We say a reluctant goodbye to our lovely campsite at Mana pools on the banks of the Zambezi River and head up to Zambia. Our objective is South Luangwa National Park but to get there we have a few challenges. Firstly the border at Chirundu proves to be an adventure, we clear pretty easily but Duncan gets caught up is some difference of opinion between a helper and a customs offical and has to wait about 2hrs. As this is happening a Land Rover pulls up behind me and locks his keys inside the car! Thankfully Nelson can go over the kerbs and the verge to escape but we get “moved on” to led a bus with a trailer through. Once outside a drunk decides to pick up a brick to stove in our window as we had not given him any money so we leave sharpish the rock bouncing off the back of the truck. A stressful day but we are reunited down the road and make it to a campsite in the dark down some very poor lanes. In the daylight the site turns out to be quite nice!
We have two days of crossing “the great east road” of Zambia, the road is mostly OK with the occasional bout of car busting potholes so we watch the villages and the lightly wooded and slightly hilly countryside roll past, the weather cools as the altitude rises with the night on the boarder of Mozambique quite cool by our standards (sadly no flag as I did not want to put the team through another border crossing just for that)
Finally we make it to the park and are rewarded with a lovely campsite right on the banks of the Luangwa River, hippos are playing right in front of us while buck and baboons run through the lodge, for $10 not a bad deal. We take the option of a game drive in the park and are rewarded with up close contact with Lions for the first time this trip and a range of other animals, makes the 5am start worth while.
We are struck by the busy and seemingly cheerful disposition of the small villages we go through, reminds me of the Guinea that Tony and I enjoyed so much. The population is sparse and a real feeling of exploring rural Africa is generated.
Off to Malawi tomorrow, heading to the beach, another contrast and the final stage of the journey for Lee..

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