Back to Nkhotakota village we checked the Diesel situation just for fun and were badly surprised, that we could fill up for about 2 US$ per liter at a normal Total station, as Diesel had just arrived. Unfortunately our tank was still more than half full. After a 2 hour stop in a beautiful forest next to the only rubber tree plantation, I had ever seen, after a night in a forestry lodge in the Malawi highlands we needed to leave this country and headed west to Zambia through the border at Chipata.
Meanwhile we had a printed copy (via email and internet café) of the OUTsurance policy. This made crossing this border much easier. Everything else seemed to be the same like fees for visa for Europeans, carbon fees, etc. New was the demand for prove of our yellow fever prophylaxes, which we could deliver on the spot. I wanted to know, why Zambia would demand this and was astonished to learn, that this is a request from South Africa for people, coming back from Zambia. Other nationalities/tourists don’t need this. The internet describes this different, but this maybe the discrepancy between theory and reality. After 2 hours we are on the way to South Luwangwa National Park, one of the highlights of this trip.
The road to our lodge was described as an adventure on its own, which turned out to be right. 120 km gravel road under construction, deviated from mud paddle to mud paddle, pot holes big enough to park a normal car in, took us 4 hours. We arrived in the dark, no chance to go to the final hut we wanted, because of roaming elephants and hippos everywhere. So we took a hut close to the main camp and moved next morning within daylight. This is a place to come back to, filled with wild life, which is partly special like the Thornycroft giraffe, Puku antelope (similar to an Impala) and others. Elephants are plentiful, although genetically degenerated very small and mostly without tasks. We saw lots of butterflies, but nothing unknown in SA. No moth light due to security reasons and heavy rain showers. I guess, every one of us enjoyed the 3 days here.
Next destination Lusaka (capital of Zambia), but before a stop over 200 km north east of Lusaka close to the merger of Luwangwa and Zambezi. This camp was very basic and expensive, but the only place within 300 km unspoiled riverine and rain forests, an area to explore in the future. The owners (a Dutch guy with his English wife) told us immediately, they want to sell this place and go back to SA, as circumstances are difficult if you have the wrong skin color.
Arriving in Lusaka the day after the Zambian soccer team had won the Africa Cup against Ivory Coast, impossible to drive through, we decide to spend the day between 1 million dancing and singing people, all convinced, that this victory was not just deserved but clearly destiny. I don’t have the feeling to have the wrong skin color as the only white between hundreds of blacks in a totally overcrowded pub, watching the arrival of the national team on TV and drinking lots of Zambian beer.