Crossing the Chobe Into Zambia

Botswana treated us well but it was now time to start the third leg of the expedition into Zambia which required us to get on the barge that transports people and vehicles across the Chobe River to the Zambian border. Driving into Kazungula on the Botswana side, there are kilometers of trucks waiting for their turn to get through customs which worried us a bit as we couldn’t afford to waste time waiting in lines that we heard, certainly for the trucks could last from a couple days to a month or so. We cruised on realizing we could pass the trucks making our way to the border with no hassles or delays at all, much to the dissatisfaction of the truckers I’m sure. In no time at all we made it to the docking point where we were put on the first ferry across which made for some epic footage of the Tuk Tuk and was very exciting for all of us. We were put on the ferry with two large trucks, one small car and a bicycle as we made our way across the Chobe into Zambia. Expecting a bit of hassle at the border we were surprised to see that it was rather an efficient experience for us only taking about an hour to clear customs and purchase vehicle insurance for the beast.

Success! We were now officially commencing leg three of our expedition all excited to see Zambia and make our way to the Greenpop Festival of Action. We arrived in Livingstone around 4pm where we re-supplied ourselves and hunted for the famous ‘Jolly Boys’ backpackers we intended to stay at for the night. Livingstone being relatively small, we found it with ease and what a vibrant, fantastic and very accommodating place it was. The walls are painted orange with various colours spotted everywhere giving a very positive and friendly feel to the backpackers. We were told about a cheaper option Jolly Boys offered for camping just down the road and in an attempt to save US$2 we decided to check it out which on arrival we noticed was in a pretty dodgy area and once entering the establishment noticed the completely opposite vibe this place gave us. So, without even getting out of the Tuk Tuk we promptly turned around in the parking area and headed back to main Jolly Boys establishment. We were welcomed with open arms and people were completely fascinated by what we are doing so conversation and socialising commenced.

Staying at Jolly Boy’s was a number of medical students from Ireland and America who were posted there as they stuck out their placement in a local hospital. No one can hate the Irish and plenty of banter ensued as we shared stories and got to know each other, and even sat down to watch the final test match of the British and Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand which saw New Zealand and the Lions draw, much to my personal dismay being an avid All Blacks fan. Enjoying the company possibly a little too much we didn’t even pitch our tent and by the time we were ready to sleep we all found comfy couches to lay our heads down for a good night sleep. We decided to stay another night after really enjoying the social atmosphere that the backpackers provided as we lounged by the pool, updated social media and worked on blogs. It was a valuable piece of down time that allowed us to catch up on our ‘jobs’ despite the internet not offering much assistance.

Without blowing our own horns too much, we were actually quite famous in the backpackers. People had heard we were staying there and popped in to see what is was all about and even after we had left for a couple days and returned to say hello, a voice was heard in the background, ‘Yay! The Tuk Tuk boys are back!’. On our second evening, we had by this time set up our camp and emptied the Tuk Tuk to allow numerous people to climb in as we headed towards the Zambezi River for sundowners. At this point we broke a personal record and managed to squeeze eight people into the beast as we cruised through Livingstone on the way to Victoria falls where we found an epic little location right on the river to watch the sun go down. Despite the cramped and most likely uncomfortable seating arrangement in the back of the beast people were in high spirits and loved the experience of travelling at 40km/h, and could stop asking for rides thereafter.

Whilst we were at Jolly’s we met a very interesting couple that decided to walk from Cape Town into Africa, with nothing but a desire to do an epic expedition. They were extremely enlightening people to meet as they told us about their journey through the ups and downs and what they had experienced along route. They were extremely fascinating people and we respected their desire for adventure and to explore the African continent in a challenging way. We made good friends with them as they enjoyed our story and adventure just as we did theirs, so made plans to meet up with them in Lusaka and share accommodation. Probably for the first time, someone had to get a head start on us which is understandable so the Tuk Tuk will be chasing these brave adventurers with intention to meet up once again.

We had really enjoyed our stay at Jolly Boys and were thrilled to meet such fascinating people from all over doing various things, but now was time to start making our way to the Greenpop festival which was located only 11km out of Livingstone at Livingstone Guest Farm. We were told it was only accessible by a road in terrible conditions, however through past experience of taking this Tuk Tuk to places deemed unfit for such a little vehicle we weren’t worried to give it a crack and pushed on with excitement to reach the goal of the Greenpop Festival of Action.