Day 62-64: Luke’s Beach

|, Trip Report, Zambia|Day 62-64: Luke’s Beach

16 April 2017

Day 62-64: Luke’s Beach

Distance: 20km (Cumulative: 9 310km)
Moving time: 2:02
Average speed: 10km/h
Road surface: 100% Water

Accommodation: Camping
Luke's Beach - R150 p.p

African style paradise island

We got up at 08:00 and packed our ‘weekend’ bags and some food into a crate. We were taking a 2 big bags, two day packs, 25L water bottle, gas canister and one ammo box with food. For breakfast we ate some of last night’s pap with sugar and milk.

At 09:30 were basically done so we bought an hour data bundle for Caro to submit two UNISA assignments. Just before 11:00 we pack everything in the car and head to the market. Someone showed us to Eric’s boat and helped us to load our things on the boat. The helper told me to be quick as the boat can leave any moment. I raced back to Nkupi Lodge locked everything and started to run back. I had to take my flip flops off and run barefoot on the hot tar. Back at the market the boat was luckily still there without much activity. We bought Cokes and then went to sit on the boat. We waited for 2 hours before the boat finally left with no apparent reason for the wait.

One of the boats that departed just before us.

We finally arrived at Luke’s Beach 5 hours after stopping at the Harbour. Someone helped us to off-load everything to grass patch behind the sand beach. We couldn’t really figure out who was in charge at the beach as no-one really welcomed us. As we were approaching the beach we saw someone rowing frantically from the village to the beach with a crate full of pots and pans. He arrived at the beach and took it to the kitchen. We asked him if we can pitch our tent on the grass and he replied with something that I interpreted as a yes. I told him Luke said we can borrow two mattresses.

The boat we sat on for 4 hours.

We put up our tent and thought we won’t get any mattress, but 30 minutes later someone came carrying two mattresses over the rocks from the village. The mattresses looked like it was going to eat us alive and smelled like a Township Homestay. We sprayed it thoroughly with Doom and let it bake in the sun for a while. It was so thin we decided to put them on top of each other, but still it felt like sleeping on the floor.

We swam in the semi-warm fresh water, put up our hammocks, made dinner and watched the sunset with a cup of Amarula. All in all not a bad day.

Mini-review: Luke’s Beach
Truly a small paradise, complete with a white sandy beach, palm trees and even clear fresh water. But given that it is in Africa, there are a few caveats. There is a local fisherman’s village within walking distance so there is some foot traffic over the beach. Mostly just friendly people walking by and waving and maybe some staring. Only one guy tried to sell a large fish, which could probably add to the paradise feeling for some. They have to lock everything in the kitchen area, even the actual wooden beds and sofas. During the day there are care takers and at night they lock the kitchen and leave. We didn’t use the kitchen at all so having them here all day just felt unnecessary. Because if it was about safety then leaving us alone at night wouldn’t make sense. It didn’t bother as that there is no real shower, but to some it might. It looks like if you are staying in the chalet they could potentially heat water on a fire and then pour it into a bucket that hangs from the roof. The chalets is however completely open but there is a frame for a mosquito net which we assume they can provide.

Day 63: Kalambo Falls

We got up early as our bodies couldn’t take the pain from the hard floor anymore and moved to the hammocks. We lied there for a while and then decided that we should probably hike to the Kalambo Falls today. Caro made French Toast and then we put our hiking clothes on.

Rogers the caretaker told us we need a guide, so we asked where we can get a guide. Turns out his also the guide. So we set off after him (he just stood up and started walking with his flip-flops without any bag or water).

We started walking just past 08:00. Despite it being early and a bit cloudy, the infamous Mpulungu heat caused us to sweat rivers within the first 10 minutes. As we walked through the village streams of children came running towards us and held our hands. Luckily as the actual path started Rogers told the children something that quickly made them leave. The trail is quite steep and eroded, so that combined with our low fitness level made it quite strenuous.

Tall grass also made the hike a bit harder (and more unpleasant)

After two hours we finally made it to the Falls. Their busy building a new accommodation at the top of the falls so we basically walked through a construction site to the viewing path. There was neat concrete pathways with green iron railings. We first went to the view point on the far side of the Waterfall. We thus walked away from the fall without seeing it and then suddenly the path makes a turn and then you can see the waterfall in it’s full glory. A single drop of 235m, making it the second highest waterfall in Africa. Definitely worth the hike.

We stood in awe for a while before hiking to the top of the falls. Strangely there we no railings and the guide wet his hair within 2m of the drop. On the way back we were taking to the ‘ticket’ office and was caught of guard with having to pay $15 per person. We naively thought it was for free. But all of Zambia’s major waterfalls costs $15 per person (Kalambo Falls, Kundalila Falls, Lumangwe Falls, Ngonye Falls, Chisimba Falls, etc. Vic Falls are even more expensive).
We made it back to the beach just before 13:00. We immediately jumped in the water with our clothes to wash the sweat off. We stayed in the water until we were too hungry, which was just 10 minutes later.

Lunch was quite a disappointment as the bread we bought in Mpulungu had three different colours of mold on it it already. Yellow, green and blue. We tried to cut the center out, but even that smelled and tasted funny. The huge Avos also suffered injury on the boat journey and only a small part was salvaged. Caro ate that, while Hugo had halve a Werda Beetroot Salad.

Also while eating we saw a Hippo coming out of the water within meters of where we swam few minutes earlier.

After lunch we took a nap on the hammocks, before going for a swim again. We saw some small striped fish while snorkeling. We took turns while the other one kept watch in case the Hippo was still around.



Just as we got out of the water we saw a boat approaching. Our paradise beach quickly turned into a nightmare when the party boat with 50 drunk people stopped on the beach. Somehow the caretakers did nothing to stop them and they just took over. Urinating around our tent, littering and playing loud music.

Thankfully they left after 40 minutes and everything was back to normal. I sent Luke a message and he called me, apologising and saying that it never happened before. He was thankful that we took pictures and got the name of the boat so that he can find the owner.

After they left Caro starred making dinner. Chicken flavoured and shaped Soya with vegetables and Spaghetti.

There was more thunder and heavy rains followed. When it calmed down we moved our tent onto the covered deck, just as darkness fell. Few minutes later we could see stars and the rain was gone.

The tent and all our things under the lapa

Day 64: Just chillin’

Today we finally just got to rest. We spent considerable time in the hammocks and in the water. Just before lunch Hugo decided it was long overdue that he read a book so he took Caro’s Kobo (his was broken from day 1) and started another Jack Reacher Thriller from Lee Child. The rest of the day basically consisted of moving from the hammock to the lapa as short rain showers came and went.


In the afternoon the clouds really opened up and rain came into the lapa from all sides. Caro got Hugo to put the book down to go and snorkel for old time’s sake when the sky cleared again. Just as it started to get dark the party boat arrived again. We tried to man up this time, but it ended badly for us. Apparently they did get in contact with Luke and the main guy is an Army Officer in Mpulungu so Luke didn’t want to deny him. Fortunately they were only there for 15 minutes.

After dinner we talked about the road ahead and checked Workaway and Couchsurfing for some options in Zanzibar.

Sometime between 21:00 and the middle of the night Hugo finished the 400 page book.


2019-07-29T10:51:24+02:00 February 11th, 2017|Categories: Africa, South Africa, Trip Report|

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