|Another early start – this time to reach the border early. Crossing the Zambezi into Zambia.
Anna has told us that the crossing can take between two and five hours – after going through the Botswana immigration we make our way to the ferry and surprise, surprise we go straight on. What good timing.
Anna takes our passports and does the Zambian immigration for us while we keep an eye on the truck – for thieves that is.
This is one crazy border. The ferries are antique and there is no such thing as OH&S. Even the front ramps are under water as we travel across. The ferries are powered by a couple of old six cylinder turbo diesels one each side at midships with a 360 degree propeller. Botswana side has a concrete hard standing for the ramp and the Zambia side is just dirt and when the ramp didn’t quite fit a couple of men with square mouth shovel filled in the gap with dirt – and the ferry had another go. Delightful chaos.
There are huge lines of trucks waiting for clearance. This can take up to two weeks on both sides of the border so there is a small community of drivers along with other hangers on. Only the fresh and frozen food carriers have priority.
Finally Dumile returns. He has had to deal with a number of different counters. Immigration, Customs, paying for the trip across and the police checkpoint.
It takes only a couple of hours to get to Livingstone that is the Zambian town closest to the Victoria Falls.
This is a lovely spot and we upgrade to a chalet – great choice. This is the end of the first part of our tour. Only Dean (the player) is going on with us. The others are dispersing far and wide. Some going home and others onto other countries. Canada is going to volunteer at a Cheetah Home. Hope for her sake they don’t have spiders in the showers.
We say goodbye to Dumile who has to make a quick trip into Zimbabwe to renew his passport.
We have two full days to relax and recharge before we join our other group and head off immediately into Zambia.
This would have to be one of our better groups (although we have never had a bad one). Everyone gets on and all have a great sense of humour – much carrying on as you can imagine. Many bottles of beer drunk despite heading to bed most nights around 8.30. Rarely had a morning later than 6am.
As mentioned before, the days have been long with 8 or more hours driving – bouncing around in the truck.
We will miss our crew – they have been simply superb.
We sit in the outdoor restaurant area and kick back. As you will have noticed we now have internet access so have been able to catch up with the journal.
We have our last meal cooked by Sofie – I tell her often that I am going to smuggle her back to Tassie – she just giggles and gives me a hug. Dumile once said he wanted to take David on his next trip – I said fine – but Sofie comes with me!
Our group gave David the nickname of ‘Old man river’ when the tour began and he now mostly answers to ‘Riv’. I am called Mama River. Makes a change from Ali Baba.
We sit around the fire before eventually dispersing to our various accommodation.