I was in Zambia earlier in the year finishing off a work contract. It wasn’t work all the time, only 6.5 days out of 7, so it was a treat when I actually got some time off. And when I did, I took the time to go exploring the NW province of Zambia.
— 24-25 Mar 2012 —
Our destination of choice for a weekend away was Mwinilunga. Fishing for the boys and some discovering for the girls. With a full tank and snacks for the road, the 5 of us headed off. We needed to reach the resort by 6pm so it was 120km/h all the way. I rang over a kid (baby goat) on the way and felt bad. It’s just one of the many things you do when travelling at that speed. Oops.
Mwinilunga is a small town within the Mwinilunga District situated within the NW province of Zambia. It is very close to the border of Angola and D.R. Congo (as we learnt from the information centre at the source) and more known as the source of the Zambezi. I know it for Kwakuwahi Lodge, where I’ve made friends with the owner and his family through many visits.
The lodge is situated right on the Lunga River, which is fed by the Kafue River and Kabompo River, and is the perfect place for a weekend away. There are about 9 little freestanding “houses” which have 2 to 3 rooms each. The “class” of rooms differs by the distance it is from the water edge. I always choose the one closest to the river. I love laying on the grass and listening to the fast flowing waters and watching the fireflies dance against the blanket of stars. Bliss.
We chilled, had dinner and then proceeded to play poker through the night. There was also some (bad) salsa dancing with some Shakira and Beyonce. Hmm.
After an eventful night, the 3 of us woke early to begin our trip. First to find the border between D.R. Congo and Zambia, then the source of the Zambezi.
We passed through the village, the run-down shacks, a broken down truck with about 20 passengers and nearly got bogged in the sand ourselves. At the end of the track, we found this. Yeh ah!
Along the 5km trail, we found something and had a bit of fun.
My thoughts when I saw the sign, “I want this as my Zambian souvenir”!! My second thought, “Taking wood into Australia would be too hard and then they’ll know I stole something of significance to the country”. And this is when I realised it may not be THAT important if the sign isn’t even pinned to the pole it’s standing on. You can say it was my Mastercard moment. (Finding the international boundary beacon between DRC/Zambia: Awesome. Realising one could steal it: Priceless.)
After taking a shit load of photos on either side of the border, with and without the sign with different poses, we continued on down the trail. Border discovery down, finding the source of the Zambezi to go.
We drove till we could drive no further, and there was no clear direction as which way we had to go to find the source. One said this way, one said that way. So we went exploring and found all sorts. Including 2 squatters who claimed to be the tour guides of the area. At this point, we knew they were just trying to rip us Muzungus (white people) off. So we played along. We followed them through the “jungle” to the source all the while jumping on the bridges (yes, we know we’re adults) and stopping to take photos of little creepy crawlies.
Finally, we reached the source of the Zambezi. A puddle. Whatttttttt?! I drove 400 odd kms for this shit? What an anti-climax.
And to think, the above turns into this. How?
Disappointed, we negotiated our way out of an exorbitant rate for the visit (which seemed to change faster than you could say “What’s the price again?”), the potholes (I didn’t run over a kid this time) and the mass of humans at the intersection to the BEST Indian restaurant near the camp.
Second best weekend at Mwinilunga ever.