A Critique of a Zambian Safari to the Victoria Falls

March is at the peak of the rainy time in Zambia. It is also the inexperienced season once again – water and green all over the place. This morning is specific and we are all set to go!

We are living in Chingola on the Zambian Copperbelt. It is about 400 kilometers north of Lusaka, the funds of Zambia. My spouse, Molly and I had determined that I get a several times off from work. I function as a geologist for one of the mining organizations. So you guessed correct, rocks and minerals are my business! But so is the Victoria Falls. Did I point out that it was our place for that day’s ‘trip’?

Livingstone is house to the awe-inspiring, mystic…Victoria Falls. It is around 500 kilometers south of Lusaka. Now you know why we experienced to brace ourselves for this ‘small excursion,’ a vacation covering some 1000 kilometers – a wonderful driving exam for a day! The glimpse of the morning indicates fantastic weather conditions, but as normal afternoon rains ended up anticipated. You learn to forecast this kind of with age, you know : – )!

It is 6:00hrs in the morning and we are packed completely ready to go. The little ones, there are four awesome fellas we wouldn’t like to be with out, are hovering all over. The youngest Martha says, “See the falls for us too and appear back property safely.” They experienced to continue to be due to the fact they were likely to faculty afterwards that morning.

I threw the keep all bag in the boot of our spouse and children auto. It really is a Toyota Chaser, a saloon motor vehicle nonetheless good on its wheels. It nevertheless drives effortlessly on asphalt roadways and that was our sort of street all the way from Chingola to Livingstone. Virtually reducing Zambia in half. See the butterfly-formed map of our magic state Zambia.

Kitwe Zambia’s Second Metropolis

We were being on our way…and thieving from a Chinese stating “a journey of thousand miles starts off with one stage”. Just about 30 minutes later we arrived in Kitwe. This is the very first town outdoors Chingola. It is the hub of the mining activities in Zambia and the town is centrally located on the Copperbelt. Its ‘wealth’ comes from the four encompassing mining towns of Chililabombwe, Chingola, Mufulira and Luanshya.

Kitwe has a smaller central organization district surrounded by household regions. There are a few tall properties inside the business enterprise district. But organization is developing and is now encroaching onto the nearby suburbs. Extravagant offices are coming in the suburbs. You know, they pull down residences to substitute them with office environment blocks.

Kitwe is a small cosmopolitan town, form of hectic, people today crisscrossing, buying and some with all kinds of wares for sale. Hawker traders are just about everywhere. It can be like everyone is offering some matter and everyone is getting …extraordinary! The central business district is modest, just a pair of blocks or so and we had been on the other side of the city center.

Ndola, the Friendly Metropolis

We still left the town behind as we drove on. A different thirty minutes later on we arrived at Ndola, the cash of the Copperbelt Province. Dubbed the friendly town of the Copperbelt. Ndola was constructed as a professional and distribution middle. You can still see the impressions of its former glory when instances have been good. It has endured the fate of the former regime’s economic experiments! The manufacturing corporations both shut down or migrated elsewhere. A most hurried privatization took its toll listed here!

The central business district of Ndola is significantly greater and far more spacious. The roads are wide and clean up. The outlets are numerous and you see a great deal of people and vehicles everywhere you go. Loads of tall buildings as well! In the previous days the beauty was entire. There was a lake on the river that bordered the town middle in the south. It divided the city from the southern suburb of Itawa. The Global airport of the Copperbelt is outside of Itawa. Planes land in this article straight from Jo’burg (South Africa), Lubumbashi (D R Congo) and East Africa. It was designed prior to the Worldwide Airport in Lusaka.

The little lake in Ndola has a historical past. It used to be significant and serene. Quite a elegance really. Now only a boating club still exists but the water spots, which applied to be the usual weekend action, are absent. Now you see folks in a dugout canoe fishing illegally.

What introduced about this unhappy story? “A single bright” fellow introduced from abroad a drinking water lily, a drinking water hyacinth we known as Kariba grass. It attacked the lake and just about chocked it into extinction.

So there is no boating, no water places, nothing! Just a modest dam in the center of what was the lake. The municipality is fast paced combating the wed, boasting again the lake. The lake is bit by bit coming back rising. It seems fantastic times are coming in advance, I hope?


We are back again on the highway and over an hour later we produced it to Kapiri-Mposhi. This is the only city in Zambia with a hyphenated name. Kapiri as it is normally called is a smaller town but on a rail and crossroad. It should increase to meet up with the troubles of crossroad settlements. It is below in which the Chinese great railway to Dar-es-Salaam commences.

The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway connects Zambia to the east coastline of Africa in Tanzania. Using Chinese engineering the hills had been slice and the valleys have been buried throughout development of the railway line. Over a thousand these kinds of engineering suits are observed on its 3,000 additionally kilometre duration to East Africa.

Kapiri is a gateway to East Africa. If you sense adventurous you can drive to the northeastern of Zambia. Then cross Tanzania to Dar-es-Salaam on the east coat of Africa. I have carried out this excursion at the time and driving just above a thousand kilometers to the border was my regular pastime in my before everyday living. But that is one more tale!

We did not stop at Kapiri but drove by the compact but growing procuring center.

Kabwe, the To start with Mining Town

Forty minutes or so afterwards, hi there Kabwe. I imagine the Bemba speaking individuals will not object if I say the name indicates ‘small rock’. Kabwe has a terrific background. It was after called Broken Hill. Of course you can guess it, the popular Broken Hill Guy, a skull of our current ancestors (homo rhodensiensis) – we as human beings are homo sepiens. This cranium is now resident in a United kingdom museum. The Broken Hill Person cranium was found at the start out of mining operations.

Kabwe is the very first mining city in Zambia. There is a billboard saying just that at the entrance of the town. The mining functions ceased in 1994 but Kabwe did not come to be a ghost town.

Assistance came from the actuality that it lies on the Wonderful North Road that joins Lusaka, Zambia’s funds town and the Copperbelt in the north. Farming has taken root right here. The central business district continues to be a hive of action. It is really somewhat a sprawling town middle, roomy and tons of room. The most significant textile producing firm in Zambia is identified in Kabwe. It is an case in point of Chino-Zambia authorities partnership.

Lusaka, the Funds City

We have been again on the road and after 1 and a 50 % several hours of driving brought us into Lusaka. Hi Capital …and the targeted traffic is just dissipating just after the early morning hurry hour. Its 10:00hrs two several hours soon after the manufacturing facility and office staff experienced managed to sneak into their operate areas! (I would not want them to hear me say that).

Lusaka was the moment described the speediest expanding metropolis in Sub-Sahara Africa. In 1964, at independence from Great Britain, Zambia was born with a ‘silver spoon in its mouth’, or need to I say a copper spoon? With the pleasure in the air and pride boosting the egos Zambians ended up a joyful ton. The neighbouring countries to the south ended up all nevertheless under colonial rule. The economic climate was booming buildings were heading up everywhere you go. The government was constructing faculties in point a college in each individual district and a hospital also! Schooling was free of charge. The instances ended up great. Voila! Wake up Zambia!

The state has fallen on poor luck. Weak insurance policies, superior oil costs, and so on did get paid out to that. Now it really is a battle for Zambians BUT there are signals that better times are nonetheless to appear.

However Cairo street is however a terrific significant road. Attractive skyscrapers deal with the horizons. Outlets are in just about every creating. And the folks… they’re all over the place. Lusaka’s population is two million individuals and that’s 20 percent of Zambia’s populace… all in one city. Like every fantastic cosmopolitan town in Africa you will uncover something you want. The avenue venders are everywhere marketing all varieties of goodies and good kinds too!

When you appear at the cars on the primary streets of Lusaka no a single would blame you if you momentarily believed you were being in Japan. Japanese cars are everywhere you go. And most are brandy new as well! Cars and trucks from South Africa, the British isles, Germany, and France are all discovered listed here. New properties are popping up in all places and in sundry areas as if area is in limited offer. Is this country inadequate, you could talk to.

Sorry I digressed… We decided to surprise Molly’s cousin at her residence. Nicely, possibly I ought to say we have been additional intrigued on the handmade breakfast? Recall we started off off devoid of it that early morning. After some greetings and enquiries about her youngsters who were then at faculty and her husband who was chaotic at work, they were at just about every other! Chatting and hooting fortunately like schoolgirls – who ever stated schoolgirls do that, I marvel?

All of a sudden it was lunchtime and a fast mild lunch was served. But we made the decision to go away ahead of the loved ones was back again. We didn’t want a even further hold off that would end result if the loved ones arrived whilst we have been even now at their house. Bear in mind the Victoria Falls was nevertheless more than the length we experienced currently coated from Chingola.

Oh, before I forget. Hunting back again we most likely drove via rains twice or 3 occasions. You cease to depend rainfalls when it truly is a each day incidence. I never ever seem to be to stop savoring this although! Windows closed, a touch of heat from the car AC, my favorite songs on – this time it was an African conquer by Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe. The sound of the raindrops and the swishing audio of tires on the moist asphalt highway, occasional automobiles and vans going the other way! Just envision that sensation, the sense of protection in opposition to the aspects of the temperature – rain and wind as you travel earlier. Regrettably driving in the rain provides Molly some discomfort. Poor her! She couldn’t get pleasure from that great pleasurable sensation!


Kafue is like a dormitory city being a mere 35 kms south of Lusaka. That was our up coming town but it took about 30 minutes – what with the weighty visitors and a couple turns on the hilly street. The turns are good for those with a dare devil mind-set. Think about, you’re driving down the hillside and then up the slope… and instantly a speeding truck shoots out of a bend! But I type of take pleasure in that. The enjoyment of hazard, you know!

Kafue is a stone throw absent from the banks of Kafue River from which the town derived its name. The Kafue River comes out of the Kafue Flats as it meanders on its way down stream. The Kafue Flats are house to Lochinvar Countrywide Park, a chicken sanctuary situated up stream of the river within the flats. Much more than 741 bird species have been recorded in Lochinvar and the counting carries on! Birders, this is your paradise.

Outside the house Kafue we cross the bridge in excess of the river. There is a new bridge now. The previous bridge was a “transplant” from the United kingdom, a current from the British Abroad Office environment. Its keep lasted practically a century on this internet site. After its usefulness was absent the bridge was changed with a model new a person – a Japanese technologies! And which is what we drove on.

Mazabuka, the “Sweetest City”

Hello there Mazabuka! The city is nicknamed the “sweetest city” in Zambia due to the sugar cane and the sugar manufacturing facility. Zambia Sugar Plc owned by the Ilovu Sugar Team has a sugar cane plantation. It can be positioned a handful of kms outside the city on the Kafue Flats.

In it is really meandering the Kafue receives really shut to Mazabuka.

Zambia Sugar generates extra sugar than the country’s regional demand. The surplus ends up filling section of the African quarter on the market of the European Union. Prospects are excellent in Zambia. Just just lately one more sugar firm has sprung up on the other facet of the Kafue, outside Lusaka.

Mazabuka is now experiencing a large amount of functions. The city is expanding steadily, most likely, the ‘sweetness’ is attracting all and sundry. But then Mazabuka is proper on the Good North Street in the farming block of Southern Province, after referred to as the maize belt. Massive quantities of maize grain utilized to be developed all around here in the 1960’s and 70’s. Not any much more, at minimum not as considerably!

We are on our way again. This time we ended up heading for Monze, a tiny city on the highway. We drove earlier it with out halting besides to sluggish down a minimal to keep away from the wrath of the website traffic police. They “pitched a tent”, I necessarily mean, place up a road block to verify for car highway physical fitness, driving licences and street tax. So we had to fake that we ended up driving underneath the utmost speed restrict by way of a built up area.

I will not know about you, but it seems to me that the traffic police are the same almost everywhere. They are going to delay you unnecessarily. When they halt you just observe them walking towards you little by little and majestically, like they own the planet. You get stuffed with chagrin as you see the minutes tick by. What a torture they’re!

Back on the street and a different buying and selling middle, a really compact city flicks by. We don’t trouble to cease since our goal the Victoria Falls is nonetheless way as well significantly in advance.


It is now Choma town. After again suitable on the highway. The targeted visitors is mild at this time of the working day. So driving is a pleasure. We stopped for some refreshment. Nothing beats a minimal stretching soon after seating in the vehicle for so long like we experienced endured. Choma is one more city I love so considerably. This like emanates from individuals aged college days as a scholar on a industry excursion – you know, understanding rocks and all, geology again!

For the duration of my college student times and on two occasions we ventured into the Zambezi Rift Valley, south of right here, to have a appear at a coal deposit and how it was remaining mined. You know, coal fashioned under rigorous warmth owing to a substantial covering layer of rock deposited lots of thousands and thousands years ago. Coal is a cousin of black gold, ‘oil’, but sad to say it would not pull in as a lot income. What a pity!

So I digressed yet again… Choma is a neat town with its main buildings and retailers all on the throughway. We took some drinks and a minor rest at a well-liked stop for buses and motorist. And we experienced to depart. This was only just about 50 percent way to Livingstone from Lusaka.

As we leave city it’s raining yet again and I m delighted to notice this. Molly is a ‘touch’ much too sad. “This terrible rain is again all over again”, I can virtually read her mind and audibly she remarked, “Will not it at any time cease raining?” Bad me I answered to spite her. ” You know, we need to have the rains, at minimum the farmers do”. I deliberately avoided on the lookout at her but I could experience the temper. I understood what she thought. I was incorrigible just as the persistent rain alone.

Kalomo is one more of these trading centers on the highway. A whole lot of farming pursuits in the surrounding region and outlets to “siphon” the difficult earned hard cash from the farmers. It really is a two-way matter definitely. Farmers are happy to invest in products immediately after selling their crops. Once more no stopping. We were being now form of tied. Only looking ahead to a fantastic night’s rest in Livingstone. Quickly we ended up earlier this modest city.

Right here is a splendor. There is a city, uncomfortably small even though, named just after me, sure me! Effectively, it’s only a coincidence. The city is termed “Zimba” specifically spelled like my identify is. So you see, how proud I experience about it. I essentially fake the city is named right after “great” me. What a want! Regrettably our desperation was now heightened and we truly wished we could just be up and we’re in Livingstone. But regrettably we were being only driving earlier my ‘beautiful very little town.’

We have been now on our final leg. We ended up driving once more, the Toyota Chaser taking in up the road with relieve, heading to our spot …Livingstone…and the Mighty Victoria Falls!

You should not forget that! 76 kilometres later on and as the French say “Voila” we experienced arrived in Livingstone and securely also…