Thoughts After
Bikepacking through zambia

victoria falls

I must admit I was feeling a bit down when I arrived in Zambia. I had such a good time Bikepacking in Botswana that I didn’t really want to leave.

However, the time came to cross the Border at Kazungula and start my Bikepacking journey through Zambia.

I spent that first day riding to Livingston which is where you can visit the infamous Victoria Falls.

I camped at a guesthouse there for a couple of days while I tried to figure out an interesting route to ride through Zambia.

However, I wasn’t getting the answers I was looking for. I was told that because it’s just the end of the rainy season everything but the main highway would be unrideable.

So after visiting Victoria Falls I left along the highway for the next 5 days towards Lusaka.

the old petauke road

To be honest, I wasn’t used to all the people, I didn’t feel like I was able to find many moments to relax. Anytime I I thought I was alone, I would stop and someone or a group of people would appear out of the bushes.

Luckily, the Zambian people are extremely friendly (the most so far in Africa)…but it was mentally tiring.

I arrived in Lusaka and realised I didn’t want to ride along the highway anymore. It was boring and not the reason I came to Africa.

I came here to go to the wild places, see animals and be on an adventure…and I just wasn’t feeling like that while riding along the highway.

I managed to research an off-road bikepacking route along the Old Petauke Road from Petauke to Mfuwe. So rather than spending another 4-5 days riding along the highway to reach Petauke, I took a bus there.

I was happy and I made the right decision because I know if I would have ridden from Lusaka to Petauke, I would have been bored of the highway, and just wanted to leave Zambia, skipping the Old Petauke Road.

As you can guess, bikepacking along the Old Petauke road was amazing. I would pass through numerous small villages with friendly locals that were happy to see me.

They lived in thatched roof huts with no running water or electricity. Some villages were small with populations of less than 20 people and some large with over 1000 people.

And I was finally able to have a little more space.

The reason this route was so appealing is it goes along the unfenced border with the South Luangwa National Park. Which essentially means you’re riding through the national park for free.

I was having encounters with elephants, giraffes, antelope, warthogs, baboons, hippos and crocodiles.

It was honestly awesome, and I felt very privileged to be able to ride through such a beautiful area with no-one else around.

During the first evening I wild camped in the bushes…the first time in Zambia so far.

Bikepacking South Luangwa National Park Zambia with Priority 600x
Hippo Livingstone Zambia

South luangwa national park

The next day I reached Malama Umoyo Bush Camp and the friendly UK owners let me stay in a chalet as they had 4 lions walking through their camp the night before.

They felt it would be more safe for me to sleep in the Chalet.

And sure enough that evening you could hear the lions roaring and in the morning it was clear they had been walking through the camp.

I continued bikepacking along the border with the South Luangwa National Park and through forest reserves. It was really special.

There were elephants and giraffes standing in the shade eating vegetation from the trees aswell as antelope and baboons grazing on the ground.

At one point while trying to film some giraffes with my drone, I crashed it into a tree. I had to walk over 1km through the muddy marshy areas on the open plains in full view of any predators.

I was nervous going to retrieve the drone. I knew I was a sitting duck for any hungry lion or leopard. However, it was quite hot and I was sure that they would be too lazy to chase after me in the heat of the day.

Miraculously after an hour, I managed to climb 6m into the tree and push my drone out.

I stayed the night at Wildlife Camp in Mfuwe where I had the beautiful sunset on the river (see pictures below).

Afterwards I continued towards Chipata which is the last big town before entering Malawi.

giraffes South Luangwa National Park
Hippo South Luangwa National Park Zambia
Hippo South Luangwa National Park Zambia
sunset south Luangwa national park

Leaving zambia

I met some travellers for the first time while Bikepacking in Zambia and hung out with them for a few days while waiting for my Malawi E-visa to be approved.

While there I got an infected thumb, possibly from a spider bite and also had a fever which I thought may be Malaria, so I started taking the Coartem medication.

After 4 days, I crossed the border into Malawi. A country I don’t know a lot about except it has a very big lake and has some very hilly roads.

Route through zambia

Route through africa (SO FAR)

Matthias watching the sunset

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