Traveling Zambia - Malawi

10:30 am

I'm becoming a pro at this public transport traveling business. I have traveled from Vic falls, Zimbabwe into Zambia. From the Zambian border you can get a taxi for $8 or you can wait for other travelers and pay $2 a person.
This taxi drives 11km into the town of Livingstone. There you can get a bus to Lusaka the capital bustling city of Zambia. There are plenty of buses traveling to Lusaka from different bus companies. From early morning to overnight. I got a 2pm bus and arrived in Lusaka just after 9pm. Although my bus only arrived at the station at exactly 2pm. Respect African time because it is real.

I took a Manzhandu Bus. This was lovely, comfortable and had plenty leg room (bear in mind I am short as well). The bus has a toilet on board. It stops at different towns for travelers getting on and off - this is very normal on buses. There is one stops where you can get off and get refreshments but you know me by now, I am terrified of food poisoning for I just settled for an apple juice. I usually just stock up on my padkos (food for the road) the day before travels at a reputable supermarket to just be on the safe side. The road to Lusaka is long but the roads are in good condition so bring a book.

From Lusaka traveling to Malawi I got a bus that goes to Lilongwe. It is currently flooding in the South of Malawi at the moment with over 200 000 displaced. The Zambia-Malawi bus (yes that's the name of the bus) leaves at 5am on Sundays. I was on time and for the first time a bus was on time. We left 3 minutes before 5am, even I was impressed. 
The roads out of Lusaka are in condition as well. But I passed out for the first 4hrs of the journey. I have been sleep deprived as I have been only sleeping 4 hours a night - my body can't handle the excitement of the unknown so I struggle to sleep before a journey.
A few hours out of Lusaka they are redoing the roads. This is a nightmare. For hundreds of Kilometres you will be driving on gravel, my waist was never ready for that level of discomfort. I didn't know how to sit in a position that was comfortable. Apparently while I was sleeping we got to a place were trucks were stuck in the mud and the road was closed off. Luckily we got there just in time as they were opening up the road that is being constructed so that we can continue our trip. There were guys stick here for a good 12 hours and couldn't do anything but just wait.

When I eventually woke we were stuck again. Two trucks stuck in the mud, its been raining in Zambia but Saturday nights pours were so heavy that the drainage system on the side of the road was flooded. So were the local townships in Lusaka. The road being constructed was closed off with huge yellow trucks and the owners were nowhere to be found. So while we arrived at this traffic of long haul trucks and busses, there was a brilliant idea that since our bus had another bus from same company coming from Lilongwe we moved to that bus and those guys from Lilongwe come into our bus. But before that idea materialized our bus driver jumped into those construction trucks without keys and started them and got them off the road. We continued our drive.

I have a pea sized bladder so I avoid liquid when traveling. This bus only had random bush stops for people to relieve themselves. There is no toilet on a Zambia-Malawi bus. And really only stops long enough for you to use the toilets at Chipata - about 20kms from the Malawian border. We eventually arrived at the border and of course there are plenty of guys will Malawian Kwachas to exchange for you. Know your exchange rates, I'm terrible at these.

The border wasn't so busy and we had dropped off most travelers at Chipata so it was smooth going through. As I walked into the malawian border offices i was greeted by a gentleman w his temperature gadget to check for Ebola, so friendly the first thing he said was "Welcome". Officially leaving the border at 4pm

Apparently my short hair gives it away that I'm not a local in some countries and the women seldom have their hair so short. And moving to my favourite part, my passport was stamped by another gentleman whose name is Jabulani who just saw my passport and thought it the perfect time to practice his Zulu. This was refreshing and so funny, and his Zulu was really good.
People have hobbies and collect different things. My mother collects fridge magnets, others collect vintage China tea cups. Us smitten with wanderlust, we collect passport stamps. Every time I look at my passport, being broke is not so bad after all. It had all been worth it.
As Mozambique is famous for their prawns and cashew nuts, Malawi is famous for their fish from their lake - my mouth is watering already at the idea of the unknown.

I am officially in Malawi. Country number 6. I continue to count my blessings and I am excited to discover this country. I hope you have enjoyed my wanderlust this far.


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