Day 250. Tuesday 29th August. Chita Lodge, Kaufe to Eureka Camping Ground. 12k from Lusaka. Zambia. Start mileage 211813

To say we have had an eventful day, would be an understatement.

Packing up and on the road by 9am, some sort of a record in itself, we decided to take a detour to Lake Kariba. It was 120k’s in the opposite direction but deemed to be worth the effort to see not only the lake, but the hydro dam. Started in 1955 and completed in the 1960. Built on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

On the drive in we passed several trucks that had come to grief on the mountainous section. One had obviously sensed trouble, probably because he had been using the brakes too much and took an emergency speed arrester road off to the side, only the arrester road was sloping downhill, and the truck had shot right off the end coming to a stop, shedding its load along the way. Perhaps if the slip road had a sand base, it might have been more effective?

The arrester lane is supposed to slow you down. Maybe it would if it was full of sand? Imagine being at the wheel!

Blow me down, around the next corner, is a truck half way up a bank and on it’s side.

Do tanker drivers have better skills?!

Visiting the dam.

Lake Kariba is one of the largest artificially created lakes, a reserve for generating electricity for both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Major work is underway to create cofferdam to strengthen the main dam. In 2014 it was considered at risk of collapse, due to scouring of the spillways. Construction of the dam was hugely controversial due to the relocation of thousands of people and animals from the formation of the lake.

Each of the two country’s have generators on their own side of the river and dam banks.

To drive on the dam we had to temporarily leave Zambia, hand our passports in and drive the 2 k’s in no-mans-land to the dam itself.

While walking along the dam we had a most enjoyable chat with two English couples who were visiting Zambia for the wedding of a daughter. Later, when returning to the office to uplift our passports, we got chatting to Richard & Pippa from Hermanus in South Africa. They are also driving a Land Rover Defender and had been on the road for 8 months. We would have loved to have joined them at their campsite on the banks of lake Kariba but decided we needed to push on to achieve our wish to return to Durban by the week of the 20th September.

Northern Rhodesia received it’s independence in 1964 and was renamed, Zambia. As in almost all African countries, there have been a succession of rulers who have gained or clung to power by fair means and foul. Zambia is no exception.

Zambia has rich deposits of copper, chromium, platinum and emeralds. Charcoal is a locally traded commodity.

Charcoal Couriers

Trouble with the Police!

Returning to reach Lusaka the traffic was horrific. Trucks causing massive congestion and ignoring the needs of other motorists by driving in both lanes at a crawling pace. I do not know if a truck driver complained, but a police patrol stopped us and accused me of passing on a white line. Who me?!!! Over the next approx 40min, four police women proceeded to scam me of €80. Gifts of €20 to each of them. They wanted to fine me 4500Kwacha (NZ$385). Jen looked up the fine for for such an offence and found that it was 450Kwacha. There is too much detail to recount here, but it was a very interesting 40minutes. They were all very sweet. When I asked them if they just wanted a bribe, they all laughed, but that is exactly what they wanted. Receiving their bribe they returned my licence. I had forgotten the golden rule, never hand over your licence!!

Finding a camp site.

So, due to the police delay we had to find a camp this south side of Lusaka and the Eureka Camp is perfect. After setting up camp an Italian family of Mum, Dad and 14year old son came and chatted with us. They have a HiLux camper they are touring in and were bemoaning the terrible suspension, being too soft and mushy in the rough stuff. Dad was recounting his childhood experiences with his family in a Series Land Rover 109.

Visits: 73


  1. Sounds like much of Africa are burning their way to a desert. Amazing the amount of drag generated by the roof rack. They should have put that extra piston in. Keep on keeping on bro.

  2. Hi Kelvin, indeed so looking forward to making a nice neat deflector and to see if that improves mpg. Will have to wait till back in Blighty.

    The purists would say, one too may pistons but happy with an odd number. Makes for a beautiful sound and feel..:)

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