Distance: 208km (Cumulative: 9 290km)
Moving time: 3:00
Average speed: 69km/h
Road surface: 100% Tar
Nkupi Lodge - R80 p.p
Centrally located, cold showers, helpful staff
We had quite the packing up to do as everything was just thrown on the back seat and in the back. We settled our bill and finally started heading north again, but first another stop at the Shoprite.
While Caro started shopping Hugo refueled the MonkeyMobile at the Puma station. We wonder where people who complained about water in the fuel refueled, because we can’t imagine it happening at any of the towns we refilled (with all the local vehicles also refueling there).
We wanted to buy Amarula, but then had to wait 10 minutes, as you’re not allowed to buy alcohol before 10 in the morning. We just put all the groceries on the back seat and set off for Mpulungu. On the outskirts of town we passed a white guy standing on the roof of a Land Rover and Caro jokingly wondered if he was lost and trying to find his way. A few kilometers out of Kasama away from all the people we stopped to put some items in the fridge.
The road to Mpulungu is tarred all the way in in rather good condition with only a few potholes that was being filled. We this made it to Mpulungu in 3 hours. CKZ
T4A shows no camp sites in Mpulungu, but iOverlander shows two. We decided to head to Nkupi Lodge which is in town. Caro was a bit disappointed so we just stopped under one of their trees for lunch while searching for other options. Lonely Planet suggested that the best contact for information on Mpulungu accommodation was Claire Powell from Thorn Tree Lodge in Kasama. The very place we came from this morning. We sms’ed her and she recommended Nkupi Lodge where we were standing. We remembered that we have the number of Luke’s Beach, which a friend gave us 3 months ago. I called Luke and when I told him my name is Hugo he asked: “Hugo with the Hilux, you drove passed me this morning.”
Turns out not only is Luke the guy who stood on the roof of the Land Rover, but also the son of the Thorn Tree Powells who we met last night.
Somehow no-one mentioned that he owns Luke’s Beach. But then again we didn’t tell him we’re going to Mpulungu. He told us to go to the Fishing Market to check if Eric’s Boat is still there to take us to the beach. Unfortunately it already left and will only go again on Friday.
We thus decided to stay at Nkupi Lodge for the night under a strange looking tree.
For dinner we braaied Thick Boerewors of the same brand as the thin wors from last time, but it was nothing alike and we could barely finish it. Luckily Caro made potatoes and vegetables as well so we were still full.
It started raining just after dinner so we moved in under the tents’ overhang and enjoyed some Amarula while watching YouTube videos with the fast 4G cell phone reception of Mpulungu.
We went to bed at 22:00.
Day 61 Nkupi Lodge
The sun baked us out of the tent by 08:00. For breakfast we had French Toast which Caro makes with sliced soft-rolls as it absorbs more egg. The end result is small fluffy pieces of toast that tastes like heaven when eaten with a generous helping of Maple Syrup.
We decided to wait for the water taxi on Friday to take us to Luke’s Beach and thus stay another night at Nkupi. Caro worked on her UNISA assignments for most of the day while Hugo did research on visiting the mountain Gorilla’s of Uganda. They have an off-season discount in April and May, but our initial plan was to only visit Uganda in June after Kenya, and the Gorillas weren’t part of the plan.
In the afternoon a group of Americans with too many children to count arrived. They took the place over and for the next few hours it was just screaming children everywhere. We feared they might also go to Luke’s Beach for the weekend, but luckily we found out they’re going to Isanga Bay Lodge, the bigger, more expensive version of Luke’s Beach.
For dinner Caro made Pap and pork stir fry again. We got into the tent just after 20:00 and decided to watch a Netflix movie. About halfway through the movie we realised we already saw it, but finished it in anyway.