The decision is made

Monday 21st June: We have decided to take a road trip to Zambia this coming weekend. Yes it is a spontaneous decision (not unusual for us) and we are excited. We haven’t been there since we immigrated to South Africa 3 years ago. The boys are looking forward to it and are counting down the days. Mwenda was 5 years old when we left so he remembers people but not the place. Mwai was 1 year old and cant remember anyone or anything and so for him it will be the first time to meet the extended family

The Journey begins

Mwenda (8) and Mwai (4) Mary (Our Nanny)                             Me                                Sandras

Sunday 27th June 2010: Our plan was to leave Cape Town at 7pm today. However we had some last minute shopping to do that took forever and we only got back home about 6pm so that plan had to change. At that point I still had loads of packing to do for all of us and Sandras needed to take a nap. So I packed whilst he slept for 2hrs, then we had dinner and only left at about 11.20pm. That’s us in the pictures above in the car and ready to leave. Watch video1

That’s us sleeping whilst ‘daddy’ drives approximately 780km from Cape Town to Colesburg.

Monday 28th June:

07.25am: The Sun rose at 7.25am near Colesburg . Watch video2

07.30am: We decided to stop and have breakfast at the Wimpy in Coleburg. Everyone looks rested apart from Sandras who was up driving all night. Watch Video3

2.47 pm: We arrived in Johannesburg safely. Thank God! We had stuff to sort out at the Zambian Embassy and so we proceeded to Pretoria. Watch Video4

Breakfast in Colesburg

Wednesday 30th June 2010:

12.45pm: Back on the road after two days of drama with the Zambian embassy and South Africa Police Service (SAPS) in Johannesburg! That’s a story for another day! Watch video5

Loved that lone house on a hill                                                 Taking a stretch in somewhere in Limpopo Province

11.30pm: We arrived safely in Francis Town. We tried to proceed to Nata but got lost when we took a wrong turn.

Luckily we had only driven 30kms on that stretch when we met some police officers that told us that we were heading in the wrong direction. We decided to go back to Francis town and spend the night there. Watch video6

The family room at Diggers inn. The boys and Mary share the bunk. Sandras sleeping.

Thursday 1st July 2010:

4.30pm: We finally got to the Botswana- Zambia border! The stretch between Nata and the border was thrilling. Saw two herds of elephants on the way. The first herd was crossing the road and we had to stop and wait. That was quite scary. And the second herd was right at the border. We also saw a long snake trying to cross the road and had to swerve to avoid it! Watch video7

Elephants between Nata and Kazungula Border

It felt so good to see the Zambian flag when we got to the border! We had to get on a pontoon to cross the Zambezi River and that was exciting. However the excitement was short lived when we discovered how many taxes and fees have to be paid once you arrive on the Zambian side; Pontoon fee, Council tax, Toll fee, Insurance and Carbon tax. It totalled a whooping K475,000.00 (Approximately R705/$90)! Watch video8

A truck getting onto the pontoon The family on the pontoon

We were out of cash at that point. The Kazungula border is very basic and does not have any ATM machines so we didn’t know what to do! Sandras was stressing out about it whilst I was too excited to worry. I was just so happy about being on Zambian soil and hearing so many people speaking languages I could understand. I kept saying ‘this is Zambia, we’ll find someone to help us and we will drive to Livingstone with them and pay them back.’ Livingstone is the nearest city to Kazungula and is only about 68km away. However I couldn’t have anticipated where help would come from eventually. I will talk about that in another blog post on social wealth.

Kazungula – Livingstone Road Lusaka Home Sweet Home

Friday 2nd July 2010:

1.30am: Home sweet home! 3200km later! What a ride!

All throughout the trip we had a constant balance of peace and war, happiness and sadness, noise and silence, positive and negative etc … just the way life is. Watch video9

As long as you can see how each side benefits you then you can be grateful through it all. That way you don’t get overly hang up on the down times or overly elated on the upside. You simply enjoy life and are grateful.

For more pictures of our activities on the road and the sites along the way click on this album Road trip diary

For pictures of what we got up to during the holiday in Zambia please click on the following albums:

Family fun with the boys Partying with friends Visiting family and friends

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