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May 2015

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park (Nsefu Sector). Zikomo Campsite. Wednesday 20 May 2015. Week 6, Day 39.

We were able to buy the first detailed map of SLNP for US$5 at the Milyoti Gate and together with T4A we were able to find our way around the Nsefu Sector, where the sign posting leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park (Nsefu Sector). Zikomo Campsite. Wednesday 20 May 2015. Week 6, Day 39.

The title of this post should be: BECAUSE HE CAN, based on the main photo. If you have to ask why……. don’t.

Our beauty sleep was constantly interrupted by the honking and bellowing of the many hippos that had emerged from the river to feed. They were all around us but as far as I know none came into the campsite but they were damn close.

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park. Zikomo Campsite. Tuesday 19 May 2015. Week 6, Day 38

These are times of us being footloose and fancy free and we plan to mosy across to Zikoma Camp about 10 – 20km further east, also on the Luangwa River. This camp will give us access to the Nsefu Sector of the park and a slightly different environment. It will also be quieter but it is in fact amazing how few vehicles crossed our path when driving in the park. However I would imagine plenty of game viewing vehicles when the lodge season is in full swing. We have explored the Mfuwe sector thoroughly.

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park. Wilderness Campsite. Sunday 17 May 2015. Week 6, Day 36

AND Monday 18 May 2015. Week 6, Day 37.

Costs: at Wildlife Camp.

Camping US$8 pppd
Night drive US$50!
Cold drink US$1.50
Supper at restaurant (lasagna, roll and salad) – very good US$16
Wood US$5 for large bundle.
Thus things are not cheap if you begin splashing out here and they talk US$.

Park Fees:
Also not cheap.
Entrance fee US$30 pp per calendar day, not per 24hrs as was the case in the past when one could do an afternoon and then the following morning under one fee.
Vehicle fee US$15 per vehicle pd.

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park. Wilderness Campsite. Sunday 17 May 2015. Week 6, Day 36

AND Monday 18 May 2015. Week 6, Day 37.

Who would have thought we would have been able to fit all the potential events of 2 days visiting SLNP into one report. Yep, well that’s the way it goes with game viewing. We have been spectacularly unsuccessful whilst all around us some people are having bonanzas. We are really not used to this and it has not been from lack of trying. We have been out early both mornings in the park for about 5 hours and really not seen too much special. I think we are just spoilt brats!

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park. Wilderness Campsite. Saturday 16 May 2015. Week 5, Day 35.

I really do not want to overanalyze this drive we did in one day. It really was a numb bum day to say the least. If there was only an interesting destination to stay over at the halfway mark and not being too fussed about the accommodation, all would probably want to break the journey after 4 or 5 hours.

Zambia. South Luangwa National Park. Wilderness Campsite. Saturday 16 May 2015. Week 5, Day 35.

Despite advice to the contrary from some we decided to tackle the trip from Lusaka to South Luangwa in one day. Two reasons really; the absence of somewhere meaningful to stay on the way. (Bridge Camp is apparently even more of a disaster than in the past, Mama Rula’s in Chipata is really close enough to push through to South Luangwa National Park [SLNP]). Secondly we counted on the fairly recently completed tar road from Chipata to Mfuwe to make things easier, which it did.

Zambia. Lusaka. Pioneer Lodge. Friday 15 May 2015. Week 5, Day 34.

The trip from Livingstone to Lusaka is on a standard route as indicated on any map or GPS.

The distance travelled from Maramba to Pioneer was about 490km.

Time taken 8hrs, some of it through the slowish traffic and many traffic circles of Lusaka, which in fact work quite well. At one of them a large articulated truck nearly took us out as the trailer shut us out around such a circle whilst cutting in on us from the outside lane. Only a heavy foot on the brake and an even heavier hand on the hooter saved a nasty situation. I am sure it won’t be the last.

Zambia. Lusaka. Pioneer Lodge. Friday 15 May 2015. Week 5, Day 34.

Today was a fairly long trek from Livingstone to the Zambian capital, Lusaka. This was never going to be a trip with any major items of interest and so it proved.

We managed to get off to our usual 07H00 start and avoided most of the traffic on the way out of Livingstone which can get quite busy. The fairly newly resurfaced T1 is in great condition. One just needs to remember that the speed limits in Zambia are only 100km/hr and not the possibly expected 120km/hr as in SA, Botswana and Namibia. This is the case all the way further north.

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