Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks





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  1. #1
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    Default Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    I always do get so much information from this forum, so please let me share our experiences from our latest journey with you.
    Maybe it is helpful for your planning or at least a bit of entertainment.

    This is about four weeks of travelling, from Joburg to Lusaka, visiting Kafue, SLNP, NLNP, Kapishya, Kasanka (mid October till mid November)



    A few years ago, we had a wonderful trip through Zimbabwe. We went through Chirundu border post and dropped off our vehicle in Lusaka. Neither the border crossing at Chirundu, nor Chirundu itself, nor traversing Lusaka were ideal appetizers for a trip to Zambia. But after enjoying several trip reports about Kafue, Luangwa and Kasanka the case was clear – we give it a try.

    Johannesburg - Zambian border
    For several reasons we started in Johannesburg , picked up our rental vehicle and set off on our way north. With some overnight stops in Matamba (we love it), Woodlands (too crowded) , Kukonje (always something special), Senyati (always something special, too) we crossed at Kazangula into Zambia. We were prepared for the border procedures and yes, we used one of the fixers. We were well informed about the fees and costs and negotiated the service with our fixer in advance. It took us less than two hours and both sides were content.


    Zambian border - Kafue
    Right after the border I started to write down the check points (police, county levy, road tax…) but I soon gave up…too much writing. The officials were always friendly, sometimes wanted to see some papers or simply waved us through. All in all there were not too many checkpoints, mainly around bigger cities or at regional borders.
    In Livingstone we picked up some pre-ordered meat at Heartlands Best (thanks to apfac for that advice) and went to the Maramba River Lodge for our first Zambian night.
    We really enjoyed the campsite although it was pretty full. The pool was nice and we had a fantastic dinner at the restaurant. Hippos and elephants were close by although not right in camp.
    From Livingstone we went through Kalomo (fuel stop), passed the Dudemwenzi gate, paid lots of US Dollars and got a very nicely written official document in return, the permit.
    There was a pretty new road north which was not in T4A and not really according to our map. We proceed well but it was a bit boring. We turned to Nanzhila and zigzagged our way to Ithezi Thezi lake. Not much to see despite a few antelopes and lots of TseTse flies. Hippo Bay Camp was nice although the lake was pretty far away.

    Next stop was Kasabushi. Only three campsites, lots of space and very special design of the ablutions. We really enjoyed our stay here. There are a few game drive options, but we were also happy with staying in camp, watching birds or going on a boat tip (very low water).
    While game driving we had lots of Tsetse, some lions and around Sheshembe loop plenty other animals like antelopes, zebras…
    We met only few other vehicles mainly at Sheshembe, two open safari vehicles – the poor guys were eaten up by the flies- and one or two self drivers.
    Everything´s bone dry but a few water ponds.

    On the way up north we made a stop over at Roy´s Restcamp, also very nice with enough space and very enthusiastic camp guards. From there we made an afternoon drive around the Mukuwenzi loop but did not see anything. Elephants came visiting the camp at night.
    From Roy´s it was a perfect tar road to Mumbwa, where we shopped some veggies on the market. The next 30 km towards Mc Bride´s were horrible and for the 90 km in total from Mumbwa it took us three hours.

    Mc Bride´s was definetly another highlight of our trip. The camp is so lovely and with Chris´ (Charlotte was not there) particular charme we would have loved to stay for longer.
    We did a morning walk, enjoyed the birds – the Böhm´s breeding at the campsite-, the local hippo and the scenery. No lions, but antelopes like bushbocks close by.

    to be continued
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    Last edited by Mabe; 2020/01/02 at 09:46 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Good stuff Mabe, keep it coming.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Thank you Mabe for the report back. It looks like even Kafue and Itezhi Tezhi were bone dry. They are really struggling with the drought.

    Looking forward for the next installments.

    AP

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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Hi Mabe,
    thanks a lot for the detailed informations concerning especially Zambia!
    As this country is a very special place in the row of southern Africa's nations we think we are really lucky to get so many actual advices recently as our once-in-a-lifetime-advebture with main focus on Zambia will start in about 6 months.
    Cheers Topi

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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Conclusion Kafue:
    southern Kafue
    It was bonedry (mid October). The water level was so low, going on a boat trip was just possible. Game was very skittish, due to poaching?
    The Ithezi Tezi Lake has a nice appearance with ist dead trees. The water was just too far away.
    The Hippo Bay Camp is nicely situated but we did not see much on way to the camp or when leaving.

    We enjoyed Kasabushi camp a lot. We got a map with game drive options but we were a bit sick of driving. Staying in the camp was a good alternative.
    If you intend to exit the park to the north, the Shishembe Loop is a good idea. Lots of tracks, dry riverbeds, different vegetation and last but not least lot of game close to the remained waterholes
    Only few self drivers. We saw an open safari vehicle from a lodge. The poor guests were eaten up by the flies.
    The tsetse flies are a pest. We like to drive with open windows – absolute impossible. We had an electrical “killing” device (looks like a tennis racket) which worked well inside the car.
    Fortunately there are no flies within the camps.

    Northern Kafue;
    On the way to Mc Brides we did not see anything – not a single animal. The way takes its time but the camp is great and well worth to stay for a few days. We did a morning walk but maybe it is also nice to go on a boat trip.


    An addition concerning the border crossing: We tried to get Kwacha in different exchange bureaus in Kazanguela – no way. But there was an ATM (working) within the border buildings. But you can pay all the fees, taxes, Visa with US Dollar, Pula oder Rand. It is just a question of the exchange rate.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Kafue to SLNP via Lusaka

    We left Mc Bride´s, drove past Mumbwa and 10 hours later set our camp at Pioneers in Lusaka.
    Lusaka´s traffic was not too bad and coming from north we take a shortcut via Kazanguela road. Several shopping malls (a new one in the North where we just passed, East Park Mall and Waterfalls) where every desire can be met.

    We shared Pioneers with 4 other campers, so place enough. Load shedding was on and we had to illuminate the showers by ourselves.

    After extensive restocking and refueling we hit the Great Eastern Road: some good patches, some very bad potholes, lots of speed bumps around the villages, too many slow trucks…

    The way down to Luangwa Bridge was awesome and after the bridge the road was in an excellent condition.

    Nevertheless a long way and we did not want to go to South Luangwa in one stretch. We had a stopover at Chimwemwe lodge and opted for a chalet which was nice and affordable. But we missed the fresh air of our rooftoptent and slept in the bushcamper right before our chalet. They had problems with load shedding as well, so the restaurant´s menu was a bit reduced. Cold drinks were only available from our own fridge.

    One of these moments when you realize how normal it is to have reliable power 24h and how easily normal life or –in this case- setting up a business can be affected by a lack in basic infrastructure.

    From Petauke we decided to stay on the main road and went through Chipata (Fuel stations, supermarket, odd appearance).

    From Chipata to Mfuwe the road was good and took us two hours.

    We spent a few days in Wildlife camp which was fully booked. Due to the national holiday lots of “weekenders” from Lusaka, three big overland trucks…. But the campsite was spacious enough not to feel packed.

    Our arrival was highlightened by a few raindrops!

    From wildlife camp to the park entrance is about 30 minutes, but right before the gate we already saw elephants and giraffe. Inside the park are lots of tracks, only some of them will be driveable in the rainy season. We met selfdrivers as well as safari vehicles but the park is big enough to find quiet places.
    The landscape and vegetation in the park is very diverse and so are the animals. We saw lots of antelopes, elephants, lions, buffaloes, hyenas, hippos, birds and even wilddogs.

    We joined a night drive where we saw a leopard, but there were definitely too many vehicles chasing the poor guy.

    There are at least two guys visiting Wildlife camp regularly and offer to bring veggies from Mfuwe - they go all the way by bike. It is wise to negotiate the prices before.

    tbc
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    South Luangwa - Nsefu sector
    After a few days we moved on to Zikomo Camp to explore the sector on the eastern side of the Luangwa. Right before Zikomo´s doorstep we saw giraffes and a huge herd of buffaloes.
    We were the only campers in Zikomo and enjoyed our shady site with the good view. Antelopes and yellow billed storks entertained us right in front of our site as did different birds in the flowers of the sausage tree. Friendly elephants visited the camp every night.

    The way to the park was about 30 minutes and the now dried out cotton soil track was full of deep elephant spoors. Within the Nsefu sector the vegetation was much more denser in parts but with open spaces, very nice for game driving. We hardly met any other vehicle.

    And there was so much to see: thousands of carmine bee-eaters, antelopes, lots of elephants, giraffes and again wild dogs!

    One afternoon we went to the hot springs area. The main route through the park is a transit road for the local people and we were pretty amazed by the encounter of one of these shared taxibusses packed with people and a sofa on top.

    The way to the hot springs led through a very arid area and suddenly turned to a lovely green scenery with a running creek. Lots of crowned cranes, other birds, mainly storks and finally very playful wilddogs (!!) rewarded our game drive.

    Back to Zikomo we saw the hundreds of buffaloes again and six lions lying in their vicinity. Wow, what a day!.

    Conclusion South Luangwa
    Quite a way to get there, I wonder how some of the forumites do it in one stretch from Lusaka. For us it is definitely too much driving. But to go there is absolutely rewarding.
    Both camps were so nice, although Zikomo is one of our favourites. Less people, clean pool and we really love this open air ablutions.

    Mfewu as well as Nsefu are great for exploring. The latter is more secluded but even the more frequented Mfuwe area is big enough to make you feel that you are on you own.
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Hi Mabe,

    Thank you for the installment. Glad you have enjoyed Zikomo / Nsefu. Probably in a few years campers will loose the privileged commodity of camping by the river side as they are planning to expand their bungalow units along the river margin. It is a pity, but Zikomo it always be a firm base to explore the secluded Nsefu. The lion pride you have spotted near camp were the ones we have spotted at Chichele Hot springs with the collared matriarch.

    Glad you have enjoyed the "Heartlands Best" / Chundu meat. It is always a pleasure to be able to help.

    Will be waiting for further installments.

    Ap

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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    It is really sad to hear, that Zikomo will change. We will see where they will put the campers... I can hardly imagine that chalet guests are in the majority...

    Interesting to hear about the lion pride. I wonder why they are walking all that way out there to the springs.

    Next installment will come soon

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    South Luangwa – North Luangwa – to Kapishya hot springs

    The bat migration in Kasanka was the next on our bucket list. There are only a few options to get there from South Luangwa:
    - return to Lusaka and take the T2,
    - through the Mfuwe sector on the famous 05 or
    - crossing the North Luangwa NP. We opted for the North Luangwa route.

    Leaving Zikomo we transited the Nsefu sector again, with a little detour pass the hot springs – this time only a few zebras, no cranes, no wilddogs – how lucky we were the day before.

    We transited the tiny Luambe NP – nothing but a few dry riverbeds to cross, not a single animal. We decided to stop at Kamukonzo Community Camp which is situated right behind Luambe NP and at the shores of the Luangwa.
    It is a very small campsite and run by the nearby community. Lovely view on the river and spotless and well maintained ablutions. Next to the flushing toilet and the shower was a bucket for washing hands, equipped with soap and towel. Something we never saw again on a campsite.
    They even have a bar/ lapa and a solar powered fridge with cold drinks.
    This camp was a fantastic stopover. Zikomo to Kumukonzo was 4 hrs including the hot springs detour.

    On the next day we proceeded towards the North Luangwa.
    The track was getting really remote. No signs at all, a few villages with traditional huts, children were running towards us, trying to sell mangoes or just yelling for sweeties. Now we know why Sambia is called “the real Africa”.

    There were two checkpoints on the way. Just a few vehicles were registered in the last days – we did not meet a single one. Sometimes the track was not clear and we passed through the villages where we were shown the right turnoff.

    We called the Kapishya Hot Springs lodge (same owner as Buffalo Camp) to find out if we could go via Kanunshya. We could not - there is neither a pontoon/crossing nor a park entrance.

    We arrived at the Luelo pontoon which was obviously not operating and were a bit unsure how to cross the Luangwa. We went to the nearby Chifunda Bushcamp where we met the ranger, paid our dollars and were shown where to cross the river – it was a bit more than ankle deep.
    Another uneventful driving with no animals and lots of flies followed
    The 157 km from Kamukonzo to Buffalo took us about 7 hrs including the paper work and crossing.

    There is no camping in the North Luangwa NP and we opted for self catering in Buffalo Camp. Not really on a shoestring but the most budget you can get.
    The chalets are made of elephant grass, pretty big, equipped with table, chairs, a bed with mosquito net and an ensuite bathroom. We – and two other parties- were the last guests for the season. At the end of October they tear down everything and rebuild the camp in May. A few chalets were already torn down and there was a kind of demolition atmosphere in the air.
    You can either use the camp´s restaurant or their kitchen if you want to cook on your own. We preferred to prepare our meals with our own gas cookers at our chalet.
    The Mwaleshi River was very low in water too. It is mainly free of crocodiles and hippos, so lying in the river is a good way to cool down during the day. The water level was so low, your body was hardly covered by water when lying in. Hard to imagine how high the water may rise in the rainy season.

    We joined a morning walk with almost no sighting – a few wildebeest from afar, but nevertheless it was nice to do some exercise. The flies were a pest on the walk and as we were picked up – it was a one way walk- we were eaten up in the vehicle, too. No way we were going on a game drive in the afternoon…the other guests at leasts saw wilddogs. I cannot say if self driving is not allowed at all.

    Nice place with nice staff but next time I would prefer just to transit the park. In my opinion it was not worth the money.
    As soon as we moved out of our chalet, everything was torn down in minutes…
    From Buffalo to Mano Gate (northern gate) we drove 55 km in 2 :30 hrs and saw just one elephant. The flies sat in clouds at our car!

    From Mano Gate we drove another 3 hrs including a shopping stop (beer and veggies) at Kakalantekwe turn off to Kapishya. The landscape changed dramatically and we passed thick forest with high eucalyptus trees. The appearance of Shiwa Ngandu estate is somehow strange: a big and busy farm, an english-style country house, a steam engine…

    Kapishya Hot Springs Lodge is only a few minutes further and surprised us with a flowering, well maintained green garden. The campsite is a bit apart from the lodge and as green, situated at the Mansa River. How nice! Lots of birds, the hot springs, the pool at the lodge – a good place to relax.
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Hi Mabe,
    Thanks a lot for the detailed report and pictures. We will be visiting South Luangwa in May this year. Can’t wait!
    Terry
    2004 Disco II XS TD5 A/T Sold - Sad to see it go
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabe View Post
    It is really sad to hear, that Zikomo will change. We will see where they will put the campers... I can hardly imagine that chalet guests are in the majority...

    Interesting to hear about the lion pride. I wonder why they are walking all that way out there to the springs.

    Next installment will come soon

    Waiting for Kasanka. Thank you!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabe View Post
    South Luangwa – North Luangwa – to Kapishya hot springs

    The bat migration in Kasanka was the next on our bucket list. There are only a few options to get there from South Luangwa:
    - return to Lusaka and take the T2,
    - through the Mfuwe sector on the famous 05 or
    - crossing the North Luangwa NP. We opted for the North Luangwa route.

    Leaving Zikomo we transited the Nsefu sector again, with a little detour pass the hot springs – this time only a few zebras, no cranes, no wilddogs – how lucky we were the day before.

    We transited the tiny Luambe NP – nothing but a few dry riverbeds to cross, not a single animal. We decided to stop at Kamukonzo Community Camp which is situated right behind Luambe NP and at the shores of the Luangwa.
    It is a very small campsite and run by the nearby community. Lovely view on the river and spotless and well maintained ablutions. Next to the flushing toilet and the shower was a bucket for washing hands, equipped with soap and towel. Something we never saw again on a campsite.
    They even have a bar/ lapa and a solar powered fridge with cold drinks.
    This camp was a fantastic stopover. Zikomo to Kumukonzo was 4 hrs including the hot springs detour.

    On the next day we proceeded towards the North Luangwa.
    The track was getting really remote. No signs at all, a few villages with traditional huts, children were running towards us, trying to sell mangoes or just yelling for sweeties. Now we know why Sambia is called “the real Africa”.

    There were two checkpoints on the way. Just a few vehicles were registered in the last days – we did not meet a single one. Sometimes the track was not clear and we passed through the villages where we were shown the right turnoff.

    We called the Kapishya Hot Springs lodge (same owner as Buffalo Camp) to find out if we could go via Kanunshya. We could not - there is neither a pontoon/crossing nor a park entrance.

    We arrived at the Luelo pontoon which was obviously not operating and were a bit unsure how to cross the Luangwa. We went to the nearby Chifunda Bushcamp where we met the ranger, paid our dollars and were shown where to cross the river – it was a bit more than ankle deep.
    Another uneventful driving with no animals and lots of flies followed
    The 157 km from Kamukonzo to Buffalo took us about 7 hrs including the paper work and crossing.

    There is no camping in the North Luangwa NP and we opted for self catering in Buffalo Camp. Not really on a shoestring but the most budget you can get.
    The chalets are made of elephant grass, pretty big, equipped with table, chairs, a bed with mosquito net and an ensuite bathroom. We – and two other parties- were the last guests for the season. At the end of October they tear down everything and rebuild the camp in May. A few chalets were already torn down and there was a kind of demolition atmosphere in the air.
    You can either use the camp´s restaurant or their kitchen if you want to cook on your own. We preferred to prepare our meals with our own gas cookers at our chalet.
    The Mwaleshi River was very low in water too. It is mainly free of crocodiles and hippos, so lying in the river is a good way to cool down during the day. The water level was so low, your body was hardly covered by water when lying in. Hard to imagine how high the water may rise in the rainy season.

    We joined a morning walk with almost no sighting – a few wildebeest from afar, but nevertheless it was nice to do some exercise. The flies were a pest on the walk and as we were picked up – it was a one way walk- we were eaten up in the vehicle, too. No way we were going on a game drive in the afternoon…the other guests at leasts saw wilddogs. I cannot say if self driving is not allowed at all.

    Nice place with nice staff but next time I would prefer just to transit the park. In my opinion it was not worth the money.
    As soon as we moved out of our chalet, everything was torn down in minutes…
    From Buffalo to Mano Gate (northern gate) we drove 55 km in 2 :30 hrs and saw just one elephant. The flies sat in clouds at our car!

    From Mano Gate we drove another 3 hrs including a shopping stop (beer and veggies) at Kakalantekwe turn off to Kapishya. The landscape changed dramatically and we passed thick forest with high eucalyptus trees. The appearance of Shiwa Ngandu estate is somehow strange: a big and busy farm, an english-style country house, a steam engine…

    Kapishya Hot Springs Lodge is only a few minutes further and surprised us with a flowering, well maintained green garden. The campsite is a bit apart from the lodge and as green, situated at the Mansa River. How nice! Lots of birds, the hot springs, the pool at the lodge – a good place to relax.
    Thank you for this great report and lovely pictures.

    North Luangwa has suffered like no other from poaching back from the 70s onwards. However of late the Frankfurt Zoological Society have done great work in anti-poaching and general rehabilitation. So much potential...

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Thank you for your comments - it is very encouraging to get some feedback!

    @ Terry : May must be perfect for a visit - please let us know afterwards

    @ apfac : Kasanka is about to come

    @tashego : Yes, I agree, they try to do alot. They try to settle the rhino again. I hope they will succeed. But to attract more visitors it might be a good idea to lower either park fees or accomodation costs in the moment

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Kapishya - Kasanka

    In Kapishya they used to have a few walking trails, but we were told that they are actually closed. Maybe they wanted us to hire a guide. Nevertheless we enjoyed two relaxed days in the fantastic garden scenery, strolled along the bird trails, sat in the pools….

    Leaving Kasanka and passing the imposant alley of trees we suddenly saw something strange on the street: Small, of yellow colour and almost hiding between the green and yellow leaves – a chameleon crossing or almost dancing across the street – what a sighting!

    In Mpika we refueled and tried to do some basic shopping, but is was Sunday and most of the shops were closed. More than 7 hours after we left Kapishya we arrived at Kasanka.

    From the park entry gate to Wasa Lodge where we had to register was another 12 km, and to Kabwe campsite another 15 km. We really had to hurry to go to the campsite and then to the public viewing area to be in time for the afternoon show.

    And what a show it was! With the beginning of the dusk 8-10 million fruit bats leave their roosts. The sky was almost dark for a few moments.
    After the show we did our first self-night- drive to get back to our campsite where the attendants already lit the fire and prepared hot water for the bucket shower. what a service!

    Kabwe campsite was a gem. It actually has two stands which are a bit apart and each has its own fireplace, small lapa and open air ablutions. Nice view into an open area with some antelopes grazing.

    We visited Pontoon campsite, too. There are three stands – pretty close together - and they share a concrete ablution block. It is in a dense forest and you can overview a swamp where sitatungas can be seen quite often.
    The advantage of pontoon campsite is that it is closer to the action (hides, public viewing) and but we were happy with the nicer setting of Kabwe.

    Beside Wasa Lodge and an overflow campsite at the conservation centre there was a third accomodation possibility called Kapabi, more in the southern part of the park. A few fully-equipped safari tents, shared open air ablutions and a big equipped Lapa (restaurant like)

    I just checked the Kasanka Homepage and found different information and also different pictures of Pontoon. Bufumu was not operated in November. So either they changed a lot since November or the homepage is not up to date...

    We did some game driving in the park but besides hundreds of tsetse flies, some odd antelopes and storks we did not see anything. According to a list we got at Wasa Lodge there should be plenty to see….but however that was not the reason for us to stay in the park.

    The bats do two shows a day, but the morning one at 4.30 hrs was by far too early for us. So we did another afternoon activity, the bat experience.
    In the park you are free to use the public viewing areas at no extra costs. If you want to watch from a hide, you can only go there with a ranger and a guide at an extra fee. We have been to the BBC Hide which is like a viewing deck high up in a tree and much closer to the bats.
    Exactly at 18.00hrs the bats flew out again. From the tree it was even more spectacular and maybe even more bats were out this time.

    conclusion Kasanka
    The bat migration is unique and absolutely spectacular.
    Within the park we did not see much else - another park which has to recover from poaching- but the management is very active. I don´t mind, the bats itself are definitely worth a visit and the campsite was really good.
    Maybe we should have joined a birding tour, but once again the tsetses spoiled any other activity.
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  17. #16
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Thanks, Mabe, for this excellent report. I'm traveling along with you through wonderful wilderness of Zambia with great joy.

    It looks like Zambian is the most lively subforum in Overlanding section, at least as far as quality trip reports are concerned. There have been quite a few ones published here recently - excellent stuff!
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Thank you very much, Mabe, for this excellent trip report. Another well-planned and well-executed safari.

    We have, indeed, been spoilt with recent trip reports on Zambia. Everyone benefits from a good trip report.

    Wishing you lots of adventures in 2020. Safari njema!

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    Kasanka – Lusaka
    The final leg is narrated quickly.
    First we intended to spent the next night at Lake Waka Waka, but we were told that the campsite is not operated anymore resp. some guys refrained from spending a night there because they felt unsafe.
    Therefore we decided to move on towards Lusaka. After 350 km – the traffic picked up and to overtake the trucks was tearing at the nerves- we stopped at the Forest Inn. It is right beside the T2 but a lush green garden with trees and birds. The campsite is far away from the road so you do not hear it permanently.
    A good recommendation if you need a stopover at the T2.
    No other camper, no other overnight guests either. The only thing missing was a pool. Load shedding was on here once again.

    The next day we proceeded to Lusaka and as we passed Kabwe – which was amazingly busy- we stopped at Fig Tree Café for a break – what a nice spot!
    There seemed to be another café at the eastern side of Kabwe, but we were too fast and just passed it.

    In Lusaka we went to Pioneer Lodge again. Now we had almost an extra day to clean up the car and pack our things. We spent our time in the pool and in a nearby mall. Our rental car was picked up in the afternoon, with an additional 4.800 km on the clock.

    Overall conclusions
    Shopping
    Only Livingstone and Lusaka offer the full range. 5l- water bottles e.g. are rarely available anywhere else. Veggies can be bought along the roads or on local markets – excellent quality. Beer is available everywhere, too. For everything else you have to be lucky.

    payment
    We used credit cards for shopping and fuel in the bigger cities, sometimes it worked even at smaller fuel stations. Entry fees and camps were mainly paid in USD. We draw Kwacha from an ATM in Livingstone and used only few of it (markets).
    The park fees are high end for internationals and so are some of the camp rates, too. Zambia is not a cheap country for travelling but I think it is quite alright to get the tourists pay for unique nature. Hopefully the money goes to the right places.

    tyre pressure
    No need to reduce it. The only sandy patches occurred at the dry riverbeds

    distances
    The distances between the parks are not to underestimate. The bad roads, slow trucks, speed bumps and the check points reduce the average speed enormously.

    traffic
    There is only few motorised private transport. Trucks are frequent and almost standing still when climbing uphill. To overtake them might be hazardous – the sight is bad due to the up and downs, unpaved shoulders and the sudden potholes.
    We saw lots of accidental trucks, less normal cars. The express busses drive and overtake like the devil himself

    power
    Whereever there should be power – there is load shedding, too.

    Animals
    We expected a lot and our expectations were only fulfilled in parts. In the retrospective we saw a lot, but we had days with no special sightings. Fortunately we can be happy with birds or “only” antelopes.
    The ubiquitous tsetseflies are a pest. The camps had no flies but don´t dare to leave the camp by foot or in an open vehicle. It is a pity, it really disencourages some activities.

    We would love to visit some places again, especially when there is more water and more green. It is really hard to imagine how some parts are literally under water in the rainy season.

    We really felt comfortable during the whole trip. The people are so friendly, helpful and very unobtrusive


    Thanks for reading and travelling with me. It was a pleasure to share our experiences
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    Last edited by Mabe; 2020/01/06 at 07:13 PM.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Zambia trip report - Johannesburg to Lusaka in four weeks

    What a brilliant trip report, and it comes just in time for us as our adventure with our own car starts within 6 months, thanks a lot!
    Your actual informations are really helpful for us as we never travelled more far north in Zambia as to South Luangwa. Unfortunately it seems that we will miss the bat migration being in the region a whole month earlier but may be Bangweulu should also be an option.
    Have a great time in planning furher trips for the future!
    Topi

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