Africa trips

South Africa to Tanzania Trip report - Aug 2008 - Andre Erasmus

Overlanding Trips

We arrived at Pandamatenga to find that the electricity was off and the only filling station couldn't pump fuel. This was the last reliable fuel before Zambia so we had to fill the tanks and jerry cans. After waiting a little while they got their generator running and we got diesel before a Looong queue of trucks waiting. They took SA Rands, but not US$ or cards.

We got to the ferry at Kazangula just before 5pm and passed a long queue of trucks to push to the head of the queue. Literally hundreds of locals were pushing and shoving trying to sell their 'guide' services to us. Swambo was distinctly uncomfortable having to get out while be board the ferry.

We arrived at the border post and fortunately had good instructions how to go through the sequence of 5 buildings and what to get where. At customs I lost my cool and yelled at one of the 'runners' who tried to grab my papers, realising at that moment that I'm going to be in deep smelly stuff. Surprisingly the runners all disappeared like mist, customs officials in uniform hoarded around us and minutes later we were through with all formalities. We made it through in under an hour!!

It was dark by the time we left on the last 80km for Livingstone. I tried to follow a bus, but lost sight of it despite going at speeds exceeding 130km/h. In Livingstone we found a new Spar and a Steers where we got charcoal (R126 for 2 bags!!!) and burgers for supper.

The Livingstone Safari Lodge is close to the suburbs and we struggled to find it. More so as there is a 5star hotel with the same name and everyone asked, directed us to the hotel. Even though the people at the campsite were friendly, we found that camping next to a chalet and using it's electricity and ablutions is essential. We were charged the normal camping rate despite welding and running the fridges of their power the next day. One drawback is that the locals music is very loud and annoying. If you go there please take them another song along? I'm 100% sure they played the same song over and over through the night. Both nights!

The sight of the waterfalls made up for it all. Vic Falls is absolutely spectacular from the Zambia side, much better than I remember it from the Zim side. Swambo took plenty photos of the rainbow that ended right where we were at. Unfortunately no pot of gold though.

We left Livingstone on the Great North Road, only to be warned at the first road block that the road is very bad for about 70kms. That 70kms is so full of potholes that even the potholes have potholes in them. It took us more than 2 hours to cover. After that the road got better and I started to relax, only to be caught unawares by a very large hole that we only saw at the last minute. Fortunately the trailer also has brakes so we left two brand new black tyre marks on the road, but managed to stop in time. This was to be the repeated a few times during the day.

We made Eureka campsite by early afternoon and set up camp where we had electricity and hot water showers. Eureka is a large campsite and there were plenty of overlanders and other travellers, yet we didn't feel crowded. They even have a bar and I saw some pool tables, which we didn't try out.

The reputation of Lusaka's traffic is terrible and we left very early the next morning to hopefully pass through town before anyone else was awake. To our surprise we struck peak hour traffic. Before long I took a wrong left turn, but with the help of the Gps and T4A maps managed to go around the CBD. Their taxi's are maniacs so we made sure we had a large truck next to us every time we went through a crossing. Forutnately we made it through without any problems.

Kundalile falls is spectacular and was supposed to be our overnight stop, but as we got there very early and we were the only people there, we decided to go through to Kapisheya where we could then stay for 2 night and have a rest from driving.

We only got to Kapisheya at nightfall so we quickly set up camp and ate a quick pasta supper. A second breath saw us lighting a fire and having a sosatie braai a bit later.

In the morning we only got to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the place. The campsite is right next to a river and have the loveliest hot springs in which to swim. There is a lodge as well and they have a restaurant. Camping fees of $10 per night pp wasn't bad for the facilities. The ground is like ash and everything gets a nice coating of dirt, but the scenery more than made up for that.

 

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Report by Andre Erasmus