Zambia. Isanga Bay Lodge, Lake Tanganyika. Saturday 30 May 2015. Week 8, Day 49.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware”.

A considerable milestone, we have been on the road for 2 months now, the longest trip we have been on and still a long way to go. We are enjoying this exploration thoroughly and are looking forward to when we spend a few days in one place instead of working our way north through areas not warranting stays of longer than 1 night.

GEEKS: Zambia. Lumangwe Falls Campsite, (near Kawambwa). Friday 29 May 2015. Week 7, Day 48.


Samfya – Mansa – Kawambwa – Mporokoso – Falls.

Detailed distances, road conditions and times:

• Total distance: 310km Time taken: 7hr 45min (take off 1hr for shopping in Mansa) 6hr 45min.

• Samfya to Mansa – good tar – 81km took about 70 min.

• Mansa to Kawambwa. Took 3hr 10min for 165km, – tar for first 80km – dirt road initially acceptable but later unpleasantly bumpy.

• Kawambwa towards Mporokoso, to Lumangwe Falls. Took 1hr 45min for 70km on very bad dirt.

Zambia. Kwacha Lodge, Samfya, Lake Bangweulu. Thursday 28 May 2015. Week 7, Day 47.

This day was more about the rather stressful drive out of the Bangweulu Wetlands and the visit to the site where David Livingstone died, than the largely unremarkable Lake Bangweulu. Nonetheless this was the only viable route in our wish to visit the waterfalls of Lualapula Province and Lake Tanganyika. The details of the route are posted where they belong in order to avoid too much boredom for the non-geeks. Suffice to say that today we had our normal early start before 07H00 but the route indicated by T4A was compromised by a reportedly broken bridge.

Zambia. Nsobe Community Camp, Bangweulu Swamps, Wednesday 27 May 2015. Week 7, Day 46.

We had arranged to be at the Nsobe Boat Station at 8H00 that morning for our mokoro boat ride into the swamps. This was the first attempt in our quest to see if we would be lucky enough to find one of the main targets of the whole journey, the major birding tick and something right at the top of my lifetime bucket list. I am of course referring to the shoebill stork, very rare indeed. If we failed here we would have to try in Uganda.

GEEKS: Zambia. Nsobe Community Camp, Bangweulu Swamps, Tuesday 26 May 2015. Week 7, Day 45.

I am really going to go to town here with detailed directions and other particulars, for a number of reasons. Bangweulu is a wonderful but seldom visited destination and route; there is a paucity of information out there and I think some are intimidated into leaving it out of their schedule. Please don’t. In my opinion it is up there with the top, but little visited Zambian destinations like Liuwa Plains, Kasanka, Nsefu Sector of SLNP, Busanga Plains of North Kafue and I suspect Lake Tanganyika.

Zambia. Nsobe Community Camp, Bangweulu Swamps, Tuesday 26 May 2015. Week 7, Day 45.

Well today we underwent our true initiation on this trip. We got stuck, properly! More on this later.

I must say that I found the drive from Mutinondo to Nsobe Community Camp in the Bangweulu Swamps, via Lavushi Manda National Park very interesting indeed. Thank you to Morag for this excellent suggestion. Although the area initially is very similar miombo woodland to around Mutinondo, it never becomes a monotony. This is I think because the road winds through very rural villages and it is very obvious that this really is the road less travelled.

GEEKS: Zambia. Mutinondo, Monday 25 May 2015. Week 7, Day 44.

Route: Kapishya Hot Springs to Mutinondo Wilderness.

Distance: 212km.

Time Taken: 3hr40min.

Breakdown of route:
• Kapishya Campsite – Mpika via T2 116km 2hr
• Mpika - Mutinondo turnoff 72km 50min
• Mutinondo turnoff – Mutinondo 24km 40min
• The single track dirt road from the T2 to Mutinondo was in great condition and for the most part the road surface was nice and smooth.


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