In Kasane we cross the border into Zambia. Thanks to a detailed travel sheet from our travel friends Susa & Pit we know what to expect and in which order we have to go to which counter. After about two hours everything is done and we are about $200 poorer, which has to be paid in various fees for road use, insurance, bridge tolls and other small things. Everything is very civilized and extremely friendly and courteous. We had not expected that. A funny anecdote at the conclusion of the obligatory insurance is still worth mentioning. After the boss has filled out a completely incomprehensible note for a good 10 minutes without a word, he wants $50. Wait a minute, let's say, two days ago our friends went through here with a similar car and only paid $40, how so? He smiles and says, then just $40. Welcome to Zambia, where, by the way, at all official payment points you are told in big letters, say no to corruption.
Our first stop is Livingstone. Here we want to have another look at the Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River plunges more than 100 meters into the depths in its 2.5 kilometer width, from the other side. And it was really worth it. In September 2022, we were able to see it from Zimbabwe, including a helicopter flight. The view from the Zambian side is completely different. In addition, there is much more water and we are wet to the skin after the two-hour tour. That was really fun.
Zambia has a long history. It was once part of the Kingdom of Congo and later part of the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. The country gained its independence from Britain on October 24, 1964, The average monthly income in Zambia was $211 in 2021. Almost two-thirds of the working-age population in Zambia are young people, and nearly a quarter of them are unemployed, according to World Bank estimates. Those affected lack schooling and vocational training, and youth unemployment is a major problem in Zambia. If the situation does not improve, the future looks bleak.
We step on the gas, but not too much, because speed controls are omnipresent and tolerance is a foreign word. Only 1km over and already 15 euros are due. In addition, there are 10cm deep ruts that the many trucks coming from the tin mines have milled into the asphalt over time. But the potholes also have their good sides for the residents. Refreshments and freshly prepared food are offered at the bottlenecks, where it is possible to pass at walking speed. When an intercity bus passes by, dozens of saleswomen crowd the windows and advertise their wares. Again and again there are police and military controls, but for the time being we are waved through. After an overnight stop halfway we reach the capital Lusaka after 500 kilometers. On the outskirts of the city there is a nice campground run by a Dutch couple who used to hitchhike around Africa. Here we stay a few days, do the laundry and Karin dares to go to the hairdresser. No, there is no picture of that. That fell victim to censorship, or did it?
We drive quickly to the north, if the road conditions allow it. These become worse and worse the further we get. At times the asphalt is only 4m wide and in oncoming truck traffic a real challenge. At Kundalila Falls we stop for the night. A 13km sand and stone road ends on a camping site. There, a princely entrance and overnight fee is charged before you are allowed to look at the waterfalls, which plunge over 65m into a gorge.
For another 180km towards the border we need almost 5 hours until we can make our well-deserved overnight stop in Mpika. At the tollbooth we asked for money back, but it didn't help. Another stressful 100km later we turn left to the Kapishya Hot Springs. But also the 30km to there have to be worked hard and we need another 90 minutes. But the way is worth it, because we end up in a little paradise. The resort is picturesquely situated at the river with lodges, campground, a SPA and a hot spring. Here we enjoy ourselves for two days. Before eight o'clock, when the haze still lies over the water at an outside temperature of 10 degrees, the morning bath is the most beautiful.
Then, unfortunately, it's time to say goodbye and return to the everyday life on the streets of Zambia. For the 220km to our last stop before the border to Tanzania, we need a good six hours. Whereby the last 100km are actually newly made and tempt us to speed. But soon the highwaymen with the radar gun are on the road again. The Kings Highway Kalungo Restcamp is a little off the main road and here we recover again and explore the surroundings on the beautiful Hiking Trail along the river.
That's it for Zambia and we now cross the border into Tanzania. What we experience there you will learn as always in the next blog. Until then, enjoy reading and looking at the pictures.