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Old 05-31-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
metaljockey OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Oddometer: 279
Siyavonga to Ihmman's Camp

The next morning we do breakfast and leave to refuel and have a look at the Kariba dam wall. Filled to capacity.

All nine sluice gates are open.

From Siyavonga we intend to pass through Chirundu in order to get to the lower Zambezi. We opt not to take the tar road but to rather take a shortcut and stick close to the river.

Good choice, nice riding and very entertaining as there are a variety of footpaths criss-crossing the area.

Crossing rivers here are different to what I am used to because of the sandy bottoms. I am used to rocky bottoms and where one normally want to cross at a fast walking pace, pushing a nice bow wave, here you have to carry as much speed as possible to prevent bogging.

I am hoping for my first day with dry feet since the trip began, but Hennie, with shorty boots, are in for another wet one.

That there is the Chirundu border post bridge, one of only three bridges to span the Zambezi in it’s 2700km length.

At Chirundu we stop to buy petrol out of drums again. On the Zambian side of the border there are no fuel stations, because fuel in Zambia is so much more expensive than it’s neighbouring countries.

Again here in front of the bar I have to strip the headlight out to tighten the bars. As I pull away the bike cuts out, no electrics, dash, everything. It doesn’t take long to find a fuse had blown because of some exposed wiring making a dead short behind the headlight.

We are on our way to the lower Zambezi and the Lower Zambezi National Park. The ferry over the Kafue river.

And here we learn that the ferry is free, except if you drive a foreign registered vehicle. Then it’s US$5. And no, you cannot pay in Kwatsha.

My concept of the Lower Zambezi Valley is that it is an unspoilt wilderness area with a dense game population living by the river. It turns out it is Dollar Valley. From the ferry onward everything is charged in US currency.

The river has a large variety of high end lodges, and all of them are in the range of $400 to $1200 per person per night. The ferry is the only way in and out.

We pull into what should be the most budget lodge and enquire as to camping. They want $19 per person, the going rate in the rest of the country is $5 - $7.50. So regardless of the excellent view we head out again.

We look for, and finally, after dark, find a camp that we had heard about from a connection that we stopped at earlier the day to say hi. It is a private camp on the river and the owners are not there but the keeper lets us bed down for the night.

metaljockey screwed with this post 06-02-2010 at 01:56 PM
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