Words by Christopher Clarke, image by Robert Bernatzeder
Zambia’s Wild West
It had been a long old road, there was no denying it: about 8000 kilometres of Zambian tar, gravel, dust and soil over the course of the previous six weeks, with plenty of highlights along the way. There had been a few low points as well, but they always make for the best stories once you’re back home again. We were now down to our last week in Zambia, with Liuwa Plains National Park set to be our last destination − before we came full circle back to where we’d crossed the border into the country at Victoria Falls.
I had been looking forward to this last leg of the trip for some time. From the few reports I’d heard and the pictures I had seen, Liuwa Plains (Zambia’s most remote national park) was certainly unlike anywhere had ever been before, and a great place to end our trip on a high before heading back to Cape Town. Our small convoy of two Toyota Fortuners was making its way west from Kafue National Park. We’d been told by some other intrepid South Africans we’d met at our camp that morning that the drive would take us only a few hours − a rare occurrence pretty much anywhere in Zambia − so we had set off with our tails up.
This despite the fact that we had been kept up half the previous night by lions roaring a little too close to our flimsy ground tent for comfort. Not for the first time on this trip, our early morning optimism would prove ill-founded. Four hours after leaving Kafue, we had made it only as far as the town of Mongu, and still had a long way to go.
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