Readers Travel

A Subtle Thief of your Heart: Zambia (Part 1)

April 7, 2019

It has been a while since I wrote, I was finding it hard to write but here I am with a Zambian tale. Be fore warned this was over the Christmas holidays πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ but I start here because it was one of the best times of my life so I give you this five part series, my very late Christmas gift to you all 😁😁
We had always planned to visit Zambia… we had been to both of Malawi’s neighboring countries (Tanzania & Mozambique) and it only made sense to visit Zambia. How could we not, Zambia is like Malawi, only the exotic one! I take that back only made to sound more exotic. To be completely candid we both have our strong points! And after visiting, I am reaffirmed in my opinion that we should have been one country, the similarities are staggering and astounding. What a force we could have been. I may have fallen for Zambia but you all know Malawi lives in my heart!!
I did not expect to fall in love with Zambia as much as I did (I will definitely go back to Zambia). We drove to Zambia, we wanted to take in as much of Zambia as possible. To see the parts of Zambia and enjoy the pleasure of the country that flying does not afford. We started off from Blantyre on a cool December afternoon, heading for Lilongwe, a 4 hour drive. We spent the night in Lilongwe, it would a shorter drive to the border starting off from there. Our day started at 5am, left the hotel by 6 am. We were at the border by 7 am. We exited Malawi using the Machinga border, after the tedious procedures of border crossing we were free to explore Zambia.
10km into Zambia we are in the flourishing and expanding town of Chipata, it exceeds all my expectations. It is bustling with activity, excuding energy and excitement that you do not expect from a small town that is classified as being part of the rural areas of Zambia. It is similar to Mzuzu CITY in Malawi. Impressive! We are beyond impressed! And angered, that our neighboring country is doing so much more than our country whilst ours is steeped in corruption, development is hindered by the few in government lining their pockets with tax payers money and care very little for growth and innovation.
It is not long until we are driving through the forests of Zambia. It is the rainy season so it is lush and green. There is a calmness, which I suspect hides the animal activities within the forest but it is daytime so all the animals are probably taking afternoon naps πŸ€·β€β™€οΈwhat do I know! But this is our view on that afternoon! Breathtaking!!

By the time we got to this bridge we had been travelling for five hours after leaving the border nevermind the time lapsed between leaving our hotel in Lilongwe, driving an hour to the border and spending at least two hours at the border πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‰. So we definitely needed a leg stretch and actually take in the view standing still and not from a moving car.

Eventually we made it to Lusaka…

The task, navigate Zambia to get to our lodge…πŸ˜“πŸ˜“ so what do we do, Google maps! As luck would have or adventures (In Malawi one of the mobile phone companies is Airtel which is also in Zambia so we were pretty confident with the roaming abilities we were promised).
Roaming: βœ”
Speed of Internet: ❌ (very slow)
So what happens is we are missing turns and exits but we eventually find ourselves at a shopping mall closest to our lodge and we ask for directions and thankfully we found someone who knew the area well and pointed us in the right direction.
We get to this lodge, needless to say I have forgotten the name because this place was unremarkable not everything on is what it promises to be. Just by this you know we did not stay there. The place looked more like a hostel than a lodge, and the rooms were carpeted meaning they had that carpet smell that will definitely give you a flu which is the last thing you want on a holiday. I will give them this, the gardens were beautiful 😊
As we were driving we saw signs of other lodges. The ones that stood out were Mint Leaf and Palm Wood. So we followed the signs, first to Mint Leaf. It was so much better but it lacked something. It seemed cold and sterile. And when we told the receptionist we would be back, he said sure, with that knowing look in his eyes and he finished off with ‘let’s see if you will keep your word!’ We didn’t! We almost did though.
We went in search of Palm Wood. We could not find it, we knew it was in the area, we could see the signs, but no Palm Wood. Eventually we stopped in the middle of the street, stopped a random stranger and asked for directions and he told us to go back the way we came and we would find it. And we are confused because we have just come from there and he is so sure of himself and says the sign isn’t not that great but it’s there. So perfect. Lets hope we find this not so great sign.We trust this man and turn around.
We said if we don’t find it, we are going back to Mint Leaf. But we found it, small little sign, almost on the ground, that has suffered the times of changing seasons. We follow these signs and found Palm Wood. As we drove in, we all instinctively knew we had arrived to the place we would call home whilst in Zambia. The driveway had Palm trees that seemed to reach out to the sky. The first starts had started to appear in the sky. It was perfectly tucked away and had the feeling of being at a beach resort than being in the heart of the city.

We were home even if it would be for a day (We would come back ofcourse). As we catch our breath before our drive down to Livingstone and take in the Majestic Victoria Falls!
‘The Musing of that Malawian Girl’
#Zambia #Lusaka

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