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Thread: Zambia 2019

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Hi Guys, greetings from Italy, really hot now in my country, 40 degrees celsius and over. Finally Laura and I bought the flights and rented (T-Max Isuzu) from Wildlife Africa, what do you think? I ask you for information, we have taken the roads that all of you have indicated to us for Lower (T2- for Chirundu and Mvuu camp 3 nights) return to Lusaka (night) by the same road, and T2 for Kasanka (3 nights Ponton camp num 1) return in Lusaka (night) and T4 for South Luangwa (5 nights Crock camp) return to Lusaka (night) and Chinfunshi, here I ask you: is T3 up to Chingola viable? the T5 up to Chinfunschi you can? then we want to transfer to Kafue, according to you the T5 up to Mutanda and then the M8 up to Kasenpa? and finally Busanga, what do you say to me? better go back to Lusaka? thank you for all your valuable information, a hug

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Hello Andrea

    The road up to Chingola and Chimfunshi is absolutely fine and is one of the major roads in Zambia as it is the road up to the Copper Belt. Therefore, it is quite busy with huge trucks carrying copper.

    However, from Chimfunshi, it would be best if you went back via Lusaka to get to Kafue NP. It is a rarely used track from Kasempa to the Busanga Plains. We did it in July last year and here is what I wrote about exiting the Busanga Plains northwards to Kasempa and Mutanda Falls.

    Early the next morning we dragged ourselves away from the lap of safari luxury and set off heading north on a rarely used route. The first obstacle was the very rickety Moshi bridge over the substantial Lufupa river. We had to do repairs on the first of the two bridges, and then we came to the main bridge. Some thin pieces of wood had been placed along the top of the rotting main planks and we just had to hope for the best. Needless to say, I was not in the vehicle for this nerve-wracking crossing. After a fair amount of cracking and lurching, Hugh and the Land Rover arrived safely on the other side. Phew!


    On we went north through thick bush on some barely discernible tracks until we arrived at the northern gate to the surprise and delight of the rangers. One of the rangers, Peter, had been “on operations” and was wanting a lift home to Kasempa the nearest town three hours away. We strapped his rucksack, bedding roll and ... a cardboard box of live chickens … on to the roof rack and crammed Peter into the back seat. It was a rocking and rolling ride to Kasempa and we and the chickens arrived at Peter’s house covered in dust.


    A further three hours on a good tarmac road took us to Mutanda Falls where we arrived after a nine hour adventure. We set up camp at a “resort” overlooking the river and falls. Again, we were overwhelmed by the niceness of Zambians: the delightful manageress opened a room so that we could use the loo and hot water shower.”

    And here is what I wrote about the section from Mutanda Falls to Forest Inn:

    After a good night at Mutanda Falls, we packed up camp and headed north to Solwezi. We were now in the Copper Belt and the next few hours were fascinating. The excellent road took us through various mining towns and past open cast mines, and huge trucks carrying the copper slabs to various ports. We had been seeing these copper-carrying trucks for some weeks: some obviously go to South African ports, some to Walvis Bay in Namibia, some heading through Zimbabwe, and a few heading towards Tanzania. The trials of being a land-locked country.


    On the outskirts of the substantial city of Ndola, I got my first ever speeding ticket. Despite my protestations that I hadn't seen the 80kph sign apparently just after some roadworks on this dual carriageway, the policewoman efficiently issued the the receipt and 300 Kwachas later we carefully drove onwards. At the town of Kapiri Mposhi, we turned northeast on to the Great North Road again. We had completed the loop and were now firmly heading back to Kenya on the roads which we had driven six weeks ago.


    We stopped for the night at Forest Inn and set up camp nine hours after leaving Mutanda Falls. Forest Inn is a delightful place with chalets and a campsite set in lovely green gardens. There is a bar and restaurant and we indulged in both of these.”



  3. #23
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Thanks, it seems like a great adventure, but you advise me to go back to Lusaka after the Chinfunshi right? after Kabwe, I take M20 for Mumbwa, and M9 for Kafue is viable with 4x4? campsites recommend for me? thank you very much and a hug :freddo:

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    <br>
    Thanks, it seems like a great adventure, but you advise me to go back to Lusaka after the Chinfunshi right? after Kabwe, I take M20 for Mumbwa, and M9 for Kafue is viable with 4x4? campsites recommend for me? thank you very much and a hug&nbsp;

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Melandri View Post
    <br>
    Thanks, it seems like a great adventure, but you advise me to go back to Lusaka after the Chinfunshi right? after Kabwe, I take M20 for Mumbwa, and M9 for Kafue is viable with 4x4? campsites recommend for me? thank you very much and a hug&nbsp;
    Yes, I do advise going back to Lusaka and take the M9 towards Kafue NP. Or you can take a shortcut from Landless Corner to Mumbwa and then get on the M9 at Mumbwa. I haven’t done this section, but others on this forum have.

    I advise you to get a paper map of Zambia, and also Tracks4Africa. The best paper map is the Reise Know How World Mapping Project map of Zambia. They are readily available in Europe (it is a German company). Or through the internet from Stanford’s Map Shop in London http://www.stanfords.co.uk/?gclid=EA...SAAEgKXIfD_BwE

    There is a lot of information on campsites in Kafue NP on this forum. We have only camped at Roy’s Camp at Hook Bridge outside the park, and treated ourselves to a luxury safari camp in the Busanga plains. No independent camping is allowed in the Busanga Plains. I am sure others will let you know their recommended campsites in the vast Kafue NP. I have read that McBride’s comes highly recommended.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Hi Andrea,

    Although we have not driven on this northern section of the Kafue, I totally agree with WW.

    If your intention is to visit the Busanga plains, remember that there is no self drive camping sites on the plains itself. You should stay at one of the lodges there. Your best shot to stay closer (and accessible/ within reach) to Busanga in the Kafue, would be to camp at Mapunga bush Camp (http://mapunga-bush-camp.com). This will give you access through the Moshi road to Busanga, but it will be a full day´s drive to the Plains and back. There are a few posts on this, on this same forum.
    McBride´s stays at the Eastern bank of the Kafue river with no direct access to Busanga.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by apfac; 2019/07/06 at 08:58 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Melandri View Post
    Hi Guys, according to your experience, what do you think of this navigator model for my next trip to Zambia, I'll have to take a new one! thank you very much..

    Garmin Etrex 10 Gps Portable, Screen B / N 2.2 ", Color: Yellow, Black

    Garmin Etrex 10 Gps Portable, Screen B / N 2.2 ", Color: Yellow, Black
    You can also just use a good smartphone with the Tracks4Africa app loaded. The advantage of this is that you can also add other offline mapping apps, such as maps.me, osmand, and Google Maps offline (and I have found this surprisingly useful in some remote areas.....). Then you can compare them if you have doubts, or choose another if you are led into a dead end. And if your partner has a smartphone too, then you can load it all on that one as well (well, maybe not the Tracks4Africa, you'll probably need another licence then...). BTW, you will see it referred to as T4A a lot in this forum.

    Here WeGo (yet another app you can load on your smartphone) also gives you warnings of changing speed limits when you are on the main roads. Although I think there are others that do that too.

    And my experience is definitely get the paper T4A map too.

    Have a fantastic trip! My family and I are envious...planning a Kafue trip soonish as well.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    There is not (yet) a T4A paper map for Zambia.

    One has to be very aware of mapping apps which require mobile phone (3 or 4G) coverage in order to gain routing or mapping capability. Downloading T4A and maps.me on to a GPS/Sat Nav will give adequate coverage. T4A, their routes being gathered from travellers like us, give one reassurance that if a road or track is shown on their database, that it has been driven by someone like us in recent memory. Google maps.... please, please NO.

    However, without a GPS-enabled smartphone, it is rather more complex.

    We travel with paper maps, a compass, and a Garmin GPS (with T4A and other datasets loaded).

    Having said all the above, Zambia is pretty sophisticated, but there are large swathes of this huge country without mobile phone coverage - particularly the roads less travelled,

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    There is a paper T4A map: its just in a book form. Goes up to Southern Tanzania.

    All the mapping apps I mentioned are offline. No coverage at all required. And as I said: Google Maps has been surprisingly good in some areas.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by zoneout; 2019/07/07 at 10:52 AM. Reason: added image of map book
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Thanks zoneout, you are correct, The Travellers Atlas is excellent, including for Zambia.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    No independent camping is allowed in the Busanga Plains. I am sure others will let you know their recommended campsites in the vast Kafue NP. I have read that McBride’s comes highly recommended.
    Just FYI, in November 2019, there is the possibility of pre-booked, self-drive camping in Busanga Plains. Happy to share details through DM.

    Regards!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    As Ortelius says - don't attempt minor Zambian roads without first establishing whether or not they still exist, and are passable. For example, the Escarpment road down into Lower Zambezi is a no-go road unless you have nerves of steel and are an exceptional driver - it has been very badly washed away.
    Hi Tony, I did the escarpment road down to Lower Zambezi (the so called Leopard Pass "road" ) at the end of December 2018 in a Landrover Defender 110 td5. Took us about 6 hours. You are right needs nerves of steel and definitely not advisable. There are lots of gulleys and washaways on very steep uphill and down sections - one mistake and you are in a gulley and in serious trouble. Thought a few times of turning back but in the end with a number of getting out and walking sections and crawling along made it through.

    Turnung off the main road to Lusaka onto the dirt road heading to the Leopard Pass mountains - at first it is a very wide inviting dirt road and you just have to go down and over some river beds on make shift crossings next to half built cement bridges. Found out afterwards that the Chinese were contracted to build a tar road here through the mountains to Lower Zambezi but after starting, the contract was cancelled - what we saw and drove along was what they had accomplished before abandoning the project. You go on like this for a long way but then the dirt road closer to the mountains just gradually gets narrower until it became a single track.

    It became clear when entering the mountains that this track though the mountains was made to put in and service the powerline that goes through the mountains down to Lower Zambezi. But it has not been maintained for many years, is in a dreadful state and the only people using it are locals walking or using bicycles and maybe the odd brave local soul with a beat up 4x4 bakkie who knows the track well - and then it seems us.

    The main problem is that going through the mountains proper there are very rocky steep uphill and downhill winding sections with bad deep washaway channels and some very rocky and slippery, steep stream crossings.

    The scenery was absolutely spectacular and the view over the Zambezi basin from the mountains was something else BUT looking back not worth all the risks.

    When we finally got to our camp site on the Zambezi after just loosing the battle chasing a dying sun, my back and legs were stuffed from all the pedal work and concentrating so intensely for so long. Took me a full day to recover. Damn lucky to have made it .

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Is this the road from Chongwe? Just as you get to Chongwe you get a tar road that turns to dirt?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishing1 View Post
    Is this the road from Chongwe? Just as you get to Chongwe you get a tar road that turns to dirt?
    I reckon thats it. The yellow RD 419 you see on google maps is a myth. Go in closer and you see a white road sort of following the nice looking straight yellow mythical road. The white road is actually it and it is a track from hell.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    I have travelled along that road for about 40km or so for work but never further. Had to head off east into the hills there. There is another road heading down about 40 or so km past Chongwe at Sinjela but unfortunately I have also not taken that all the way to the river only past the park gate which is just a gate in name and structure. Its a slow dirt road but apparently gets worse as tou go further towards the river.

    You can also get on that mythical road just past the airport turn off in Lusaka at the cell tower.
    Last edited by Fishing1; 2019/07/07 at 04:42 PM.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Ja the current situation is frustrating if you come from Chipata - you effectively have to go to Lusaka then down the main road to the Zim border and then turn left near the border and take the dirt road running parallel to the river to get to the lodges towards the Lower Zambezi NP. Fortunately there is serious agriculture going on along this road so it is wide and fine - Just corregated in parts or rocky. It is still a very long haul along this road to get to Lower Zambezi NP.

    When you get to Chiawa village this main dirt road swings away from the river and you take a right onto a more narrow dirt road/track that carries on parallel to the river heading to Mvuu camp and beyond to Lower Zambezi NP. It is still a long haul from here. Mvuu closes over the summer rainfall months and we saw why. Plenty deep mud puddles to go through and there are some alternative tracks from time to time going in the same direction. But you quickly leave humanity behind and game appears including elephant well before getting to Mvuu camp. The mountains come fairly close to the river here creating a Ngoro Ngoro crater type feel. Mvuu camp looks great and has a large camping ground area under shady trees alongside the river. Birding is outstanding I must say.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Can anyone give the estimated driving time from Lusaka (Pioneer) to Mvuu in the dry season? (Sept)
    Would it be better to stay at Pioneer camp or Eureka camp when going from Lusaka to Mvuu?
    Thanks

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Can anyone give the estimated driving time from Lusaka (Pioneer) to Mvuu in the dry season? (Sept)
    I can tell you our timings when returning from Mvuu to Lusaka in August last year. We left Mvuu at around 7:00 am and arrived to the southern verge of Lusaka at around 11:45, with only one short stop (for about 15 minutes) in Chirundu. But then it took as almost an hour and a half to drive through the city toward Airport. We arrived to the roundabout toward the airport past 13:00. Add about 20 to 30 minutes from there to reach Pioneers.

    It much depends at which time of the day you hit the codundrum of Lusaka traffic. I guess if you start very early (lets say at 6:00) from Pioneers, Lusaka traffic will still be sparse and you can reach Mvuu in around 6 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Would it be better to stay at Pioneer camp or Eureka camp when going from Lusaka to Mvuu?
    Thanks
    Eureka definitively. That way you eliminate all the hectic Lusaka traffic and your drive to LZNP will be a breeze.
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    I hope its not giving this thread too much of a detour, but is Eureka still good? I used to go there in the mid/late 90's, I'm amazed its still going.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Zambia 2019

    Thank you Ortelius, very useful info! Eureka to Mvuu should then be about 5 hrs.
    I will stay at Pioneer on the way to SLNP and at Eureka on the way back to Mvuu.
    I hope Eureka is still OK.

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