Distance: 211km (Cumulative: 6 900km)
Moving time: 4:18
Average speed: 49km/h
Road surface: 50% Tar, 50% Potholes
Zinga Backpackers - R65 p.p
Cold showers, sporadic WiFi, but friendly and helpful staff
We decided it is time to leave and managed to pack up everything before 10:00. For breakfast we heated up the leftover spaghetti from Saturday and the Cordon Blue from Sunday.
We stopped in Katima Mulilo for fuel, for which we had to pay the full amount for the first time since Cape Town. We also went for shopping at Shoprite, again getting a shock on our system as we had to pay for everything by ourselves.
We forgot our swimming clothes and towels at Ngepi (and almost drove back for it today). Hugo, however, found new boardshorts at Mr Price, after searching in PEP and Ackermans, who just stocked winter clothes and Caro bought new towels in PEP.
Just as we realised we have no cash left the power went off and all the ATMs stopped working. After some debate we decided to go to the border with only R270.
After leaving the Namibian side some black market forex traders flagged us down. Despite telling ourselves and them that we first want to go to immigration to find out the costs, we somehow got sucked in and exchanged the R270 as well as $80 at very bad exchange rates. 1.5 Rand for 1 Kwacha and 8 Kwacha for 1 US Dollar.
At the Zambian Immigration we had to pay 200 Kwacha Carbon Tax, 750 Kwacha Third Party Insurance, 30 Kwacha Council Levy and 20 US Dollar Road Tax. We thus still didn’t have enough Kwachas, but the personal informed us that there is an ATM! There is also an official bank where the exchange rate is 9.5 Kwacha per US Dollar. The ATM only accepted VISA, so I had to use our Discovery Credit Card for which I applied only two weeks before leaving after reading that some places in Africa only accept VISA. Sometimes it does help to read a little about where you are going.
After all the formalities we asked Susan to take us to Livingstone. Everyone warned us about the bad road, but the road looked liked it was tarred overnight. We hoped they really did tar it, but after the first 40km our luck ran out and we came across the worst potholed road we have ever seen. The potholes were enourmous, the whole MonkeyMobile could fit in some of them. This lasted for 100km, before the road got better again. About40km before Livingstone a police officer at a checkpoint asked us how was the road. “Rough”, I replied. He just laughed and said: “It’s the African massage”.
Some of the ‘smaller’ potholes
In Livingstone we switched to OsmAnd offline maps to navigate to Zinga Backpackers where the Brudis were staying. They promised cheap accommodation and WiFi. We found the backpackers in
the ‘dodgy’ part of town as Caro would call it. We paid R65 p.p for camping and set up our roof top tent on the gravel patch between the buildings.
We joined forces again with the Brudis and made Spaghetti with chicken and a big salad that even had croutons. After dinner we played some card games with some of the other backpackers.