Day 15 – 16: Kafue to Lusaka to South Luangwa


361 km Kasabuhi to Lusaka

706 km Lusaka to South Luangwa

4 448 km Trip to date

We departed early from Kasabushi to Lusaka. The initial 45 km from Kasabushi to the M9 main road is still in the park and thereafter some 60 km also runs through a GMA – government game management area. From there we passed through the one roadside village to the next with the usual schools and speed bumps. The road to Lusaka was in an excellent condition with a toll gate – proceeds directly to road maintenance fund – where they asked us for the receipt of our road tax from the border. We did not have to pay toll, as all road maintenance tolls are included in our border entry road tax paid.

Crossing the Kafue river

Almost every village had a police check point (more than 10 on a stretch of 300 km) where every one of them waved us through without stopping us.

West of Lusaka the landscape is flat, but near Lusaka it starts to change to more hills and smaller flat areas. Near Lusaka was the very first time we saw ANY litter next to the roads or near villages. Western rural Zambia is extremely clean.

Roadside stall Kafue to Lusaka

Lusaka is a busy, developing city.  Road works and new buildings everywhere.  Lots of wide double tarred streets and modern buildings. We visited a shopping mall with a huge PnP, Food Lover’s Market, Builders Warehouse, and all the normal RSA clothing stores – impressive. And we passed several other shopping complexes with either Shoprite or PnP and a whole lot of other shops with brandnames known to us.

Outskirts of Lusaka

We needed to obtain a Comesa Yellow Card in Lusaka before travelling any further. The Comesa Yellow Card is an extension of third party vehicle insurance into the COMESA countries (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). If we have that yellow card, we do not have to buy any country 3rd party at borders when entering COMESA participating countries (Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi on our trip).  It would speed up border post processes and is less expensive than individual 3rd party insurance for each country.

We had initially bought our 3rd party online from Phoenix Assurance in Lusaka, and had to buy the Comesa extention from the same insurance company. So we went to Phoenix offices in Lusaka, arrived there at 13h05. Open plan offices with more than 50 desks, all deserted for lunch. And the office was dark, as they had no electricity at the time. After 30 minutes a man appeared who told us that he could not immediately help us, as they also have no internet when the electricity is down. I offered to provide them with a phone hotspot to get on the internet to capture the details. They entered the details on the central Comesa system, gave me a blank stamped form and emailed me a pdf document (still on my phone hotspot) that they should have printed on this yellow blank, but could not print due to no electricity. We paid and went to the nearest shopping mall where we found a printing shop. Two hours after we had arrived, we had our printed, stamped Comesa Yellow Card ready for the rest of the trip.

We camped at Pioneer Lodge for the night. There are not many overland camping options in and around Lusaka. Pioneer Camp is approx 8 km east of central Lusaka near the Lusaka International Airport. As it is in the east, we did not have to go through Lusaka again before travelling to South Luangwa NP along the ‘Great East Road’. Pioneer has several shady campsites, basic ablutions with hot showers, a few tented chalets, a bar, restaurant and swimming pool. Good enough for an overnight stay. Firewood out of stock.

Pioneer Lodge campsite

We bought firewood in all the camps in Zambia so far, and did not pay attention to firewood sellers along the roadside. There is NO firewood for sale, not at the roadside stalls or at any normal fuel station or shop along the road. Only the huge bags of charcoal that the locals burn and sell in front of their homes along the road.

Charcoal shopping…

The Great East Road is a brand new tarred road all the way to Chipata near the Malawian border, where we turned northwest to South Luangwa NP. Much less family villages from Lusaka to Petauke (400 Km), and then it started again – not one km without a roadside family village – it felt as if you go through one long village with houses in a single line next to the road for hundreds of kilometers without end. There also were a lot of police check points where they again only waved us through. Lots of heavy trucks and buses going to and from Malawi on this road, but it was not a real problem as there were few other vehicles on the road. The litter along the road also disappeared the further we went from Lusaka.

We noticed the many large agri warehouses selling seed and fertiliser to local farmers along the road. Small scale subsistence farming (maize, vegetables and fruit) is what the locals do from day to day and all are busy. Nobody sits around doing nothing. Late afternoon we saw some school children walking with farming tools to the school to work in the gardens.

Bridge over Luangwa river
Dried fish for sale at Luangwa town



Fruit stall near Chipata


Roadside fuel
Soccer game in town

This was a long drive, even on this new tarred road all the way from Lusaka to South Luangwa.  We were on the road from Lusaka to South Luangwa for 11 hours (706 km) – not because we drove slowly or stopped a lot. The max speed is 100 or 120 km/h on the open road, but we averaged 60 – 70 km/h due to the never ending family villages, children, goats, chickens, dogs, pigs, and speed bumps on the road.

Where we are now…


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