Friday, August 23, 2013

To Zambia and Back--Transportation

From the 11th of July until the 14th of August we were away from home helping to sell Bibles in Zambia.  Over the next week or so, I am planning to put several posts on our blog to tell you more about our trip.  Today I'm focusing on transportation--where we went, how we got there, and how Zambians get around. 

Please pray for Pieter and Hester Marais and their team as they are still in Zambia.  They were planning to travel from Choma to Livingstone today.

The van and trailer that took us and our things to Zambia

We traveled from Lesotho to Johannesburg where we spent the night.  Early the next morning we picked up my (Glenn's) parents at O.R. Tambo airport.  From there we traveled north to Grobler's Bridge and crossed into Botswana.  We spent the second night at Camp Itumela (a campground) in Palapye.  The third day we made it to Kasane, Botswana where we stayed at Thebe River Lodge.  (The owners of this lodge have been so kind to provide us with lovely camping facilities including showers, etc. at a very reasonable price for a number of years.)

Crossing into Zambia is quite a challenge.  First you have to take the ferry across the Zambezi river.  Then there is immigration, buying visas, customs, exchanging money, temporarily importing the vehicle and trailer into Zamiba, paying a ridiculous fee for "carbon tax", council levy, short-term vehicle insurance, etc, etc.  The process takes a couple hours even on a good day!  In spite of starting early, it was late morning before we got on the road to Lusaka.
Crossing the Zambezi on a ferry

We slept just outside of Lusaka that night on a farm that has a side business of providing camping and little cottages for travelers (or is the farm the side the business???).  From Lusaka, we traveled the long road east through the mountains and down into the tropical lowlands where Chipata is.

We pretty much followed the same route back home except for a detour west to the town of Katima Molilu, Namibia.  You can scroll around the Google map below to follow our route to Chipata.

View Larger Map

Now you know how we got to Chipata.  So how do people get around in Zambia?

Walking is the most common way of getting around
Zambia.  It is always amazing to see the
massive loads the ladies can carry on their heads!
As you can see in the following pictures, bicycles
are a very important way of getting around,
especially in the Eastern Province.

Yes, that's a goat!

For loads that are too heavy for a bike, these
homemade wheelbarrows are just right.  
I have seen more than 500lbs of cement
on one of these.  Imagine trying to balance that!
We saw a few ox and donkey carts.  
Donkey carts are more common in Botswana.
When it comes to transportation, things don't
always go right.  The results of a mishap can
be disastrous as you can see from this
billboard advertising insurance.  Is this why
Zambia requires all foreign vehicles to buy
short-term insurance???
We saw some horrific truck accidents along the way!

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support!  May the Lord bless you!

No comments: