Thursday, 7 July 2011 – Off to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
We left Lilongwe at around 6:00am this morning, destination South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Our first destination was the Malawi-Zambia border, and we got there on a minibus that was so crowded, I thought we might have mistakingly boarded a clown car. Once at the border, we had to change some of our U.S. dollars to Zambia kwacha, a job that was made very easy by the large number of hawkers all over. Then we paid our entry fee for Zambia, received our VISAs, and boarded another crowded transport to Chipata, a regional ‘hub’. In Chipata, we located the bus to Mfuwe, which is the town at the border and entrance to South Luangwa, bought our tickets, and boarded. It was a bit unclear at what point the bus would leave, although they told us when it was full. Well, a Zambian’s definition of full apparently is very different from my own, and we left Chipata after three and a half hours of ‘filling’, when the bus was so crowded we were almost two layers thick of people, supplies, chickens, and bags upon bags of dried fish from Lake Malawi. Seven hours later, we finally arrived in Mfuwe, and five minutes later were at our camp on the edge of the Luangwa River. We set up the tent and quickly drifted to sleep to the sounds of hippos in the river just below.