January 25, 2014, Lusaka – Luangwa Boma
It’s not that easy, after 5 days in a perfect lodge (and in my case, a couple nights in a 4-star hotel in Maputo), to load the car and go. But we are keen for adventure again, and once we manage to stuff the car with all our newly acquired shopping we’re on the road again, eastwards on the Great East Road, that soon after Lusaka becomes a narrow strip of tar winding through a hilly, increasingly bushy landsape. People are wide and far in between, and once again we marvel at the vastness of Africa, where cities like Lusaka contrast with subsistence farming that shows little evidence of having changed since centuries. Guidebooks typically write that there is „nothing“ to see there, but for us, what we see ist he heart and soul and predominant reality of Zambia, from up close but yet very far, zipping past it seems impossible to understand how the daily reality would be living here.We opt for a simple chalet to overnight about halfway tot he next bigger town, which is 550 km from Lusaka. It is raining all evening – the rainy season is definitely in full swing here.
January 26, 2014, Luangwa Boma – Chipata
We continue our way east early, under threateningly gray, drizzling skies. Shortly after crossing the mighty Luangwa the bush and subsistence farming landscape gives way to bigger villages, with bigger fields, but all still very basic and we admire the neatly and formally dressed churchgoers.
There is more traffic now, mostly bikes loaded with everything from pigs, goats tot he ubiquitous charcoal, sometimes five men-sized bags at a time. We realize how important charcoal is as a product for the local economy.
Our journey is far, so we drive for hours, not very fast but content to be in the travelling rythm again. We buy egg-sized sweet mangoes, and can hardly fend off the dozens of sellers of finger-long bananas that taste sweet too, leaving sticky fingerpringts over the eternal chaos that is the inside of our car.
When we stop at the roadside for lunch we are THE attraction, and two grannies stopping take a keen interest in the various types of food. They go as far as tasting some of the leftover Korean bean curd, and their conclusion addressed to Nina comes fast: „So that’s why you are so fat!“. Giggling, they continue their journey.
Ours ends in the thriving farming town of Chipata (cotton and maize), where we stop early at a lodge, play football in our new Zambian kits and let off some steam in the pool.
We coule have driven further, but we now prefer a slightly more relaxed pace, realising that we had roughed it at high speed for some weeks.
January 27, 2014, Chipata – South Luangwa
After breakfast we bought some presents for my cousins, but I won’t say what they are. Then we came to the new park which is called South Luangwa. First we put up the tent under the lapa which is a thatched roof. Hippos are swimming right in front of our tent and there is also a crocodile. It was so hot that we had to go for a swim. Then we had a little bit of school and then we went on a night drive. I fell asleep during the drive but I saw the leopard eating a baboon and elephants. The others also saw a hyena and 3 genets. When we were almost back at the camp one of the wheels had a flat tyre. We all had to get out and the guides fixed it. By the way it was raining really hard, thundering really loud and there was lots of lightning.
January 28, 2014, South Luangwa
Today in the morning we had school. At midday we went to swim and play in the pool, we played waterball. After swimming we got ready for the game drive tonight. First the game drive was pretty boring because we only saw bushbucks, waterbucks, impalas, pukus and bufulos. After we had a sundownr it got dark and we saw lots of hippos. When the game drive was almost over we saw a leopard and a larg spotted Genet. When we were at home we went to bed. In the night it raind very hard.
January 29, 2014, South Luangwa – Lilongwe (Malawi)
After packing a very wet tent and having fund doing the dishes in the rain, or form e holding the umbrellas, we got in the car and drove to CHipata. To get rid of our Zambien Kwatcha we tried to get some ice cream which aparently was too soft, so we got water instead, but when they gave us the water they also gave us two ice creams! We also got maize and petrol. At the boarder we saw the people we’d been on the night drive the evening befor.
In Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, we first went to an Korean Log
e and because we didn’t like them, to about four others, but in the end we still went to the Korean Loge.
That evening we were all very tierd, my dad fell asleep while we were brushing our teeth!