Yesterday morning (Friday) we managed to survive the hectic traffic in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. Every roundabout was chaos and no one seemed to know what indicators are, so we were relieved when we drove between farmlands again.
Zambia offers stunning landscapes and the villages with mainly thatched huts create beautiful images. We passed indigenous bush, sugarcane fields, banana plantations and places with more churches than people. It was a long drive, but with great views, especially when the area turned more mountainous towards the East.
Friday night we stayed at the basic Bridge Camp on the Luangwa River. We could see Mozambique on the other side and the water levels were very low this dry season, but at least there was still a river. There was no electricity anywhere in the area, so we enjoyed a quiet night in the dark, before starting our last part of Zambia this morning.
Now we’re staying at the campsite at Mama Rula’s Bed & Breakfast just outside Chipata, the town on the border with Malawi. To cross tomorrow morning, we need US Dollars and Malawi Kwacha to pay for our visa and vehicle permits. Because of all the traveling, we lost track of the days and on Saturday the banks close at 12:00 noon. And of course, we arrived at 12:03… At the parking it must have been obvious that we wanted to exchange money and we were approached by a guy who looked like he was a part of the African mafia. He said he could help and we had no choice, because the banks also wouldn’t be open on Sunday morning before crossing the border. In no time all his friends also surrounded our vehicle and it was a big mess of people screaming they offered the best exchange rate. Luckily they all backed off a bit when the dogs started barking and we eventually managed to get rid of our Zambian money. Our heads still hurt…
It’s almost time for something nice to eat and then our (for now) last night in Zambia. Time really flies!