The border crossing in Chirundu went as expected. Zambia is by far the most bureaucratic country we have visited so far. Some procedures seem pointless to us. At larger border posts, such as the one in Chirundu, the stations are positioned in such a way that people who do without the agents quickly lose an hour or two of time. They do not see through the non-existent structure of the procedures and have to go through some stations several times until they have gathered all the required papers and/or stamps. Contrary to all prophecies of doom and Zambian marketing, the cost of entry into Zambia for us is the highest in southern Africa.
Our first stop was Breezers Riverlodge. This has been run by Denise and her husband for two years. We knew Denise from the Warthogs Safari Camp. She was there just at the time we were sitting in/around the pool when the elephants were drinking. What a terrific coincidence! We spent the afternoon doing a little boat tour and Guido helped them with photos and drone footage for their marketing. The goal was to photograph the lodge when elephants were on the small island offshore. We had a lot of fun and woke up in the night because, on the one hand, a big elephant bull was devoting himself to the tree right next to the camper and, on the other hand, the hippo living in the river in front of the lodge was enjoying the grass. This was a great start and we can recommend the Breezers without reservation! We had many expectations of Zambia and only good memories of this very poor country. The next morning we left them and drove to Lusaka where we had to give the Donkey a new service.
Via Lusaka to Shigu Farm
The drive was more than adventurous. All the huge trucks, some loaded with oversized mining vehicles, struggled up the mountains at 10 km/h or less(!). Some suffered engine damage and blocked the lane, others lost cargo and caused a complete collapse. The predicted two hours of driving turned into almost five in the end when we arrived at Lukasa, a B&B with campsite owned by a Dutch couple. We stayed two nights, did the service at Toyota and saw to it that we quickly left this unfriendly, extremely dirty and chaotic town behind us. In Zambia different rules apply, because the roads are by far the worst in southern Africa and the traffic is extremely characterized by columns of oversized trucks. In addition, there are roadblocks with check points by the police and so mostly no more than 65 to a maximum of 70 km of distance per hour are possible. Since we had no time pressure, we stayed overnight at Fringilla Farm before we booked ourselves into Shigu Farm and spent three nights there.
Fish Eagle, Kingfisher and a great dam
The owners of Shigu Farm have built a wonderful site 3 km from their farm, on their dam. Originally built as a cozy braai place for themselves, they now allow campers to stay there as well. There is a toilet with shower and a covered lapa, right next to the dam. The lake is home to Fisheagle and several Pied Kingfisher, as well as a Giant Kingfisher, among others. These use several trees directly in front of the camp as a hunting seat and Guido had his bright joy to watch them and shoot the one or other photo. At this place we could stay and relax for a week without any problems. However, after three nights we had to leave, because we had the first booking for the day in the Kasanka National Park. We were very curious how the two days and nights with the flying foxes would go.