Today we are heading to Zambia. It’s been a short but very eventful and enjoyable few days in Zimbabwe. Had we not lost so much time waiting for the Landy’s to be cleared in Durban, we would have spent longer here. It’s also what Adam suggested.
By 9.30am we drove the few k’s to the Zim border and were processed quickly. The immigration officer, seeing my NZ passport, made a quip about the hammering the All Blacks got against South Africa on Friday. I could only laugh…:) The line-up of trucks waiting to cross must have been a kilometre long but we drove passed the to exit the gate.
A new country.
Entry into Zambia was like going back into West Africa. I wont say it was chaos but not far short. People everywhere trying to advise you or guide you, all for a consideration, of course. They got short shrift. Ultimately, after purchasing Road Tax, Compulsory Third party Insurance, Carbon Tax and having the Carnet stamped, we were free to go!!!
Once through immigration and customs, the first thing was to get a Zambian SIM card for Jen’s phone. You would not believe the performance to achieve that. Jen’s passport details logged, along with all other details, the passport photographed and she also photographed. So, we now have a SIM card and 10gb of data which should allow us to get the blog updated. It’s slow though, very slow. Fifteen minutes to load a single photo!!
Heading for the capital, Lusaka which is 450k’s away, there are very few camping places on the way. iOverlander found a potential camp at the town of Choma.
The owner was away in Lusaka and not due back till next week. The young lady on the gate did not want to let us camp. We could rent a cabin but not camp. After spending a little time telling her all was going to be just fine and we would only put up our tent on the grass, she relented. She didn’t have much option as we were insistent…:) The cost to camp. 300 kwacha = NZ$25
The word is that Zambian roads are atrocious. We are on the main road to Lusaka and it has been quite good so far. Trucks, trucks, trucks, mostly Chinese made. Tonight we have to decide if we are going to take a detour to see Lake Kariba. The scenery from the border has been uninspiring. Mostly recently burned scrub. Villages, primitive but orderly.
Today I found Poki to be very sluggish, Like she was having a bad day and the accelerator pedal had to be pressed harder to make progress. Thinking about it, I realised that I had removed a half round length of polystyrene yesterday. I had put in as a filler between the flat solar panel on the roof of the cabin, and the rear leaning solar panel screwed to the spoiler. I took it off as the tape holding it on since leaving the UK, was tatty. Fortunately I didn’t throw it away and reinstalled it with fresh tape. What a difference. The wind resistance from that 40mm thick panel was like driving with the hand brake on.The polystyrene was a Heath-Robinson quick fix as I did not have time to make a nice aluminium deflector before leaving the UK.
Far from prefect and I can see where our fuel consumption dive is happening.