Day 24 – 26: Kapishya Hot Springs to Kalambo Falls


464 km Kapishya to Kalambo Falls

6 735 km trip to date

We departed early from Kasanka towards Kapishya Hot springs driving along the T2 (Great North Road) again. Many trucks, busy road and when arriving in Mpika to fill up on fuel, it started to rain. Real heavy rain that instantly washed away all top soil into red streaming rivers in the town. We waited for half an hour in the car before we could even expect a guy to come out into the rain to assist us at the fuel station.

The last 30+ km to Kapishya was driven on a scenic, winding gravel road over small rivers, lakes and through forest areas where for the first time we saw a farm as we know it in South Africa – cattle, sheep, maize, old colonial farm house and other buildings.

Near Kapishya
Near Kapishya

Kapishya Hot Springs is a well-run lodge with chalets, bar and restaurant and a nice camping area with excellent ablutions and a reed shelter for each campsite. The natural hot springs fountain is absolutely beautiful amongst forest-like vegetation. The water is 40 degrees C and sulphur free. To sit there in the water and soak up the nature around you is pure bliss. We stayed for two nights and by late afternoon the second day a really heavy rainstorm started and continued through the night. We camped next to a large currugated iron shelter with concrete floor and we could move around without getting wet.

Hot springs at Kapishya
Kapishya campsite

We continued to the very north of Zambia on the “Old Great North Road” (M3) on our way to the Tanzanian border. From Kapishya Hot Springs the gravel road of 43 km was good and once we got onto the tar the going was easy and slowed down again by the numerous schools and family villages. Much less heavy vehicle traffic.

We got our first view of Lake Tanganyika as we detoured for 38 km to the north west from Mbala to see Mpulungu town – the only Zambian “international port” – on the most southern shores of Lake Tanganyika. We did not expect to see a large rural village – one hotel and a few large port buildings and a normal rural village with clay and reed houses and a lot of rural shops. This village differs from the smaller ones as the shops are not in a single line along the road, but extend to side streets as well.

Mpulungu harbour town on Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika towards the north

Back to Mbala and then on to the Kalambo falls on the Tanzanian border. The Kalambo Falls is said to be Africa’s second tallest free-leaping or single-drop waterfall (second to one of the tiers of Tugela Falls in South Africa) at 221m. It was impressive and we climped 1000 steps up and down along the edge to view the falls.

Kalambo Falls
Kalambo Falls top

We spent the night at the campsites next to the falls. We could see that these campsites are not used at all. Some concrete slabs – moss growing on them – for pitching tents away from the road and not suitable for our rooftop tent. New ablutions with toilets handles already broken. Quite expensive at ZKM 150 pppn, but that includes the viewing of the falls.

Kalambo Falls campsite
Where we are now…

Our trip in Zambia came to an end after 21 days. We enjoyed Zambia tremendously.

  • Zambia is a neat and clean country with really friendly people and good roads. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
  • Beautiful and interesting wildlife reserves and parks
  • From travelling the main roads we did not see much commercial farming (only around Lusaka).
  • In the rural areas everybody from the youngest to oldest started to prepare their fields after the rains
  • It was fascinating to view the rural life around the country
  • The overall feeling of being safe was wonderful
  • There were NO issues with any official – all were friendly, greeting us, asking where we are going, laughing, smiling.

We are almost sorry that we had not visited Zambia before, and will definitely come back soon.

Highlights of our trip through Zambia


Next: into Tanzania to Lake Tanganyika….


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