From Lilongwe to Lusaka to Livingstone and back.
Let me just say that was a long and fun-filled journey to get to Zambia. We would spend the next few days in the car chatting, listening to music and clearly a favorite of some more than others…sleeping (clearly a favorite of some more than others).
We (four of us) left our Agogo’s (grandfather’s) home in Lilongwe mid-morning, and I took the first driving shift. Within an hour, we reached the Mchinji border. Getting ourselves approved to cross was no problem; getting money changed was also no problem; of all things, getting the car approved to cross took forever. We spent a considerable amount of time (read here: hours) at the border, mostly on the Zambian side. We went back and forth between the office buildings before the car could be driven in Zambia. Then, we finally got to start the real part of our journey (and yes, I was still the chauffeuse extraordinaire).
Along the way we stopped to take pictures of the stunningly green and quiet (compared to Malawi) countryside. When my driving shift was over several hours later, I was able to relax and join in on the intermittent sleeping. We arrived in Lusaka late in the night. All things considered, it was a roughly 10-hour journey.
When we reached our cousin’s house, we were warmly greeted by family, food and drinks. We stayed up and chatted for as long as our tired bodies would let us.
The several days we spent in Lusaka were filled with football matches, conversation and laughter. My sister, Enya, and our cousin’s children had a wonderful time together playing basketball, running around, and even going shopping.
Then the day came when we had to make another long journey by road to Livingstone to see the magnificent Vic Falls. The journey to southern Zambia felt just as long as our drive from Lilongwe to Lusaka (but it was significantly shorter!). However, if you ask a Zambian how far Livingstone is from Lusaka, you get mixed results: some say it is only 3 or 4 hours, others say it is closer to 8 hours. Those who said 3 or 4 hours were (f)lying...it is about a 6 hour drive due to road conditions and large trucks on the two-lane traffic road.
We eventually made it to Livingstone and felt the difference before we even arrived -- it was nice and warm with lots of mosquitoes. Once checked in at the Protea Hotel, my younger sister and I made our way to the pool while the boys stayed in their room. The next day was what we had all been waiting for…Victoria Falls!
We drove down the road and stopped at a baobab tree to appreciate the thundering falls from high-above. We then continued down the road and started to feel the mist. When we entered the car park, we were crowded by vendors selling their crafts and warning us to beware of the baboons. As we made our way to the trails, the baboons were indeed there and in full force. We continued our walk across dirt covered rocks and through trees before seeing the Falls.
We walked around the area, had photoshoots and asked our paparazzi all sorts of questions about the Falls and its history. It was an absolutely fabulous and memorable day. We ventured back to the hotel and got ready to head to Lusaka and then head back to Lilongwe the next day. It was bittersweet to leave Livingstone (or as I would incorrectly call it Livingstonia because of a place in Malawi) and Zambia overall. Driving down the long, straight roads, listening to music while everyone else was sleeping (of course), we made our way back home to Malawi with loving memories from Lusaka and ‘Livingstonia’.
This post was written by nnk with support from edk. All photos are copyrighted to nnk, edk, nh and an and anonymous paparazzi (2016, 2017). Please ask before using or reproducing; any use should be attributed appropriately.
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