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We entered Zambia on 12th June and drove to Flatdogs campsite on the edge of the South Luangwa National Park. The road from Chipata to the campsite was only 130km long but took us about three hours, corrugated, bumpy and pot-holed. Flatdogs was very pleasant and we went on a night drive into the national park in one of their vehicles. We saw two leopards, one before sunset and one afterwards, a white tailed mongoose and a very contented looking genet. The porcupine was a bit more startled to be spotted.
We spent a couple of nights at Flatdogs and Chris fitted the rest of the winch bits to Nelly. That saved having to find somewhere to store them. We decided to take the other road out from the park and spent most of the day driving to Petauke, the track was only just Nelly width and height in places, and we had to cross a few dry rivers but nothing too tricky. After Petauke we headed to Lusaka. The road was reasonably good from Petauke and included a few Police checkpoints and a bizarre Tsetse fly control point. A man with a small white net stopped us and came in the cab, patted the curtains with the net, walked around the outside of Nelly and then waved us through the gate, very strange.
Our trip to Lusaka included some entertaining bridges, but it was better to have them than nothing at all.

     

Photo 2268
New Mudflap and Bracket

 
Photo 2151 Bendy Bridge
 

In Lusaka we stayed at Pioneer campsite, had the place to ourselves, well almost, and then went to the shopping centre the next day. The shopping centre could almost have been in any city except for the prices in the supermarket for packaged goods. They were very expensive, fresh meat and vegetables were reasonably priced but we decided to go without everything else. From Lusaka we moved northwards to Chingola to meet some of Chris’s relatives. We spent just over a week with them and had a lovely time. Nelly had attention lavished on her, new mudflap brackets and the mudflaps we’d bought in Dar Es Salaam with Landrover on them were attached. The spare wheel holder was remodelled. The bump stops were reshaped and a new one fitted, not quite sure where we lost it but it was a while ago.

 

We spent a few evenings down at their dam watching the animals eating and the sun setting.

 

 
Photo 2174
Photo 2260
 

Doreen took us to see the chimpanzee orphanage near by where we met Billy the hippo and saw all the chimps being fed. They get all the left over fruit and vegetables from the local Shoprite. We visited their new farm and had a very pleasant paddle on the Kafue River, we spied a pair of otters frolicking in the water. Our last day in Chingola, we decided to go and see Mark and Claire fishing and took a short cut. This turned into a very long cut as we got stuck in the marsh.

 

Northern Zambia seemed to have a plethora of Police checkpoints and they seemed to take delight in seeing our foreign number plates and asked us for things. They didn’t get anything from us but they kept asking. On the ‘tourist trail’ they seem to have been told not to hassle foreigners and we were generally just waved through.
Photo 2272 Nelly in the Marsh
 
Back in southern Zambia we went to see one of the 7 great natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls. There was a huge amount of water falling over the edge and we only saw the Zambian side. It was completely amazing to see and it is easy to see where it gets the name “the smoke that thunders”. When we drove towards the falls it looked like something was on fire but it was just the spray from the falls. From the car park you can hear the roar of the water. We went for a walk around and got completely soaked. The water was raining down, up and all around us on the ‘knife edge bridge’. We couldn’t see where the water hit the bottom of the falls as so much was coming straight back up again. We walked past the baboons to the boiling pot and watched the water upstream as it swirled around. We saw a couple of people bungee jumping off the bridge but weren’t tempted to join them.
   

  Photo 2311
   
We spent a few days in Livingstone and looked for a new tyre. On the way from Lusaka, on nice tarmac, we got a puncture and by the time we realised there was smoke coming from the tyre. At the campsite the next day we looked inside, the tube had two big holes in and there were handfuls of black dust. The tyre was destroyed on the inside. We found a truck in town with the same size tyres, an ex-French army truck owned by Andy at Zigzag café. He had some nearly bald old tyres that we swapped our destroyed one for. This one would do for a real emergency. We now have two cross-plys on the back and two radials on the front with one of each on rims as a spare, and one of each without rims on the roof. Hopefully we’ll not have any more blow outs, touch wood.
 

 

 
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