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Zambia. Lusaka. Pioneer Lodge. Friday 15 May 2015. Week 5, Day 34.

Today was a fairly long trek from Livingstone to the Zambian capital, Lusaka. This was never going to be a trip with any major items of interest and so it proved.

We managed to get off to our usual 07H00 start and avoided most of the traffic on the way out of Livingstone which can get quite busy. The fairly newly resurfaced T1 is in great condition. One just needs to remember that the speed limits in Zambia are only 100km/hr and not the possibly expected 120km/hr as in SA, Botswana and Namibia. This is the case all the way further north.

This route is really rather monotonous with no highlights or scenery of note. It was a good chance to look at rural Zambian life. The biblical term “”hewers of wood and bearers of water” immediately springs to mind. The charcoal “pedlars” carrying up to 6 very large bags of charcoal on their bicycles were all toiling into town in the early morning. Africa is burning and as long as there is not domestic electricity in each home, will continue to do so. The vast majority of people in the rural and semi-urban areas cook on charcoal fires. Charcoal and goats will be the end of Africa.

A few aspects are notable during road travel in Zambia. Firstly regular signs saying “Eaten today, thank the farmer”. South Africa and Zimbabwe could do with more of this attitude. Next are the vast numbers of Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness Churches. They obviously got in early. These rather cynical words from the South African Anglican Church Bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu, spring to mind:

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

The second note of interest is the manner that the vehicle in front of you indicates to you that it is safe to overtake. I gather this also applies to much of East Africa as well. Indicator to the right (driver’s side), not safe to overtake. Indicator to the left (passenger side), safe to overtake. Obviously best check that the road is in fact clear first. The other notable item is the use of branches from trees placed in the road to indicate a broken-down vehicle ahead, despite the legal requirement to carry triangles.

We pass through the small rural town of Kalambo, the gateway to Southern Kafue, with a sign indicating Dumdumdwezi Gate, but not for us this time. One needs to constantly be aware of the “sleeping policemen” throughout Zambia and also East Africa I understand. These speed humps can be quite viciously high and regularly are not signposted and will totally wreck your suspension if you do not slow down significantly. Expect them with each little village.

We also pass the signpost to Moorings Campsite and Chalets and recall a very pleasant overnight there in 2012. I would suggest that this is the best place if a stayover is sought between Livingstone and Lusaka. It is 10km after the town of Monze, on the way to Mazibuko. The T1 deteriorates quite markedly after Mazibuko. The only real landmark of interest to us is when we pass over the Kafue River Bridge. This lovely river brings back great memories of our Zambian trip in 2012. Anyone wanting more details on the Kafue National Park is referred to my Zambian Trip Report from 2012 referred to in the preparations section of this blog. We will not be visiting all of Zambia on this trip as most places were well covered by us only a couple of years ago and we need to move on further to our many destinations in the north. Many of the places referred to in that Trip Report are very worthwhile visiting!