From Kasane we had to drive back to Kazungula, where there is a border crossing between Botswana and Zambia. On Botswana side, border formalities were easy and we soon embarked on a ferry across the Zambezi. But on the Zambian side, dealing with officials on this border post is extremely chaotic, to put it mildly. We weren’t prepared for such confusing African border crossing, and Kazungula between Botswana and Zambia definitely ranks on top among them. Luckily, one of the touts on the ferry, with whom we exchanged some money to Zambian currency, offered himself to help us clear all the border formalities for a small fee. Without his help, I think we would still be there now, trying to find our way among various ramshackle huts with different border offices.
Once we cleared the borer formalities, a nice tarmac road, although heavily potholed in the first part, led us through hilly Zambian countryside to the east. The drive was relaxing, although some alertness is always required, as you never know where elephants will decide to cross the road.
Near the town of Kafue, we left the main road toward Lusaka and turned south toward Lake Kariba. The traffic became less intense and the scenery particularly lovely, with small villages dotted on the hills around the road. Border crossing at Kariba was much better organized than the one at Kazungula, and we were the only passengers there. But it still took us almost an hour to cross the border.
Lake Kariba is the largest man-made lake in the world, lying on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. About 50 years ago, they have built a large concrete dam over Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi river, thus created an immense lake (about 280 kilometers in length), that now powers a hydro-electric power plant. The lake now offers huge opportunities for tourist industry for both countries, which is much more taken advantage of by Zimbabwe.
We have found an overnight shelter in Warthog Bush Camp near Kariba Town, on the shores of the lake. Again, we were the only guests there, but there were some locals at the camp’s bar in the evening, and with Ian, the owner, it is never boring, with all his entertaining stories about life in Zimbabwe and its wilderness.
Next day, on the way toward Mana Pools, we have replenished our provisions in a well-stocked supermarket in the nearby township of Nyamhunga.