The straight way from Livingstone to Lusaka is nearly 500km. So we decided to make it a two-day trip including a visit of Lake Kariba. Rainer had read about a “Houseboat” campsite, and we were very keen to find out if there were actually houseboats on the lake, which we could maybe charter for a night on the water.
The days ride was very to our liking. The road was very good, the landscape pleasant, and the lack of suicidal lifestock (compared to Botswana) was reassuring. We took a little shortcut from Choma towards the main road to the lake, and had a great ride on a small dirtroad past several villages. We maybe saw a total of two cars on this road, and no wonder: the dips and hills and ruts and holes made the road a whooping fun for us, but quite some work with a car. All Zambians we met on the road were very friendly, but some people had apparently made bad experiences with motorists, as often bicycle riders or pedestrians would literally jump out of our way for fear of being hit. So we went at a slow pace when we saw people, and made our way greeting, waving and apologizing back to the main road.
From there we went straight down to the lake, and the landscape changed to forrests, hills and CURVES! Curves! We nearly forgot how those look like in Botswana. The quality of the road deteriorated though, and we saw potholes that easily exceeded the size of our bathtub at home.
When we reached Zinazongwe about 15km short of our destination, Anne got “picked up” by a guy in a Bakkie (South African for pickup truck) with a smaller KTM on the back. It turned out that Kevin and his parents run the Bluewaters Crocodile Farm and after some chat, he invited us to stay over at their place. So we got to see the first croc farm in the area at work, got invited to the family supper, learnt some more about crocs, life in Zambia and the family history. But we also got to boost our gravel and sand riding skills as Kevin promoted the last 7km of road to the farm as “pretty bad” – riding this road after a day in the saddle was pretty challenging. However, after a lovely evening, a night’s sleep and a good breakfast, we all handled the road pretty well.
We also managed to get some shots with the GoPro and compiled a video clip. When editing it, we realised that road conditions never look too bad on camera. But believe us, it is not nice while you are riding them. You can check out a short clip we made on youtube: http://youtu.be/tPW2F92xrGM