Road from Mongu to Kalabo

We set off at 6:00hours the next day to cross the 25 k sand road from Mongu to Kalabo across the Barotse Plain. It was the dry season so the water levels were relatively low. The road is impassible during the rainy season as the plain floods. I am so glad it was dry as we bounced and swished our way for 2 hours across this road. We saw villages on the way that will have to pick up and move when the rains come. There was cattle on the roads and men with bikes loaded with 4 or 5 50lb bags of rice or huge bags of charcoal. I didn’t see anyone riding these bikes as the sand was too deep.

The local bus accross the road to Kalabo, $110,000ZK( $21.00USDWe passed the Losi Kings winter home but we couldn’t see the castle as it was surrounded by a village. The language inWestern Zambiais primarily Silozi. Lozi for short. Each year they have a celebration where by they dress in ceremonial dress and get into these huge black & white striped boats and move the Losi King to higher ground before the floods come. There is a summer home & a winter home. The Kingdom is passed down through each generation and at this time the King is a female so I guess she is a queen. Glad to hear that woman are finding their new place inZambia. Where we go stuck

So after a fun filled ride across this sand & water, I asked if people ever get stuck. Max said that this 4×4 would never get stuck and so you can guess what happened with in the next 5 minutes. Luckily there was a man and a woman starting to put in his garden on the side of the road and three other people walking by who helped to push us out. I gave them each 1000zk for helping.

We arrived in Kalabo and drove straight to the World Vision Kalabo Office to meet the ADP (Area Development Project) manager. He took us into his office and welcomed us to Kalabo. He explained that we had to read & sign some forms basically stating that we would not be with Njamba without a WV staff member or say or do anything harmful, derogatory or sexually explicit to the child. Jami & I both signed. It was then explained that we would walk down to The Liuwa National Park office to make arrangements for our trip to the park the next day with Njamba & his Family. Again they take all of the peoples names that will be entering the park and we had to give our passport numbers as well.

David, Jami & Max on the pontoon to Kalabo

The ADP Manager in Kalabo, signing protection of child forms.We were finally back in the WV vehicle and on our way to first see the school & medical centre that WV had built in the area. The medical centre had solar power and a staff house. I hate to be a skeptic, but with WV pulling out of Kalabo district the government would now be taking over. From what I had learned speaking with the people I did not feel confident that the school would have a teacher or supplies and the medical centre any staff or equipment. When I got home I found a blog where a doctor has been working south of Kalabo training nurses for the area. I emailed him to see if he would be going north of Kalabo and could check to see what the status was after Sept. 15,2011 when the government had taken over and WV no longer there. We shall see if he emails me back. The old school

The Teacher

An old school beside the new one

We actually saw many schools and Health centres that WV had built and the old ones were still standing there like giant match sticks ready to fall any minute. It took us about 1.5hr drive in sand and bush to get to Njamba’s village. The thing is too that you have to drive fast in sand or you will get stuck. At one point I looked at the speedometer and we were doing 60 K through fine sand and low trees. The trees were scraping on the sides of the vehicle but not once did I feel that we were in danger. We were in good hands with David & Max. I told Max he should have been a race car driver and my husband Carl would have loved this. I tried not to talk when we were traversing the deep water areas. At one point the water came right over the hood of the vehicle. As anyone who knows me, I will talk to almost anyone and talk I did all the way to Mongu. David fell asleep twice as he was so exhausted from organizing my visit and Max was thankful that I was keeping him awake.

5 responses to “Road from Mongu to Kalabo

  1. I am happy to be reading about all these developments and am happy you had a lovely trip to Africa.

    You say that “The local bus accross the road to Kalabo, $110,000ZK( $21.00USD.” Make it kwacha, otherwise it will look prohibitive to local tourists:-)

  2. I can’t wait to read more…very intriguing.


  3. Joanne, the blog is fantastic. It is great learning some of your experience along with the roadtrip photos. Will keep following this as you write.

  4. Wow that sounds like it was a truly amazing experience. Thanks for sharing.
    Michelle x

  5. Indeed, this trip was one of its own kind; so eventful and adventurous! Your story narration is great and truthful! It is so captivating that I can not wait to read on as the story unfolds!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s