What a blast we had in East Africa
Zambia, here we come
Headed for the unknown, we left the majestic Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya) for Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi to catch a two-day train to Tanzania.
After spending a few days in Livingstone, we were looking forward to being in Lusaka. We reached the Zambian capital and checked in at Lusaka backpackers. What we saw on the internet was not what we found when we reached the backpacker lodge. We checked into our dorms with great disappointment not knowing that worse was still to come through.
We had brought our own food to prepare in the self-catering kitchen. We opened up our canned foods, while preparing the food; the owner of the lodge came to the kitchen and told us the self-catering kitchen was outside. He said this while picking up the empty food cans, which were part of the rubbish that was on the kitchen table and put it in our food.
This did not go down very well with me. I told Thalefang that we should check out first thing in the morning since the owner was so inconsiderate to even put rubbish in our food.
We went out that evening to meet up with old friends and knocked down a few drinks to celebrate our reunion at Kinyukumba market and went to bed very late. We were out of bounds of the alcohol curfew in Botswana.
Millionnaires for a week
After four days in Zambia our journey to East Africa continued. We travelled up north to Kapiri Mposhi on a luxury coach at the cost of 56 000 Kwacha (approximately P70.00). I could not get used to having so much thousands and millions, which seemed to be easy to get and spend without sweating. It was my first time to see an ATM that gives out millions.
We reached Kapiri Mposhi after two hours and Lewis Kaluba who happens to be the head of commercial services for Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority welcomed us. He showed us around and even transported us to the bank using his own vehicle while our backpacks were stored away in his office. We managed to withdraw a couple of millions then returned to the station to pay for the train, which would transport us to Dar es Salaam,Tanzania.
As soon as the train began to move, we opened up the windows to bid farewell to the locals by waving. We were so excited like kids in a candy store mainly because our country has stopped the passenger train and besides, one could never open the windows in the Botswana railways passenger train.
Tanzania- Blown away by its beauty
Tanzania landscape is breathtaking. It’s not surprising that the highest mountain in Africa is found in Tanzania. The environment is made of hills and hillocks all covered in green vegetation with fruit trees all over. The people are warm though communication is a problem if you do not understand Swahili. Interestingly, the train also goes through a national reserve offering you a glimpse of Tanzania’s wildlife. Our last stop was Dar es Salaam after 53 hours in the train. We made our way to Mikadi beach camp in Kikamboni using a cab. What an amazing short ride it was as we also tagged along with two pastors from the United States while singing a Setswana hymn being led by an American pastor.
Zanzibar- Africa at its best
After spending five good days in Tanzania, time came for us to head to UNESCO’World heritage site, Stone Town in Zanzibar where we also spent a few days enjoying ourselves to the core. Zanzibar is like no other place I’ve been to. I have covered most places in Africa but I must say, Stone town is very different. The place offers a lot in history, culture and old buildings are everywhere.
The people are warm and friendly like in no other place I have ever been to. The majority of the population is made of Muslims but they live in harmony with Christians and other people of different religions. Stone town is like a giant maze and it is easy to get lost. But no worries if you’re lost as this place is very safe and the locals are always willing to offer directions.
Kenya, Mombasa- Drinking blood like any other drink
Kenya was the last country to visit though we had to go back to Zanzibar for the last feel of the exotic island. After a long bargaining negotiation with a Swedish investor, we hit it lucky to board a speedboat to Mombasa. The trip was a good one as the sea was very calm and we went all the way on Thalefang’s big day playing rock n roll music. We arrived towards sunset as we were delayed by immigration both in Tanzania and Shimoni in Kenya. Fortunately, Mombasa is always lively. This is a town that never sleeps. Day in and day out the streets are always live and bustling with motor bikes, bicycles, and motor cars everywhere. Masai people are visible on the streets with bottles of cattle blood which they drink just like we drink coke. Night life offers a lot and week days can be mistaken for weekends.
What a great time we had in that part of Africa!