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Sambia

Our book in German to this tour.
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Safari in Luangwepark. An unintentional thrilling shortcut with an invasion of Tse Tse flies. Thundering Smoke on the tracks of Livingston.
 

our route through Sambia / Our Tour on Google Earth make a clicke here ...

 

 
We arrive in Sambia on the same day and make it to Luagwe National Park.  It is 10,000km2 large.  Here we can see the Big Five.  It is impossible to count what we saw – easier to recount what we didn’t see. Large cats were only seen at night and there were as good as no rhinos. 

 

 

The park offers a many-tiered world of animals that we have only seen in the Chobe National Park.  We spend two wonderful days here and at night we enjoy the sounds of the grunting hippos.  The Sambias are exceptionally friendly people who always wear a smile.  They live in round bamboo huts and keep small fields with corn and cotton as well as vegetables for their own consumption.  The men for the most part wear western attire and most of the women do too.  However, many wear the colorful Kangas around their body and most all women have a child on their backs.  Children here in Sambia are as curious as anywhere else and they are always ready for a candy.  To school they wear uniforms just as per English example.  There are hardly any cars in the country and therefor good roads are scarce.
The bike is used for transportation of just about everything. Sambia has a size of 752,614km2 and a population of 8,300,000.  Since the stretch we took from Chipata was very bad we decide to take a shortcut the rest of the way.  It couldn’t get much worse – so we thought.  The route from Mfuwe by the Park to Petauke becomes a real nightmare.  After about 20km the road becomes a footpath and with great effort we must make a passageway through the bamboo thicket and Mapanen bushes. To make matters worse the tsetse flies begin an onslaught.  It is extremely warm here and we close the windows and turn on the air.  But it is exactly there that the eager bloodsuckers find their way in.  As we step out of the car to assess a water passage a countless number of flies come swarming in.  The stings hurt and itch for several days. As big as bluebottle flies they have no fear of making their way into your ears and nose. You don’t see them, hear them or feel them until they sting. We just are not getting anywhere.  After 80 km of footpath the situation becomes better and since it is already dark we decide to make camp right there, just 60km shy of Petauke in the middle of the bush.  A little nervous about how our new day will progress we take off and no sooner do we pass over a summit and turn a bend there lies a road. We easily make it to Petauke and travel on to Lusaka.  Before Lusaka we undergo a tsetse fly control.  We manage to repress our grins as a controller walks around the
 

car carrying a butterfly net and inspects every window. Everything is ok, no flies, we are allowed to drive on.  In the capital there is everything that one can imagine after three months in Africa – a shopping oasis.  By sundown we reach the 1,300m high Lusaka.  The capital was founded in 1905 and the rapid development stands in sharp contrast to the majority of the rest of the country.  This phenomenon was apparent in most all of the countries we had seen.  The capital grows and continues to develop while the rest of the country stands still. The banks also have their highest buildings here and line themselves up like the pearls on a necklace along the Cairoroad. Lusaka has the reputation of being a green garden city.  Many trees line the streets, but during the winter there is no foliage.  It is also appropriately cold and there is nothing like a good sleeping bag.  In a motel we are amazed at the price increase since last year.  We pay three times as much as is stated in our guidebook.  The water isn’t warm and the toilet paper – beware. A few hours later we arrive in Livingstonia and visit the Victoriafalls. The Zambesi

River has floodwaters and high spray envelops us. 550,000m3 of water plunges into the depths per minute. Needless to say we are soaked by the time our walk is over. We spend the night above the Zmbesi gorge and listen to the thundering of the water.  The campfire begins to dwindle and we retreat into our tent and listen to the sounds of the night.  We hear the tall grass rustling everywhere and the wind gently moves the trees.  A few birds are still chirping and in the distance we hear the rushing of the falls.  A shrill whistle cuts into the night and as a train drives by.  Then it gets quieter and quieter.  Bit by bit the birds become silent. A million stars are over our heads and the wind begins to turn.  The thundering smoke sounds very close and it sounds as if something is coming towards us at great speed, but nothing comes.  The steady roar of the water mass works well in dreams, dreams that conjure up episodes of a trip trough Africa.  A colorful panorama unfolds, The first mosques, the songs of the Muslims, Fatamorgana, the oases, camels and veiled women, secretive pyramids, orthodox mosques at Easter, snow in Africa, wild animals and Baobab forests. A magically large lake whose water mixes with that of these falls and finds its way to the Indian Ocean.  Back to the ocean where everything began and starts again from the beginning.  Tomorrow morning the Kanzungula Ferry will bring us over the Zambesi to Botswana.
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