Do you know what’s great? Long weekends. Do you know what’s even better? Extra long weekends. Thanks to Heroes Day and Unity Day – whatever they are – Zambia enjoyed a four-day weekend recently, and I made the most of this opportunity by joining my fellow Aussies in Zambia’s largest national park.
It is impossible to count the number of times that this expedition could have fallen through. Yet, against all odds, we pulled it off. Coming from all edges of the country, four of us firstly met in Lusaka for the most ridiculous shopping attempt Zambia has ever seen. Then, in the evening, we joined a colleague to watch our friends’ band Dimuba perform live, while gorging ourselves on much-missed Mexican food and mojitos.
The next morning, we somehow managed to find a 4WD vehicle, and made our way to Kafue National Park, where we caught up with the remaining two Aussies coming from the West and had to fend off bites from (non-sleeping sickness infected) tetse flies. From there, it was on to Kasabushi Camp in Central Kafue.
As we pitched our tents by the riverbank, with the sun setting over the trees, the weight of work and the world drifted away, and a feeling of seclusion set in. That was, at least, until our boss stepped out from our nearby showers in his underwear. Yep, Murphy’s Law ensured that in a country of 15 million people, in a relatively unknown campsite, in Zambia’s largest national park, we had managed to set up camp just 50 metres away from each other. Fortunately, my boss is a funny guy, and we were able to laugh off the absurdity and enjoy the weekend free from work discussions.
Apart from an awful lot of eating and lying around, the weekend consisted of an early morning self-guided game drive through the park, where we saw a lot of grass and trees, with some camouflaged impala, puku, kudu and gnu. We did spot an elephant a few hundred metres away, but I’m not sure that counts. In the afternoon, our fantastic hosts took us for a walk through the bush to some of their favourite riverbank sites, including the gorgeous location of their soon-to-be-built main camp, where we sat and listened to the hippos grunting at each other until sundown. While showers are not normally worthy of mention in a travel blog, special consideration must go to the piping hot water that emanated from funky waterfall-like showers that lent that extra bit of exquisiteness to our bush getaway.
It may have just been two nights, but a weekend in Kasabushi with my favourite Zambia-residing Aussies was the perfect way to celebrate heroes and unity.