“It is not safe to walk or cycle to Victoria Falls”.
“Do not stop at the viewing area (described) on the way to the Falls, you will get robbed” – says notices on the campground board.
Zambia was our first country after leaving “Africa Lite”. It was the start of a few things, which continue and apparently get worse the further north you go:
Unsafe trucks, buses and other vehicles – We drive past fresh crashes, fallen loads and broken down trucks/buses on a daily bases. Loads are not secured safely, drivers are unsafe, vehicles are mechanically unsound/un-roadworthy, and you see vehicles having major repairs done by the side of the road eg whole engine or diffs out.
Regular Police checks along the roads/highways – They might want to check your license, rego, local insurance, safety equipment, where you have come from/going to, how much they can get from you. At one of our first checks we experienced some lovely Zambian hospitality. Not sure what this happy policeman was checking but we exchanged lots of lingering handshakes and smiles and I asked him what the peculiar large mounds we had been seeing for the last 50km were. He said they were termites, and that you make mud bricks from them, he then offered to show us. We followed walked to someone’s brick making site by the side of the road and he explained the process of how the locals make bricks from termite hills, an easy business to set up.
The famous Victoria Falls – It’s dry season, the falls on the Zambian side are not really running, but we still did the walks around the park. Clouds of mist did not leave us soaked, and as expected, the falls were quite underwhelming. However, because it is an unusually dry, dry season, we were able to walk right across the top of the ‘falls’ to Livingston Island. The rocks would normally be submerged in mega-tonnes of water flowing over the cliff. That was pretty surreal.
Frigella Farm Lodge – have had their post office, bakery, butchery, medical clinic since the times when a working farm had to be self-sufficient.
They offer camping, and food in the restaurant is very good and cheap
The meat and veges come from the farm or surrounding farms (rice in Zambia is good, unlike Namibia and SA where parboiled rice is served).
A cart comes around to collect the garbage every day and is pulled by 2 nice bulls. They know the routine and respond to verbal commands (like ‘come and get back under the harness’). I went and talked to the goats and chickens, and fed my food scraps to the pigs.
You can also stock up on meat and smallgoods from the farm butchery.
Mutinundo Wilderness Lodge – we had a sensational camp on top of a hill with wonderful views. The huge shelter was great when a storm came through and we kept warm in the evening by the open fireplace. They have canoes to use on their river, horse riding and we walked to one of the larger granite mountains. Sensational 360deg views! You’ll want to descend pretty quickly if you see a storm coming as the many areas of burnt grass and bushes indicate lots of lightning strikes up here.