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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 13 Jan 2008
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Zambia: question about 2 specific roads

Hi all, is there anybody who knows the conditions of the 2 roads below?

- from Katima Mulilo (Namibian border, Caprivi region) to Mongu then Lusaka thru Kafue National Park.

- from Lusaka to Siavonga (Kariba Lake)


Furthermore: about the first road, is there any problem of fuel availability, or to cross the National Park?
And what about safety? Italian governement suggest to avoid the western area of Zambia due to the proximity to Angola, as they can't still exclude some problem for to the old Angolan civil war. It sounds strange to me...

Thank you very much!

Mirco

Last edited by CaptainJackSparrow; 13 Jan 2008 at 18:00. Reason: Better title
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  #2  
Old 13 Jan 2008
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zambia

last time i was there the lusaka siavongo road is perect tar!!

the north roar was passable but much will depend on the rains...

i shouldnt tell you to ignore advice even if its stupid and ill informed!!! (but ignore it!!) bloody hell i drove through angola itself with no problems youll love zambia great people!!!

jeff watts

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  #3  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Any road though a Nat PArk in Zambia will be bad. I used to drive overland trucks though them, and they where truck breakers, on a bike, not nearly so bad.

The road though the Caprivi is good, as it's the main way to Namibia now that getting from Vic Falls to Botswana is difficult.

The road into Kariba is good and not a bad way in to Zim if you want, no fuel in Zim and watch the border staff and their requests for bribes.

Don't do western Zambia, do Malawi. What ever you do, don't do the Great Northern Road. Shocking trucks and shocking police. Not dangerous, just a pain in the wallet.
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  #4  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Do you have the Tracks4Africa digital maps for a Garmin gpsr?

And look luangwablondes | A guide for the overseas self drive, self sufficient, vehicle dependent visitor in Africa for info that should help you driving in that area.
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  #5  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Thank you all for the info.

Jeff, sorry if I didn't thank you before, I forgot to reply. Sorry and many thanks. Is you that wrote about Angola on Adventure Riders?

To Luangwablondes: I have Tracks4Africa map, and luangwablondes website is into my favorites... I let a message in the guestbook some week ago!
But I still have some doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
Any road though a Nat PArk in Zambia will be bad. I used to drive overland trucks though them, and they where truck breakers, on a bike, not nearly so bad.
Ok, so now the problem is: is it possible to cross that road by motorbike? As far as I know lots of parks deny any access to motorbikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
(...)now that getting from Vic Falls to Botswana is difficult.
What do you mean? Is there any problem at the Kazungula/Kasane border?
We planned to enter Zambia by Caprivi and exit from Kazungula/Kasane, after a tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
The road into Kariba is good and not a bad way in to Zim if you want (...)
As the situation in Zimbabwe is not so quiet, we think we will be only on the bridge on Victoria Falls, no more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
Don't do western Zambia, do Malawi. (...)
The original idea was to go to Malawi, but as we have to rent the motorbike to limit the cost of our trip, we have to start and end in Johannesburg, so Malawi is too far. We don't plan to go to the north, only west and central Zambia. But why do you suggest not to do wester Zambia? Uninteresting or unsafe/difficult?
My last doubt is exactly on that area, on the difficulty of the road from Katima Mulilo to Mongu, I still had no satisfactory info on that. We plan to ride that road in august, so during the dry season.

Last edited by CaptainJackSparrow; 14 Feb 2008 at 20:17.
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  #6  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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western zambia

ive not been on the western side for a couple of years so reta my advice carefully but i love the western side its "old africa!" so dont write it off too soon
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  #7  
Old 15 Feb 2008
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Whether you can ride a bike thought the park will depend on whether or not there are cats and elephants in there. I don't know the answer I'm sorry.

Western Zambia is un-developed. If you are looking for that, then you will find it.

When you get to Lusaka you can decide. The local operators in Livingston may be your best bet to ask. And you can see how you are feeling about the whole thing.

The Kazungula/Kasane border can also cross to Zim and is only 50 minutes form Vic Falls that way. But there's a $50 visa to buy each etc for Zim. Zim is a beautiful country, still very safe to travel in. Fuel is the main problem. And the corruption.

But cross over the ferry and exit Zambia. The Border's fine. It's cheaper and easier, but not as nice. Livingston will be your first taste of 'real' Africa after the Caprivi.

All the roads form that part of the Caprivi are good. The roads from Zasane south to Nata and Martin's Drift are good, but hot and boring. Don't do them at night because of the wildlife. The police in Bots have radars, and often sit just inside the change to the town speed limit sign, when you are still doing the open road speed. And you have to pay on the spot, with or without a receipt.

There are 100 different routes and no 2 people want or will pick the same one.

If you are going J'Burg to J'Burg, then I am guessing that you are coming from South Africa and though Namibia into the Caprivi. Shooting back via Martin's Drift.

Another option is to do southern Zambia and South Luangwa Nat Park (more developed), (a relative term), able to camp on the edge of the park, with hippos and elephants coming into the camp, and take game drives into the park in 4wds.

From there you could return to Lusaka. Or, if you had the time, it's an easy hop to Malawi, south though Mozambique and on to J'Burg. There's always somewhere else to go and a different way to get there.

But as Jeff says, western Zambia will be the real Africa and you'll see precious little of it in South Africa, Namibia and Bots, so go for a look.

But I would think that you will be lucky to be allowed to ride a bike though any National Park and a brave man to do it. Being inside my 18 tonne truck I felt decidedly vulnerable sometimes.
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  #8  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_watts View Post
(...) i love the western side its "old africa!" so dont write it off too soon
No, I don't think we'll write it off too soon: we hope to go there, if it will not appear as an unsurmountable problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
(...) The local operators in Livingston may be your best bet to ask. (...)
Justabum, thank you for the time you spent to give me your helpful information. As I have the time, I will follow to look info about that area, but for sure the last answer, the most important, is that we will find there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
If you are going J'Burg to J'Burg, then I am guessing that you are coming from South Africa and though Namibia into the Caprivi. Shooting back via Martin's Drift.
We think we'll exit South Africa by Pioneer Gate to Lobatse, then north to Ghanzi, Maun, Caprivi and east to Zambia. At the present, we are thinking to come back to South Africa by eastern Botwana, then again Pioneer Gate. This way, we can stop in Gaborone. I know it's not the beatiful city in Africa, but we'd like to see it. In km, It seems there is not a big difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
Another option is to do southern Zambia and South Luangwa Nat Park (...) Or, if you had the time, it's an easy hop to Malawi, south though Mozambique and on to J'Burg.
Malawi was our original destination when we was thinking to go with our own motorbikes, but finally we preferred to change our plan. Malawi-Mozambique (but also Malawi-Tanzania) is my idea for the future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justabum View Post
But I would think that you will be lucky to be allowed to ride a bike though any National Park and a brave man to do it. Being inside my 18 tonne truck I felt decidedly vulnerable sometimes.
I don't know if we'll be lucky enough, but for sure we have not the bravery of the irresponsible. We want to see and know the more is safely possible.
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