Taken a bit longer to type my blog this time. Just can’t seem to find the time between relaxing and seeing new parts of the world.
So I think I last left off in Malawi on my way to Zambia. Zambia was great from start to finish. I met a beautiful German girl with blonde hair to her thigh called Sandi at the border town and we stuck together for about 3 weeks traveling around. First we had to catch a bus to the capital, Lusaka as all routes go via Lusaka. Its 4:30am, I pack up my tent in the rain and we head for the bus stop. We got there at 5am for the bus at 5 but it had already gone. We finally left at 11:20am…. 6h20min sat on a bus waiting for it to leave… then the 9 hour bus ride…. Got to love the African transport.
The next day we looked round Lusaka for the day to relax. I found the city to be quite fun and for once you could get pretty much anything you wanted to buy unlike other African cities
The next morning we headed for the dreaded LSK bus depot (ticket touts jump all over you as they see $ signs all over Mazungu (white man)). We went south to Siavonga on Lake Kariba. A beautiful spot. My first thing to do was to find a bar with the England Scotland six nations match on. Great, the posh hotel next door has it and all agreed to let me watch it as there was no English Premiership football on at the same time. It’s a shame it was such a bad game. Next two days were spent by the lake and walking round the huge hydro dam. Then back to Lusaka.
Next we moved on to Mpika where we tried to get to the hot springs. No chance without a 4x4. So we decided to carry on north to a town called Kasama. We hitched with a HGV truck playing Celine Dion
Kasama was a nice little town. We grabbed a bite to eat and went back to the guest house for a couple of hours. Then we decided to go for a drink at about 8ish. We asked a local guy where the good bar was and he took us to a tiny club with far too many people in it to move around. It was obviously the main spot in town. We met loads of people all wanting to give me there number and help us, and get us very drunk (they succeeded). We finally got in at about 3am.
The next day we went to see the local waterfalls and rock paintings. We were both very hungover and I don’t think our hearts were really in to it but we were both glad we had done something with the day. We then had to get to the far north of Zambia to a town called Mpulungu. No busses and lots of rain. We hitched in a small pickup truck. It was cold and wet but the guy was really friendly and dropped us just where we needed to be. The next day we made our way to Mbala to go to see the second highest waterfall in Africa. It was a hard drive in a mini bus then down a dirt track that most 4x4s would struggle with. It was really beautiful and I got some great photos of the falls (I will upload some soon, I promise). That night we went to a local bar for a bite and a drink….. that finished at 5:30am… ohhh that was a bad hangover. We got up at 9ish and jumped on a bus back to the south. The bus should have taken 12-14hours. 22hours later we finally arrived. A few days in Lusaka and one more big night out and Sandi was off to Namibia. We said our goodbyes and I went on to Livingstone/Vic Falls.
I found Livingstone a tad too touristy for my liking. I only stayed for 2 or 3 nights (cant actually remember). I had arranged to meet an English girl, Tamsin in Lusaka about a week later to go the National park. So I had a few days before I needed to meet her so I went up to the North west of Zambia (The Copperbelt) to get to a chimpanzee orphanage. Another nightmare bus ride arriving in the village at 2am and no places to stay. Shit… One of the guys on the bus, Vester, ended up offering for me to stay at his house. He said that he had a mattress that I could use. When we got back he woke up his wife and kids to meet me and she made me dinner. Although I was so very grateful, at 3am I was desperate for, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I finally got to bed at about 5am and I had to get up at 6am to get to the orphanage. Vester’s family waved me goodbye and him and I walked on to the bus stop that went past Chimfunshi.
The bus dropped me off at a small dirt track lane and told me that it was 15k to walk. I set off along the track. After a few K I saw a sign for the orphanage “18K” oh well. At about 16-17k my water ran out. When I final got to the orphanage, after crossing 3 rivers and walking 26k in the African heat, I couldn’t have been happier. Not because I had finally reached the place but because of the amazing place I arrived in. There were Chimpanzees, dogs, ducks, peacocks, chickens, parrots and a tame……Hippo!!! Billie the hippo was a 23 year old that had come to the orphanage at 5 days old. It was amazing. That night the owners invited me in for dinner and said that they would take me to the other area the next day to see the families of chimps. There are about 150 chimps in all and they all are fantastic.
The next day I made my way back to Lusaka where I met Tamzin at 3am at the bus station. We jumped on a bus to Chipata (8hours) then on to a mini bus 4.5hours off road. I had a very numb bum due to the seat and most people were very wet as Tamsin can’t hold a bottle of beer.
We got to the lodge next to South Luangwa Park at about 9pm and we arranged a night drive and a day drive for the next couple of days. What a great park. On the night drive we saw 2 leopards, 1 lioness with 2 cubs running along in front of us, Elephants, Giraffe, Buffalo, Monkeys and so much more. It was one of the best parks so far.
We then hitched a lift to the border and said our goodbyes as I was moving back to Malawi and Tamsin was off to Mozambique.
I will have to stop there and I will update in a few days about relaxed Malawi.
Would be good to hear from some of you.
Ben and Sok. xxx