so friendly, and love to meet 'white people'.
Get up to the north west of Zambia to Solwezi, and get a made to measure outfit at the local market.
There is one journey which, although hellish, will live in my mind forever as the most intersting and the most eye opening I've ever been on. Driving form South Luangwa to north Luangwa, ill with malaria, was great. It took us 12 hours through hippo and mosi infested swamps, mahogany forests, flat salt plains, bubbling springs with 1000 crowned cranes around them, remote villages where everyone turns out to look at you....absolutely stunning. it's a slog (take a lot of water and a map) but it can be done! And you need 4 wheel drive obviously, make sure you knwo about hi and lo ratio etc....too.
Kalambo Falls, about 45km from Mbala is a gem of a place. An amazing waterfall with an equally amazing drop. You will however need to hire some sought of vehicle or get a taxi to take you there, as there is no public transport, but I think it is worth it.
Please also see my On the Falls Travelogue.
'THE EDGE' is a place on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls--the side from where the water falls. At rare times during the year, in the first week of December in this picture, the water level of the Zambezi is low enough to permit crossing areas along the cliff that are normally submerged by the river. It's a long hike, and at times it is difficult. You must enter the National Park (admission $1 USD in 1999) near the hotel that used to be the Hotel Intercontinental. Follow the edge of the cliff, and it will become more stony. There will still be water in the deep, round holes that have been swirled out by the river.
Let me tell you, experiencing this was like sitting in the palm of Mother Nature's hand. One of the crevices of her life lines held us secure, thrilled, exultant, and immemorial. The water was cool, the sound of the water rushing over the edge less than a meter away, the grey skies portentious of an oncoming storm over the horizon, and the rest after an hour long trek through pock-marked stone along the cliff of these majestic falls combined to make this the most remarkable experience of my life...
It gets a little sketchy crossing some of the streams and rivulets. We crossed water that was chest high. We brought a cardboard disposable camera with us. The rocks were slippery, the water cool, and the current was...on the swift end of the mild. But getting to that pool, onto the island above it, jumping in, not being able to touch bottom,was euphoric. You absolutely must.
I enter this with reservation, but I enter it nonetheless. There is the Blue Train, among the most extravagant luxury vehicles known to our species which runs between Cape Town and Victoria Falls. It is 'Off the Beaten Path' as it were, so I am compelled to make this addition, with one comment.
If you are considering indulging in the Blue Train, please consider this: the money that you spend on this luxury could be better spent as a donation at an HIV clinic in the region. Rather that spending over $1,000 USD on a comfortable bed as you meander through southern Africa, you could spend half of that $1,000, stillenjoy the holiday in comfort, and prevent over 100 newborns from contracting HIV from infected mothers. Please consider the value of your wealth.
More Regions in Zambia