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Offline Jan Sand

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Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« on: May 15, 2013, 12:09:06 pm »
Zambia 2013

How does one describe an adventure of a lifetime? How do you tell the story of blood, sweat and tears, joy, excitement and fulfilment? All I can tell you is that this Adventure was what I have been dreaming of all my life. Everything I have ever wanted to do as an Adventure Rider, I had the opportunity to experience on this tour.
Early Friday morning, I and three fellow Adventurers, Nico Bezuidenhoud, Antonie Minaar and Thomas van Sittert left Centurion on what was to be an adventure of a lifetime. Two KTM 990’s and one Pajero as backup. Breakfast at Bela Bela, and lunch in Lephalale, we were soon close to the border of Botswana. Now it was Easter weekend and we knew that the border was going to be overcrowded, so we opted for the crossing at Stockpoort. Half an hour later and we were through the border and on our way to Kwanokeng, our first camp of the tour. Around the campfire we were discussing what we wanted from the 12 day tour, and how we were hungry for something new, something exciting, a true adventure.





Next morning we left Kwanokeng and headed north, through the hustle and bustle of Francistown, and Nata, where we bought provisions for the night at our camp, which was Elephant Sands. Before we could sit down and relax for the afternoon, we still had to negotiate the 2 km sand path that lead to the camp. This of course led to some fun and games, with a few close calls with Mother Nature. That night we dreamt of Zambia, the ferry crossing and what lay ahead, little did we know…
Day 3 and after a small off by Nico, the same little sand road out turned out to be quite exciting. North again and at Kasane we Filled up with petrol, and headed for the ferry crossing. Now everyone who has ever crossed the ferry at Kazungula knows that it is a very time consuming affair. After 1 hour and 30 minutes we were through and on our way to Jolly Boys Camping in Livingstone, our last day in civilisation before we headed for Lake Kariba, and the unknown.
D-Day. This was it, the day that the true adventure starts. Leaving Livingstone we headed north, to Zimba, where we left the tar roads behind us for a couple of days. Right from the start we could see that this was going to be a great Adventure. The dirt road was very good, and we ticked off the kilometres quite easily. Lunch on the side of the road and off we went again, filled with excitement. From here things got a bit more difficult, and the road deteriorated to such an extent that it was easier to ride next to the main road than on it. Soon we reached a village on top of a hill, and waited for the guys in the backup to catch up.
After a short rest, we headed down the road again, but this time it was different somehow, it was narrower. Getting lost almost immediately we had to ask the locals for directions. “Up, up “This was what we heard them say, pointing at the mountain in front of us. Not really believing what we were hearing, we followed what was now a 2 spoor track up the mountain. We were rewarded with an awe inspiring view! Mountains and valleys stretched out in front of us as far as the eye could see.
The rest of the day was two track paths, dry river beds and rocky inclines, we were in heaven. Late that afternoon we came across a bridge over a river. We just had to stop and stare at what lay in front of us. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Kids swimming in the river beneath us, lush vegetation all around, Mother Nature just showing off! No words can describe what we were witnessing.
Then the sand started. I found it hard, and Nico was struggling. As dusk set in we were getting tired, the sand wasn’t letting us go and we have been on the road for 11 hours. Eventually we got back on some tar, but it was dark, and we still had 20 km to go to our campsite.
At 9 o clock that night we entered what was to be a delightful heaven, Zamaroela, just outside of Sinazese. We had booked in advance, and was all too happy not to pitch our tents in the dark. The next day was our first rest day, and we spent it relaxing, going to town and servicing the bikes. That afternoon we talked to the locals as to what lay ahead for the following day. Words like: “Are you nuts? Cannot be done, you MIGHT get through with the bikes, but never with the backup “were used quite often. It appears that the road hasn’t been used in over 2 years! 'This sounds like just the kind of Adventure for us ‘said Thomas. So it was decided that we would take on this formidable foe head on. We had a whole day to ride 280km, how hard could it be?
All went well for the first 50 km. Then, after my brief encounter with a Black Mamba, we came to our first real Adventure river crossing. It was strewn with big rocks, sandy patches and a washed away bridge. There was no other way, we had to get through. It took us a better half of 2 hours to get through. I had a tip over in the river, and once we were all through safely we had a swim. Refreshed we mounted our iron steeds and followed the road which was deteriorating very fast.
After some bundu bashing, on what was now a narrow footpath, rather than a road, it got worse, way worse! We had everything thrown at us. Rocks, river crossings, sand, mud, potholes, rocky inclines, washed away declines, name it, it was there, and in abundance!  Our water was getting low, and it was getting dark, the backup vehicle had got lost a couple of times, we had got lost a couple of times and we were dehydrated and very tired. By this time the road, or the lack thereof forced us down to second gear, and we had only done 200 km for the day! After 12 hours on the pegs we opted to sleep in the bush that night. It was dark and judging by the condition of the road, we were going nowhere fast! The guys in the backup caught up and we camped in the bush, under an awe inspiring night sky, filled with stars, while Mother Nature laughed softly at us….
Morning, day 6, stiff and sore we woke up to the singing of birds. The sun wasn’t up yet, but we were packed and ready to tackle the remaining 80 km to Sandy Beach and Siasongwe. Almost immediately everything just got worse. We had another river to cross, and there was no road on the other side. The bridge had been washed away, and yet again, no other way than to go through it. After consulting with a local, he showed us what path to take, and after a very spectacular off I got through. Nico and the backup followed.
Most of the day we had to endure everything an Adventure trip like this has to offer, never complaining, just living in the moment, taking it all in, living the adventure, tasting it, inspired by what we have done, and still had to do to get to our destination. At 5 o clock that afternoon we finally reached our campsite, after 9 hours on the road, the last 80 km behind us.
The following day we visited the Kariba Dam wall, and rode the 580 km back to Livingstone on the tar road. Here we settled in for a good night’s rest, and the next day visited the museum, Victoria Falls and The Royal Livingston Hotel.
Day10 and on to the ferry at Kazungula, into Botswana again and all the way down to Nata. Now the plan was to ride all the way to Lehkubu Island, but as soon as we reached the pans we saw that they were flooded. Thomas volunteered to go and see if we could ride on the pans and immediately got stuck. After 2 hours trying to get him out, being chased by a bull and riding a horse, we opted to rather overnight at Nata Lodge.
The next morning we rode southwest, through Francistown and turned right onto a dirt road that led us to Khama Rhino sanctuary. Here we had yet another 4 km sand road to navigate. All went well and after a quick visit to the water hole to see some rhino’s we had a braai and turned in for the night.
Last day and we were filled with amazing memories as we tackled the remaining 620km back home. Our minds still reminiscing on the day’s past, all the adventure still fresh in our memories, and never to be forgotten. How do I really tell the story? As the age old saying goes: You should have been there!” 
   
 
 

Offline Kykdaar

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 12:19:00 pm »
Eish... hectic fun :thumleft:
 

Online ROOI

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 12:29:28 pm »
FTS
 

Offline MURPHY

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 12:30:11 pm »
WE LEAVE  28 June - for pretty much the same , cant wait!!!
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 12:36:24 pm »
Jan, where are the pics....?

Seriously lekker story that just needs to have all the gaps filled in... horses, non-bridges, non-roads, etc. etc...
They call me Judy or Judes...

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Offline Jan Sand

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 12:40:14 pm »
Will upload pics as soon as I find a way of resizing them.....help?
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 12:51:11 pm »
Will upload pics as soon as I find a way of resizing them.....help?

PM sent....
They call me Judy or Judes...

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Offline Gryshond

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 12:58:17 pm »
Sounds like a great trip can't wait for the pics.
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 01:00:49 pm »
I've seen some of the pics... really fantastic!  :)
They call me Judy or Judes...

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Offline Groenie

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 02:24:31 pm »
Jan, where are the pics....?

Seriously lekker story that just needs to have all the gaps filled in... horses, non-bridges, non-roads, etc. etc...

What she said...
Don't look back, that's not where you're going.
 

Geotraveller

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 07:20:24 pm »
Sounds brilliant but needs peetchas please
 

Offline GSing

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 11:43:34 pm »
 :useless: lekker Jan, maar ons soek meer, asb man!!
 

Offline Jag man

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 06:50:09 am »
Planting seeds in my head  :-\ :drif:
 

Offline Shangali

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 07:34:23 am »

   Sub to this ......

    :sip:
Shangali           Out with my Friends - Dirt, Dust & Gravel ..
 

Offline MURPHY

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 08:06:14 am »
HELLO - HELLO Jan sand - we leave soon give us a glimpse , pleeeease . !!!!!!
 

Offline IanC

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2013, 08:19:29 am »
Just done a site inspection on this road. It is earmarked to be rebuilt soon so if you want the adventure don't delay too long. We took the whole day to get a convoy of 4x4's and two 2x4's through to Gwembe. I know the road and I heard about your trip from Dave and Anne at Zamaroela and they where wondering if you made it with the support vehicle.
 

Offline Mooch

Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2013, 09:14:43 am »
Sounds Amazing... Fantastic trip and very interesting!  :thumleft:
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Offline Cheetah

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Re: Zambia 2013 Adventure Lake Kariba
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2013, 09:16:39 am »
 :sip:
As a man is, so he sees.

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