At 6 pm the roads are getting emptier, we leave Lusaka for a lodge at Kariba village at (what a miracle) Lake Kariba, which is one of the big power generators (like Lake Cahora Bassa) on the Zambezi, but also border post to Zimbabwe. Accommodation is clean, food OK, we talk to a team of SA engineers, who are hired to repair the generators at the dam, which have been delivered by the Chinese for much less than the SA offer, but don’t work anymore. I’m proud to hear, that many parts are redone now with German technology for twice the price. But Zambia is fed up with the Chinese and has learned its lesson. Other countries should follow ! We also learned about company budgets of more than 1000 US$ per person for paying fines and bribes, if you work as South African in Zambia. And we got a list of things, police might ask for and what the appropriate bribing would be, eg. missing fire extinguisher 20-50 US$, missing car police clearing up to twice the actual car value, etc. We listened, but didn’t get worried, knowing from experience, that there is usually a cheaper solution.
Crossing the border means driving over the dam wall (very impressive) to the other side (Zimbabwe). And here we are on the Zim side, no queues, we have the only car, which wants to enter Zimbabwe. Passports, visa, carbon fees, the usual stuff. 3rd party insurance has to be escalated, Claudia is on a roll. After letting us wait for 30 minutes, Claudia not willing to buy a local insurance, we ask them to call their head office in Harare. We get confirmation, we don’t have to buy new insurance, OUTsurance is known and accepted in Zim. But now, as predicted, the request for a police clearing of the car. First of all, we don’t know, what that is, secondly nobody was asking for this, when we entered Zim from SA, thirdly it’s no item on the list of legal requirements (as far we know). But we understand the concept. The longer it takes, the easier you are willing to pay for whatsoever. But we are different and not in a hurry. I take out my butterfly net and catch, whatever I can get and find a new species, wow ! Claudia spends another hour with this unfriendly police lady discussing the police clearance issue. Claudia wants to see a paper describing the purpose, procedure and legal demand of this document. But this doesn’t exist. The next explanation, that Beitbridge in the South has computers, they don’t, makes Claudia laugh. We have time and are not willing to pay ! After 2.5 hours the police lady gives up and we can go, wonderful. But there he comes, the head of this border post, a tall serious looking guy, directly towards me. I’m already seeing me in jail for the night, but surprise, surprise, this man wants to give me a dead African Monarch (common butterfly) as a present, which I gratefully accept. Happily back in Zimbabwe.