Aug 11-13 Zim-Zambia

  • King's Highway Chalets & Camping near Zambian-Tanzanian border
  • Smiles, laughter and tears. Two days in Africa and landing with a bang! So much that we’ve forgotten in the space of two years. We’ve been flatfooting it along the great north road and for various reasons, we’ve arrived at our campsites in the dark on both nights, going against all our caveats and planning.

    Zimbabwe will not see us again, police and traffic officials have a mean streak that will surely discourage any tourist. Roadblocks now every four or five kilometres to check driver’s licence, add to that dozens and dozens of speed traps using laser (40km, 60 km, 80 km – that’s it!), and the country leaves one with an overall sentiment of “bad attitude”. Run down accommodation facilities, even worse than before, and there’s not much to commend passing through. Pa Nyanda just before Masvingo was once very smart, now no running water at the campsite, but the locals are as friendly as ever.

    Zambia is far more welcoming, the country feels prosperous and generally everyone is tuned in to tourists needs. Two fixers at the joint Zim-Zam border post asked K100 each, we paid half that to speed up the process, and a 1,5 litre bottle of litchi flavoured water each, since it was about 30 degrees C. The queue was worse than ever, now totally chaotic, at the very least 100 trucks, waiting for kilometres on end, it seems like a couple of days’ waiting would not get them through. We eventually crawled into Eureka Campsite 10km before Lusaka and appreciated its excellent facilities. The camp was cooking with overlanders and SA tourists.

    * Girls Secondary School for Moral Excellence
    * Batanats at the farm produce stalls
    * God’s Favourite General Dealers
    * Cutest allsorts goats along the roadside
    * Delicious homemade pies from Fringilla, still the best in the world
    * The road from Kapiri Mposhi is excellent new tar and quiet, with 99% of the trucks seemingly destined for the Copperbelt – until the last 150km, which is badly potholed.

    * Unleaded fuel R15 in Zim, R18 in Zambia
    * First speeding fine on Sunday $500 because driving 104km/h in 60 km/h zone. To avoid a court appearance for which we would have had to wait until Wednesday (Heroes’ Day 2 day public hols), a R400 bribe did the job.
    * Second speeding fine Monday morning – R100 bribe. So much for exhortation and Zim.
    * Serious potholes on the Zambian side of border, then a horrific 40km deviation due to roadworks, average speed 15-30km/h. New Chinese roads too late for us!