Zambia – Lusaka

We’ve travelled about 1250km since leaving the Chobe covering more distance between stops than before.
What a difference the border post at Katima Mulilo was from last time (2 years ago). Brand new buildings with aircon and friendly helpful staff and no over paying!
The road from the border to Livingstone … OMG   APPALLING. …. potholes of note. Had to keep eyes peeled on road. I shouted warnings to Ian the whole way. Holes – left right middle – did not see a thing along the way – bar potholes. Ian was brilliant and coped.



Shoo!!! It took 5 hours to do 200kms and we arrived in Livingstone in the dark (something we swore we would not do). Luckily we knew where we were going as we had stayed at the Waterfront Campsite  before.  We had a few very necessary drinks to unwind before we made supper.
The following day we packed up everything as we have to do everyday if going off in tortoise. We were 5kms from town and we needed the bank to exchange Rands into Kwatchas and new sim cards for phones. We had awful coffee in African Restaurant quite near to Curio Market. Ian went off to the Bank and a major long walk to get the sim cards. I caught up with my diary and accounts. Enjoyed the vibe and people watching.  


Innovative transportation

Took a walk over to the market and chatted to vendors. Ian arrived sweaty and buggered – I had started to feel anxious – he had taken such a long time and I had no phone to check where he was.  Guess what!!!! He had stopped and chilled and had a Mosi! !!


Relaxing at the pool

Back to camp for a little more chilling (aren’t we having a wonderful time? ?) We went over to Riverside Restaurant at the camp and had a couple of drinks.  Wow Zambia is expensive! ! We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over river with cruise boats coming and going. Time for supper and bed. Fell asleep to dull roar of Victoria Falls and woke to sounds of microlites and helicopters taking visitors to see the Falls from the air. 
Now we’re on a mission to find the township where I bought loads of great real African fabric last time we were here.  Don’t believe it – Ian found the place and remembered the name Maramba.


Maramba hardware shop

I jumped out in glee, remembered the way,  found the “shop”, made my way over drainpipes,  mud, water and filth. All part of the experiences. Bought wonderful cloths, chitengas at good prices. Soooo happy!!George is such an asset, introduce him as my child – it breaks the ice and I am  able to take photos of people with George without offending them.


Breaking the ice with George

We found a miniature beaded George in the curio market and bought her as a companion for George and named her Georgina.  


We returned  to camp and found a new lovely private shaded treed campsite with all the amenities close by. The Waterfront campsite is used by all the overlander trucks and busses. It is generally full of exuberant excited youngsters from all over the world.  What a wonderful experience for them in Africa with lots of friends,  safe travels,  organised food and sleeping arrangements etc. The screams laughter and excited chatter is all part of  being at the Waterfront camp. Great to chat a bit to them too. You would be surprised to hear them chatting to two old “toppies” too!!
The next day we had an early start, stopped at Shoprite to buy ice and beers and had coffee at Kubu Restaurant.
We met Norwegians at next table and, of course,  told them we were on our way to Oslo. One guy said he had been to Cape Town  often and I suggested he visited the Norwegian shop in V&A next time.  “The one with the “PIG”????? . My wife loves it,  been there often and bought jackets!” What a small world! !!!
We decide to hit the road again to Lusaka.  The road is good, with lots of little villages, people and markets along the way.


Tomato pyramids

Women selling tomatoes stacked in tidy red pyramids like emergency triangles and there are also potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, pumpkins and  cabbages. Thought I would be embroidering or beading, but all the sights capture my attention.  I don’t want to miss a thing!
We passed a campsite named Moorings quite early in the afternoon and really did a major stupid thing. We passed it by,  thought we would find accommodation later!  The road deteriorated and slowed us down.  It soon became dark. Cars with no lights, cyclists, people walking on side of road, no road marking, oncoming traffic and loads of potholes. Nightmare!!!!
Arrived at destination and found lodge and campsite closed down,  another one being renovated and only opening next month! Nothing we could do but carry on regardless with extreme care to Lusaka. Booked into Eureka campsite two roads from Ian’s cousin Ginty Mellvill. We just couldn’t knock on his door at that time of night.
Eureka campsite was good and we slept well. Next morning we awoke to buck and zebra wandering around the site. We took it easy and got ourselves a little more together after our ghastly drive the night before.  Chatted to a young German who had shipped his car to Djibouti and had driven through. In the afternoon we got hold of Ginty.  Kate and Ginty are really wonderful and hospitable and put us up in their chalet. We unpacked the car completely as the car was going in for a major service the next day which Ginty arranged for us. It’s not what you know but who you know.  We slept in a BED!!
Dropped car off and spent the day chilling while wonderful Margie washed our linen, clothes and towels. What a treasure!  Went to Pick ‘n Pay with Kate. Shocked by the prices! Everything is double to SA. Kwatcha is linked to US $
We had a great supper with Kate. Such a honey!! Kate dropped us at the Kamwala African market (a real one) the next day.


Kamwala market

 Oh what fun Ian and I had!! The people are magic!! Walked right into the back of beyond down dark dingy alleys stepping over rocks, water, mud and rubbish.


Tin ware

Got to a place where they were making all sorts of tin products,  brassieries, buckets, cannisters etc. Ian chatted to the owner and shared the fact that he is African in his heart body and blood and loves Africa. All he did before was work sleep, work sleep and now  he has time to travel, discover Africa and meet all the wonderful people. The people of Africa are made up of many tribes and Ian is from the white tribe in the south. The stallholder just loved that!!!.


Deep in discussion

It was wonderful to watch Ian interacting with the people. I bought more African chitengas,  I can’t resist the beautiful cloth and colours. We had a cool drink in a local restaurant and felt quite at ease.


Hand washing facility

 Interesting thing was that all eating places have a bowl and water to wash hands before and after eating. In Africa people eat with their hands. So organised I was impressed.

Innovative transportation

Found it a bit intrusive and difficult to take pics.  


Market hairstylist

Wish I had brought George with us. Had a great hot morning.  
Kate picked us up and we treated her to a superb lunch at a restaurant called Mint.



 What a contrast, it seemed like the restaurant was from another world in a beautiful Garden of Eden. The setting was exquisite with trees, ponds, ducks and a beautiful restaurant really well decorated.  Food was superb!! Won’t discuss the price!!!
Got tortoise back the next day with new starter motor. Now that we had our freedom back the inevitable shopping for provisions had to be done. We found a large mall with Shoprite had, lunch and enjoyed people watching.  
Kate and Ginty came around for supper that night. Next morning,  time to move on again. Off to Bridge Camp about 200 kms from Lusaka on the Great East road…….

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Author: Ian & Solveig's Overland Adventures

Although we never achieved our original goal of reaching Norway overland through Africa, our experience was so unexpectedly rewarding that we've not been able to settled down again! So we added new destinations to our lust for adventure. We hope that you will join us in sharing new exciting places and encounters with the amazing people we meet along the way.

8 thoughts on “Zambia – Lusaka”

  1. We are loving your website. We are following everything about your trip. You write so well that we feel we are traveling with you. May you continue to enjoy your journey. Lovely photos. Thank you so much for describing everything so well. Lots of love from us both. Berta Higgo & Madelein

  2. Wow, Michael & me love to follow your travel, your stories, your photos, ….
    Can´t wait to see your fabrics, hope they arrive soon!
    Lots of Love Andrea & Michael

  3. Seems an age ago since we met at the craft market in Somerset West & then Woolies in GB. We were ahead of you on the road by a few weeks (Left GB Boxing Day) and it’s lovely to read your blog and see we shared some of the route. We stayed at Camp Chobe, I thought I would have a coronary going down the road to the camp and at one stage, the entire front of my bakkie disappeared under water, with screams coming from Salome in the passenger seat. We also stayed at N’gepe (excuse spelling) and experienced The Throne. Wonderful, my favourite place. And all the fun signposts on the road in. Sadly, our trip was rushed so by Jan 13th I was on a plane from Johannesburg to Dublin. Back in GB now, wonderful sunsets last couple of days. Enjoy your trip, I love your blog and photos and will now follow you along the way as you will no doubt be reminding me of places I visited en route to Kenya in 2009. Safe travelling and have fun.

  4. Hi Ian & Solveig. We drove right up through Namibia, doing Fish River Canyon, Swakopmund etc. we experienced camping up the Skeleton Coast at Torra Bay. In fact, we camped every night. We had New Year’s Eve in Palmwag Lodge Campsite and then entered Etosha @ Okaukuejo gate. We had a night in Halali camp and a night in Namutoni, then exited at the northern gate, King Nehale.

    We joined the B1 to the C45/B10 & on towards Rundu, eventually camping before there at Samsitu Riverside site. Heavy rain but dry roof tent, and watched out for the Hippos & Crocs! Had a quick boat trip next day & set foot in Angola, illegally of course! We then made it to Ngepi Camp. The road in to Ngepi was deep in water after major rain storms. Then along the Caprivi Strip to Katima Mulilo and on to Chobe Camp with an even worse drive in.

    Next was Botswana. We did Chobe Riverfront, wonderful wildlife, and then it took 8 hours to get 145 Kms through Chobe in deep sand and water. Eventually arrived Maun and then on to Magkadikadi Pans. After that, we made it to Sun City a couple of days later and finally to Johannesburg, where the Hilux had its major service in Midrand. Like I said, it was a bit of a rushed trip, but hugely enjoyable nonetheless.

    Enjoy Malawi. In 2009 I’ve fond memories of driving though it, up and back on my Kenya trip. If you’ve not been, Livingstonia is worth a trip and you can stay up there. I also stayed with Chris & Sandi at their Ngala Beach Lodge, Dwangwa, both ways. That’s more central Malawi. A lovely relaxing place. I got fined by the police for not having reflective stickers on my FRONT bumper, that was a new one on me, so beware. We stuck a bit of reflective tape on there and had no more problems. I’m loving your blog and apologies for gate crashing with details of my own trip, just wanted to answer your question about our routing. And I know we shared some similar routing and same campsites as you did. Good luck and keep enjoying, it just gets better along the way as we all get out of our comfort zone.

    1. So true about about the comfort zone! You should see us tonight! We’re up to our ankles in water trying to make supper in Mzuzu at Mzoozoozoo lodge. Dreadful place but there aren’t any campsites here. There has been major flooding in this area and it’s slowed down our progress. Hope we can get back to the Lake tomorrow. We will go to Livingstonia in a few days time if the road hasn’t washed away. It’s that bad. They’re not accustomed to rain after end March. You’re not gate crashing. We enjoy the contact

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