Como no habíamos hecho bien nuestro deberes pensábamos que ibamos a salir desde Lusaka , pero la primera estación del Tazara empieza en Kapiri Mposhi así que es necesario trasladarse desde Lusaka , nosotros lo hicimos en coche que tardó dos horas pero también se puede hacer en microbus aunque no se lo que puedan tardar
En las estaciones predomina el color azul , no tienen lujos pero están bien
As we had not done our homework we thought we were going to depart from Lusaka, but the first Tazara station begins in Kapiri Mposhi so you need to travel from Lusaka; we went by car and it took two hours but you can also do by minibus but I do not know how long time it takes
At stations dominated The bluecolour , no luxuries , but they are ok
Hemos viajado los aproximadamente 1.500 km. de Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, que es la primera estación del tren , hasta el Parque Nacional de Selous en Tanzania en 48 horas que no se olvidan fácilmente
Tienes que tomar un mini bus o un taxi para llegar a Mposhi desde Lusaka, y se tarda algo más de dos horas dos horas
Viajamos dos personas en primera clase (VIP) en una cabina de 4 literas , donde te sirven el desayuno y las comidas
No esperes ningún lujo, incluso si vas en primera clase, los viejos trenes fueron fabricados en China, las cabinas están razonablemente limpias , la comida es muy pobre, pero la gente, el tren y los paisajes te harán un viaje inolvidable
Te dan tres comidas al día, pero es mejor si se llevas algo para " suplementarlas" y algo para picar , aunque en las estaciones puedes comprar fruta , cacahueses...
Hay un vagón-bar donde puedes conseguir agua, refrescos y cerveza
El tren se detiene en todas las estaciones, que son muy frecuentes , pero normalmente no tienes tiempo para bajar , pero que nunca olvidarás cómo todo el mundo se aderca al tren para vender algo, viajar o simplemente para mirar
We travelled the aprox 1.500 Kms. from Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia , that is the first station of the train up to Selous National Park in Tanzania in 48 hours that we are not forgetting easily
You must take a mini bus or a taxi to reach Mposhi from Lusaka in more than two hours
We travelled , two persons in first class ( vip ) in a 4 berth cabin where they are serving to you breakfast and meals
Do not expect any luxury , even if you go in first class , the old trains were made in China , cabins are reasonably clean , food is very poor , but the people , the train and the landscapes will make an unforgettable travel
You have three meals a day , but is better if you take something to suplement them and some snacks , though you may get in the stations fruit , peanuts...
There is a bar-wagon where you may get water , drinks and also beer
The train stops frecuently in all the stations , but normally you do not have time to descend but you will never forget how everybody aproached to the train for selling some thing , traveling or just to look around
La idea original era que este tren debería servir para potenciar los envíos regionales a gran escala de cobre y otros bienes de Zambia. pero el impacto real del Tazara ( Tanzania Zambia Railway ) ha sido la de promover el desarrollo económico rural y mejorar la vida de los productores rurales mediante la conexión de los mercados locales.
Los residentes del corredor de Tazara fueron reasentados en pueblos centralizados "ujamaa" y la comercialización agrícola se organizó a través de cooperativas locales que vendían sus productos a las cooperativas del gobierno, hasta la liberalización de la economía de Tanzania en 1980, cuando los productos ya pudieron ser intercambiados en los mercados locales y regionales
El ferrocarril se ha convertido en un recurso importante para los comerciantes, agricultores, pescadores y otras personas que ahora viven en el corredor ferroviario
Los productos más populares son: el maíz, mijo(para la fabricación de la cerveza local), los frijoles secos, patatas, boniatos , arroz y pescado seco, las naranjas dulces, plátanos...
The planners original idea it was that this train should be for large-scale regional shipments of copper and other goods from Zambia . but the TAZARA’s real impact has been to promote rural economic development and improve the lives of rural producers by connecting local markets.
Residents of the TAZARA corridor were resettled into centralized “ujamaa” villages and agricultural marketing was organized through village cooperatives that sold their products to the goverment cooperatives , up to the liberalization of Tanzania’s economy in 1980 , when the products could be now exchanged in local and regional markets
The railway has become an important resource for traders, farmers, fishermen, and others who are now living in the railway corridor
The most popular products are :maize, millet (valued for brewing local beer), dried beans, potatoes, rice and dried fish , sweet oranges , bananas...
A finales de los años 60 , se inició el proyecto de hacer un ferrocarril de 1860 Kms desde Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia hasta Dar es Salaam, Tanzania con un recorrido por terrenos deshabitados , bosques y con un desnivel de más de 1.000m , con el desembarco de 12 Chinos que haciendo el recorrido a pie decidieron cual debería ser el trazado definitivo del ferrocarril, a partir de esto comenzó el proyecto con el desembarco en Dar er Salam de los primeros 1.000 chinos , técnicos de ferrocarril , vestidos todos con sus trajes de algodón grises ( Mao ) y llevando sus maletas azules encima de los hombros
En 1976 , después de cinco años en los que 50.000 Tanzanos /Zambianos y 25.000 Chinos , trabajaron en areas remotas costruyendo puentes , volando túneles y montando railes empezó a funcionar el " Tren de la Libertad "
n the late 60's, began the project of making a railway of 1860 km from Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in an area of uninhabited land, forests and with a drop of over 1.000m, with the arrival of 12 Chinese that spent nine months on foot, mapping out the best path for the railway ; from this point the project began with the arrival in Dar er Salaam the first 1.000 Chinese , railway technicians, all dressed in gray cotton suits (Mao) and carrying blue bags over their shoulders.
In 1976, after five years in which 50,000 Tanzanian / Zambian and 25,000 Chinese worked in remote areas blasting tunnels, building bridges, and laying the track , started to operate the"Freedom Train"
Este tren viaja dos veces por semana de Zambia a Tanzania y vicebersa y tarda oficialmente 48 horas en hacer este recorrrido
Aquí hablaremos un poco de su historia y en otros "tips " iremos dando más detalles del viaje
Zambia sin salida al mar estaba preocupada porque sus vecinos tiene el control del transporte por ferrocaril ( Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique ) , lo que la hace muy vulnerable con sus exportaciones que se generan principalmente en su cinturón del cobre
Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere unieron sus esfuerzos para crear un ferrocarril que uniera ambos paises pero no consiguieron soporte financiero del Banco Mundial , Usa , Rusia ...En esos momentos Mao Al frente de la RP China tenía muy buenas relaciones con Tanzania y decidió realizar el mayor proyecto que China había hecho en el exterior y posiblemente uno de los más difíciles pues implicaba cruzar media Africa por sitios completamente inaccesibles hasta ese momento
This train travels twice a week from Zambia to Tanzania and vicebersa and officially takes 48 hours to make this journey
Here we'll talk a little about the history and in other "tips" we will give more details of the trip
Landlocked Zambia was concerned that its neighbors are in control of railway transport (Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique), making it very vulnerable to their exports that are mainly generated in the copper belt
Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere joined forces to create a railway that would unite the two countries but they did not get financial support from the World Bank, Usa, Russia ...
At that time Mao at the head of the PR China had very good relations with Tanzania and they decided to do the biggest project that China had done overseas and possibly one of the most difficult because it included sites across the center of Africa that had never been accessible until now
This decision troubled many countries because they thought that this support from China could upset the existing political map africa at that time
for full information about entering Zambia on the Kazungula ferry (it is a long and involed process... (not to mention somewhat expensive!) see my Kazungula ferry tips
The Great East Road is the highway linking the Eastern Province with the rest of the country. The road is also the way from Zambia to Malawi and Northern Mozambique. The road is bitumen all the way with some bad potholed sections. The Great East Road has little traffic to be a regional road. The distance between Lusaka to Chipata is 600 km, mostly through rural and wilderness areas. Buses leave Lusaka for Chipata from early morning through to late afternoon, and the trip takes 10–12 hours.
There some Police road blocks on the road. A bus on a regular route will easily pass through theese blocks. Foreigners in rented cars will be stopped. There have been attempts where officials have asked for a bribe.
You may hear plenty about the taxis, the buses and the like in and around Zambia. But interestingly enough one really helpful tip is, wherever possible, whatever mode of transport you are using - simply wear a SEATBELT. Some of the roads are bad and I mean bad. Potholes the size of... well, they are BIG...! and deep too. If you hit one, the chances are your head will hit the roof or the window and that may hurt, so be safe and get strapped in just in case.
I noticed that, around Livingstone and in Zambia, many people had little, square, reflective stickers on their bumpers that were red in back and white in front. These are required, supposedly, on all cars in Zambia. All cars are required to have two reflective emergency triangles as well. We were told we could get the stickers in Livingstone, but we never did and it wasn't too much of a problem- supposedly you can be fined heavily for not having the stickers...
Keep in mind that if your rental company doesn't allow you to travel to Zambia, that if you do go and get the stickers, they will probably know what that means... so either obey the rental company or remove the stickers when out of Zambia.
Zambian Express, Finance House, Fifth Floor, Cairo Road, Lusaka
(260 1) 223586/271208/227965
Aero Zambia, ZNIB House, Ground & First Floor, Dedan Kimathi Road, Lusaka
(260 1) 226111/226122/226123/226144
Eastern Air, Steve Blagus Travel, Nkwazi Road, Lusasa
(260 1) 227739
I flew in on Zambian Airways from Dar Es Salaam. However, I think that the usual route these days is from South Africa or Zimbabwe.
The country had an excellent road system at that time. Paved main roads (80 mph was our typical cruising speed on the long empty stretches) and a network of quite good dirt roads. Had to watch out on these depending on the rainy season - they could get quite slick. Also had to be careful about the availability of petrol - my Peugeot 204 could get about 500 miles on a tank and I carried a jerry can for another 200 miles (never did run out!). An interesting twist that I have never run into anywhere else were 'strip roads' where only the centre portion was paved to the width of a single lane. All traffic drove on this part and, when meeting each other, each vehicle moved over to their shoulder with only one set of wheels still on the pavement! Photo of a typical secondary road from Mpika (off the Great Northern Highway to Tanzania) to Kasama. The treed landscape is typical of Zambia - not jungle, just scattered trees.
My flight into Lusaka was with SAA - South African Airways. Then they went on indefinite strike. Let this be a warning:
SAA ground staff apparently did not have any capacity, knowledge or authority to reroute passengers onto other airlines, or via other destiinations, nor to handle stranded passengers in any decent way. While SAA seems flashy and modern on the outside, but it's ground handling including passengers was abysmal. First reaction to the crowds by SAA was to close the office and withdraw personnel. Later, at the airport after long waits in long lines outside the SAA hole-in-the-wall office at Lusaka airport people were told to go to the city office at Hotel Intercontinental. At the SAA office in the Intercontinental passengers were told that only if you had a confirmed booking for upcoming flights you would be considered there for a waitlisting or ok'ing, so please go back to the airport. So if you were stranded, you were thoroughly stranded with nowhere to go and no info. I checked into my hotel 4 times anew while in Lusaka, being told to come to the airport to no avail. At one point police closed the gates into security and check-in to keep furious passengers out - people had been stranded for up to 5 days.
There was no priority system apart from brute individual force and private interventions from airport staff freinds and diplomatic staff to get their own friends and connections up on the waiting lists and out of the country on the reduced flights that actually departed. Nepotism and cronyism. With a full-fare business ticket and gold card holder I was consistently falling off the wait listing for a rock bottom economy seat, and ended up buying a new ticket on BA out of the country instead of having to bribe SAA staff and airport officials. Never again SAA.
Getting out of Lusaka on a full plane isn't a good situation. I worked with colleagues on such a situation, and we found these solutions:
Getting to Livingstone by plane when all is full: Go via Ndola on scheduled airlines or charter a small one - with 4-6 persons it works out.
Getting to Johannesburg: Fly to Livingstone on a local airline, change planes in Livingstone for Johannesburg. Regional Air and national Air flies here (check names of airlines and availability).
Getting to Windhoek, Namibia, without going through Johannesburg:
Fly to Livingstone or by small plane even closer to the border, taxi or hitchike over the border and take a local plane from Katima Mulilo to Windhoek.
Planes from Lausaka to livingstone may be full. Then you first fly straight north to Ndola (USD 75) and catch a rarely-full plane from there to said border towns. From Ndola there are alos the occasional flight to Johannesburg.
To Europe or East Africa: Both Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi have flight connections without having to go by Air Zimbabwe (chronically short of fuel and cash). In fact, the Air malawi to Lilongwe option is a good one for Connecting to both Emirates and Qatar Airways flights to Dubai, Doha and what not, for return connections to Asmara, Seycelles, Mauritius and further away in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
To other places in Africa both Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways offer good options. Ethiopian is less frequent in Lusaka than Kenya Airways is. Kenya Airways is well represented at Lusaka Airport.
There is no bus service to Lusaka airport from town. You are boud to take a taxi. Walking is no option, the airport is 20 km out of town.
However, all the hotels of a decent standard offer complimentary van or minibus transfer to the airport in concjunction with major flights. Use these - very convenient.
I found the British Airways link to London Heathrow Terminal 4 the best and most convenient of all global links to Zambia. The morning departure 8:45 from Lusaka in a 767 flies direct to London and arrives there about 9 hours later, in time for good connections both back to West Africa, North Africa, the evening flights to the Americas and to Europe and the night flights to Asia. Competent and hassle-free departure from Lusaka, in stark contrast to SAA handling...
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