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Zambia. Livingstone. Peregrine’s Nest Bush Camp. Wednesday 13 May 2015. Week 5, Day 32.

For those planning a visit to this area I hope the following details will make your planning a little easier.

Route and Directions:

Rupara Community Campsite – C49 – take eastward route to Katima – B8 – Katima – B8 to Wenela Border Post (on Zambian side known as the Katima/Sesheke Border Post) – cross the bridge over the Zambezi by turning right (east) – through village of Sesheke - road past Kazangula to Livingstone.
Drive through Livingstone after turning right at the traffic light – drive down main road (T1 or Mosi oa Tunya Road) towards Victoria Falls (you can actually see the spray of “the smoke that thunders”) – turn right onto gravel road signposted Taita Falcon Lodge – down a rocky road following regular signs for Taita Lodge – report to Lodge before backtracking a few 100m to the signposted turnoff to the camp site, Peregrine Nest Bush Camp.

Distances and times:

TOTAL Rupara Camp to Peregrine Camp 355km. 8hr40min

• Rupara Camp to C49 – 11km and 25min.
• C49 to first T-junction, turn right (east) to Katima (well signposted) – 108km and then second T-junction 6km further on turn right onto B8 as signposted to Katima.
• Enter Katima after 128km from Rupara and ihr45min.
• Wenela Border Post well signposted 1,4km from Katima.
• Go through Zambian border post known as Katima/Sesheke.
• Drive down road turn right at T-junction just after border post. Right to Livingstone, left to the Upper Zambezi and Barotseland.
• After about 1km cross the impressive bridge over the Zambezi (a similar one is going to be built to replace the ferries at Kazangula).
• Pass through the small town of Sesheke (roadwork chaos). NOTE the speed limit through towns in Zambia is 50km/hr. Plenty unsignposted large speed humps.
• Road all the way to Kazangula badly potholed. Kazangula turnoff reached 137km after border post, after 2hr.
• Livingstone, road resurfaced, reached 60km and 45km from Kazangula turnoff.
• Taita Falcon Lodge 20km from Luivingstone, took about 40min down some bad roads.
• Slow going mainly because of the slow Zambian side of the border post, the bad condition of the road to Livingstone and the rocky road to Peregrine.

Border Formalities and Costs:

I am going to go through all of these carefully as we were not impressed with the Zambian side. Only once we reached the exit gate from the border post was it discovered by the official checking us through that we had missed a step in the laborious and slow process. I had initially been quite excited by the fact that they were now occupying their new buildings and not the ramshackle ones and caravans that had been in operation in 2012.
There is a branch of one of the Zambian banks with an ATM just beyond the customs and Immigration building. Here you can draw the Kwatcha you need at a far better rate than from the black market touts who will bug you from the moment you alight from your vehicle. This lot are well-known cheats with amazing sleight of hand when counting out money. If you have residual Namibian Dollars rather change at bank as well.

There are a series of windows arranged in a U-shape with some signs. Best done in the following order.

• Immigration. The official would only give us a 30 day visa, saying it was a simple matter to extend the visa in any town, all of which have an immigration dept.
• Road Tax, the counter right next door, not well signposted and there was not someone manning this when we went through the first time, so we inadvertently missed it. This was in full view of all the officials but no-one said a word. We had to return and paid US$ 20 Road Tax. They accept no other currency!
• Carbon Tax. K 200.00. Here the customs official stamped my typed list of dutiable items as I had been doing all along.
• Third Party Insurance, K120.00.
• Then you need a temperature scan for Ebola.
• Finally you pay Shesheke District Council Road usage Toll of K30.00.
Check that you have receipts for all of these as they are often asked for at road blocks.

This whole process had taken us a full 1hr45min on the Zambian side after breezing through the Namibian side. Even without having to return for the Road Tax I had overlooked it would have taken more than hour, purely because of poor service and inefficiency. Better get used to it bud!

Camping charges at Peregrine US$15pppd.

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