It was back in Mzuzu when I decided to join Elise to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. I wanted to go through Zambia anyway to get down to South Africa but felt that I hadn't seen enough of Malawi yet. I decided to join her for a week or so to do some exploring and then head back to Malawi to explore some more there. I started out by taking a bus Lilongwe from Mzuzu which took 3 hours to even leave the station and ended up dropping me in Lilongwe hours later that evening, leaving Elise and my Mzoozoozoo family wonderingn where I was. Nevertheless, I arrived safe and we stayed there for two nights in order to check out Lilongwe itself before crossing the border.
We stayed at Mabuya Eco Camp which was nice but wasn't the best place id ever stayed for various reasons. One being the fact that we were held back from going to the border early because reception wasn't open. Lilongwe itself was a bit disappointing and wasn't what either of us had expected. The many 'malls' we'd read about were a let down and there wasn't much else to do in the city so we decided to leave to Zambia the next day.
With luck on our side, we were only charged for one night by accident for the expensive dorm and this streak of luck continued. The next day it took 5 modes of transport in true backpacker fashion before we reached Croc Valley camp where we stayed for one night and organised our safari. The dorm was $25 each with free wifi, a pool and a restaraunt. They organised the game drive for us for the morning and evening which cost $40 each and we didn't realise this until the end when we were charged for only one of the game drives each even though we did both which should have cost $80 each. We kept quiet!
Our hut was awesome and had an open air shower and toilet at the back which felt weird at first but pretty Eco free after the first few minutes, even if the baboons were watching you from above. We left for the morning safari at 6am until 10am the next morning and had an incredible time spotting zebras, giraffes, elephants, impala and lions. The evening drive was from 4pm until 10pm where we spotted a group of leaopards hunting, hyenas, elephants, hippos and their babies and on the way home we even spotted a giant hippo right by our dorm. They were right in saying 'beware of the wild animals'. Both game drives were awesome and we had so much fun bouncing around in the land rover with the other girls we had previously met in Mzuzu. We even had the middle of the day to lay by the pool and relax in the hammocks which was so nice, especially with the noises of the wild animals in the background.
That evening we decided to leave at 3am with the girls to Lusaka on the bus, but we took a taxi at 11pm to the station in order to sleep on the bus until it left. Unfortunately for us, we hadn't enough money to pay in Zambian Kwacha having only exchanged very little from the tours at the border and instead, convinced the guy to take the rest in Malawian Kwachas which is never normally accepted. After a few phone calls we were paid up and good to go. The taxi man overheard about the money situation and didn't ask us to pay so we saved 20kwacha and got on the bus. We had 50 kwacha between us for food until we got to Lusaka whenever that may be. It was a very funny moment when Elise urged me to put the 50 in my pocket and pretend we didn't have it, just so we could have money to eat. She was well and truly in backpacker mode!
We hopped on the bus grabbed some seats, spread out and had a few hours broken sleep before the bus would leave, little did we know that the journey would take almost 12 hours disregarding the time we spend on the bus before we left. The journey turned out to be seriously bumpy and gasps were heard during the night as the driver sped fast around the corners. We would be lucky to arrive alive and hours later we finally did. We couldn't fave another 7hours to Livingstone so we decided to stay in this cosmopolitan city for a day or two to explore the malls and everything that stood out to us as we entered the big bright city. Lusaka seemed like an awesome place!