Days 15 and 16

September 8, 2012 - Luangwe, Zambia

We sadly left Mana Pools and headed to Kariba to cross the border at the dam wall. Every border crossing to this point had been so easy, but not this one!

Crossing out of Zimbabwe, we were sent back to get Interpol clearance for the vehicle. Thank goodness we had got SA Police clearance and all our original documents, etc before we left. Then across the very of notes

We go into the offices and fill in various forms and registers and are given a gate pass, but then we are told we need Interpol clearance again! So back to the gate and the guy at the gate says the Interpol chap was here a minute ago, but now he has gone, but ‘I’ll phone him’, so 10 minutes later he appears and checks all our papers and the car’s chassis number and then he and Terry appear to the office to fill in another book.

Then we are told that we need insurance, so back to the gate and we are escorted to a locked gate and we call to the insurance guy, but he also isn’t there, but never mind says the gate guy ‘I’ll phone him’, so about 15 minutes later he arrives and we hand US$30 through the gate and he disappears up the hill to a tin rondavel and comes back about 15 minutes later with an Insurance Certificate.

Then we get sent to the Road Traffic agency to pay Toll tax – another long walk to a converted container and hand over US$20 and get a very smart certificate.

Now back to CUSTOMS! They want 150 000 Kwatcha (which is US$30) but they won’t accept dollars, and we don’t have Kwatcha! There’s no Bureau de Change at the gate and there used to be informal moneychangers there, but ‘We’ve chased them away because they used to make trouble’!! But never mind, for US$4, they will call a cab who will take us to the next settlement where the moneychangers now hang out and we can change our dollars. Eventually, after much haggling, they agreed to let Terry and another guy in the same predicament take the car to the next settlement, but i had to stay behind as a guarantee that they would come back. So off they go down the road in Zambia and are met at the next turn by loads of guys with wads of notes who do the necessary exchange and they come back with the Kwatcha. So we hand over the Kwatcha, and then there is more hassle because the Interpol guy only wrote in the book and didn’t give us a certificate, but eventually about 2 hours later we are in Zambia! And this on a quiet day! In the time we were there, ther was only one truck and one other guy trying to get through the border. Heaven knows what happens on a busy day!

Anyhow, we are now very late and have to travel on the very busy Great North Road in darkness. No Joke! Loads of trucks, potholes, pedestrians and livestock everywhere and the occasional police roadblock, but eventually we arrived at Eureka campsite on the Southern side of Lusaka at about 19.30. Lovely campsite – grassed, clean ablutions, hot shower, a restaurant where we had a very welcome bacon and egg roll for supper. Just what we needed before collapsing into bed.

Next morning we drove into Lusaka – a big modern city with loads of traffic, lots of upmarket hotels and shopping centres. We changed our dollars into Kwatcha and stocked up on supplies at Shoprite at a very upmarket mall, much like many of the better ones at home. All the big SA chains are there – P n P, Woolies, Shoprite, Pep, Bata, Nandos, etc. But when we tried to fill up with fuel, Africa kicked in and 2 of the garages we tried were out of fuel!

Anyhow, on to the Great East Road which goes from Lusaka, capital of Zambia, all the way to Lilongwe in Malawi. We are now camped at Bridge campsite near Luangwe which is on the Luangwe River, which is the border between Zambia and Mozambique at this point. So looking across this beautiful river, we are looking at Mozambique. The campsite is beautifully situated and has a pool which is very welcome as today has been very hot, and tomorrow off to South Luangwe National Park.

1 Comment

Yvonne Gillespie:
September 9, 2012
Keep going!
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