Most Zambian’s travel by bus, which are quite comfortable ( some with air conditioning) if you can afford it, but there are many other means to get around. In 2012 it cost k150, one way from Lusaka to Mongu, in 2020 it costs approximately k200. k=Zambian Kwatcha.
Or you can hitch a ride in the back of a pick up truck.
In the picture below, all of these people got out of the back of this truck so it could cross the water. The4y were sitting on all of the gear.
Prior to the new road being built, a bus was the back of a pick up truck. It is a long way to travel when the bus is the back of a pick up truck with some times 20 other people and piled high with stuff.
Mattresses, chairs, tarps, luggage. Everything they cannot buy in Kalabo or is less expensive in Mongu. This is a relatively empty truck as we saw other trucks that were expertly packed way up over the roof of the cab. It resembled a soft multi coloured soccer ball on the back of a truck the size of the drum on a cement truck. Thank goodness for rope.
We were fortunate enough to have a vehicle. The picture above was us traveling from Mongu to Kalabo in 2012.
There is a cable running across the river so all of the travelers pull the pontoon across.
It was quite an exciting, nerve racking trip that took us 10 hours on the “all sand” road from Mongu to Kalabo. On the new road above, it takes 1.5 hrs.
The video below is how we were able to get out of the sand, when we got stuck, crossing the Barotse Flood Plain in the dry season. This was the road on the way back to Mongu which is the way back to Lusaka where the airport is for us to fly back to Canada. Thank goodness for the charity of others. I was worried we would be sleeping in the dessert when we got stuck on the way to Kalabo, but I felt better on the way back this time as I had already experienced getting stuck. Sorry for the poor audio as it was quite windy. Fortunately now people can drive on the new road and don’t have to drive through the sand. I feel fortunate we are a part of history and were able to live this experience. I would do it all over again, and then some!
Digging us out a 2nd time!
Good memories! I can’t wait to be able to travel again.