Bridge Camp

Trip Start Jun 04, 2006
Trip End Nov 04, 2007

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Flag of Zambia  ,
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

This campsite was quite a strange place. We were told as soon as we arrived that we should watch out for snakes, which there was none! And the bar is situated on the top of a hill overlooking Mozambique. It is very picturesque, but I wouldn't say it is anything spectacular. I guess South Luongwa has really done it for me! The sunerise at the site was quite nice and the pictures of the moon from the night before was also quite spectacular. I don't really have much to say about this site to be honest as we got there quite late and had dinner and stayed around fire for a bit talking to a family who were working in Zambia. I took some photos of the site and the moon and Mozambique, but apart from that, nothing really happened.

I though maybe I can take this opportunity and tell you a little bit about the currency in the countries we have been to so far, in case any of you guys wants to go! In Zambia the currency is called Kwacha, every 1 USD is about 3900 Kwacha, but this varies significantly from one day to next! In one day it went from 3900 to 4100! You should never buy money from the locals on the street. It is illegal. Many occassions, they promise you a low rate or a better conversion rate, and you agree to it, then they will not exchange all the money at that rate and if you complain, they simply tell you that they will report you! Just stay away from them, no matter how tempting the conversion rate seems like!

In Kenya it was 80 Shielings to 1 USD. Tanzania, it was 1210-1280 Tanzanian Shielings to 1 USD and in Malawi, it was 140 Malwai Kwacha to 1 USD. It has been tough working with different currencies and rates. Generally speaking, Kenya was the most expensive place. Food is not cheap in any of these places. It is quite expensive to buy cheese, yogurt, any dairy products, specially those that come from South Africa. Eating out can be costly, so be prepared to buy some bread and cheese. Drinks are also expensive, specially the cans. They can cost anything from 1-2 USD. But if you buy the bottles, it will cost you something like 70 cent, or maybe less than that. As long as you return the bottle back! That is worth doing. Anything that they are able to recycle it is cheeper.

If you are coming here as a tourist for a short time, then having dollars or pounds will always make everything seem cheeper, but if you are travelling as the locals do, then you need to think like them. Zambia is considered to be one of the poorest countries in Africa. You can clearly see that in the way the people are living and dressing. Kids are often on the sides of the streets, asking for food or money or to exchange anything you have for something that they have and you like.

Languages vary so much from one country to another. You can meet some people here in Zambia that speak about 8 languages from the different tribes. English is commonly spoken here in Zambia. Similar to Malawi, they learn English at school.
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