The last resort in Zambia

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Where I stayed
Uncle Charly's Lodge

Flag of Zambia  ,
Thursday, July 26, 2012

A '26 hours in 3 buses trip' brought me to the sparkling town of Mpulungu where I arrived at 8 am. Found my place at Uncle Charlie’s Lodge, dropped my bag and took a cold bucket shower. This town is Zambia’s only international port on Lake Tanganyika; the world longest (670 km long) and second deepest (more than 1400 m deep) in the world. Hence I expected that there would be quite some people and business wandering around here. The opposite is true and there’s not much happening at all. Even when asking for the boat to Tanzania when it leaves and what the price is nobody knows. It really looks like the people here are only interested in their own things and don’t know anything apart from that. Also in the North of Zambia the official language (English) is hardly spoken and my Bemba is tested more than ever before.

I (thought I) had 1 day to check out the nearby 221 m high Kalambo Falls. My guidebook said it is possible to walk there from Mpulungu through various villages and crossing 2 rivers so that sounded adventurous enough to me that I started my journey. Through a walking path with some houses here and there I arrived in Kapata Village after an hour walk. Here I should cross the river by boat and when I arrived the whole village came closer to see the Mzungu with his orange Chipolopolo shirt. A guy called Melin spoke some English and assisted me until we saw that the river was too wild to cross by a small wooden canoe. Damn! A no go today, too bad. I stayed for some time in the village drinking the local beer called ‘Kachasu’ with the guys. Melin told me the last Mzungu who came here was about 2 years ago!

Practical stuff

-                  For accommodation I stayed at Uncle Charlie’s Lodge which I can recommend, a nice place close to the city council. Don’t expect too much luxury but it has a good bed and you can ask for hot water to bath.

-                  To go to the Kalambo falls you can go by foot but it is a long, hot and risky route. Risky because it is not sure if you can go all the way but that makes it even more adventurous. If you go take the following route: From Mpulungu to Kapata – take a boat over the river (5.000 kwacha) to Chitutu – then Tisanza – Chitiri – Nyamba village and eventually Chipa Zambia where the falls are. They told me it is a 4 hour trip on foot. If you manage please let me know!

Evaluation of Zambia

Zambia is the only country apart from my own country where I lived, 10 months to be exact. I have been to many places both for exploring purposes as for work. I also lived in various towns here, mostly in Lusaka but also Ndola, Kaoma and Zambezi for a while. Zambia is a friendly country and still quite ‘wild’ to explore. Apart from the national parks and Livingstone the touristic places are few. Which can even make it more interesting for the adventurer who wants to go where few people went before.

Zambia is a mix between East- and Southern Africa and has the big shops and supermarkets from South Africa but also the African chaos as you see in many East African countries.
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