The border crossing from Namibia into Zambia won’t be forgotten by our wallet any time soon for sure. While Caroline was looking after the bikes on the parking lot, I was working my way through the series of office windows and it won’t surprise anyone they all had their price. Visa, road tax, carbon tax, customs, community tax… It just didn’t stop! On top of that my name on the visa seemed to have changed to “Lomé Ambass. Tour”. The correction carried out by the novice immigration assistant couldn’t have been any more unprofessional. I just knew we would run into trouble on the very first police checkpoint. “Whenever you have a problem, just call me” the immigration officer tried to reassure me. But I was determined not to leave before I had a brand new visa sticker with the correct information in my passport. 1 hour, a bit of discussing and yelling and a partly ripped page in my passport later, I finally got what I wanted for those 50 USD.
It wasn’t until dusk that we arrived in Livingstone after a bumpy ride on a potholed tar road. Livingstone is home to the majestic Victoria Falls and I can tell you, majestic is still an understatement! After having digested the hefty entrance fee of 20 USD and having worked our way past the many baboons, we were truly rewarded. After a bit of climbing and descending to see the falls from different perspectives, we crossed a narrow little bridge and walked a pretty steep ridge so we could get as close as possible to thundering water. It felt like a deluge with downpours of splashing water and despite our disposable plastic poncho’s, we were soaked to the bone. The Victoria Falls are an absolute must-do when you are in the neighborhood!
We chose to ride part of the road to Lusaka on the track. A little gravel and sand, far away from the busy roads… We enjoyed it for sure! It was just that Husky of mine… It started acting up a little. When he usually has a pretty spicy temperament, he now got me through the track in an almost civilized way. Lifting the front wheel seemed pretty darn impossible. It felt like the Husky was a bit sick. A quick check showed he just had enough of the dirty petrol of the last few months and also the clutch started doing funny things after 28 kkm of off road adrenaline boosting. A campsite in Lusaka served as an on the road workshop and after half a day of wrenching, the completely saturated fuel filters looked spotless again, the fuel pump made this lovely, roaring sound and the brand new clutch plates did exactly what they had to do. I could continue our journey to Malawi on a wildly bucking stallion. My adrenaline level got topped up in no time!
South Luangwa National Park, near the border with Malawi, would be our final stop in Zambia. It didn’t really surprise us that the bikes weren’t allowed in the park. But from the Track & Trail Lodge nearby, we could arrange for 2 game drives the very next day. And boy was that worth it! Plenty of elephants, giraffes, antelopes, crocs, hippos, lions and even a leopard crossed our way. Hippos came ashore on the campground at night and just stood grazing at a mere 1m away from the tent. And when we hit the road to Chipata the next day, we soon got surprised by a parade of elephants crossing the track. Despite the threatening trumpeting, the extended trunk and the flapping ears of the leader of the group, we nervously went for our camera in the tank bag. Those massive animals were really nearby… What an unbelievable moment!
Today we have been working in Chipata and tomorrow we will head for Malawi. Excitement is all ours!