Bulletin from the bush – The wild north of Zambia


“The boat was nailed together from boards and the joints were stuffed with rags to prevent water from entering quickly.”

Discovery tour 2008 – Zambia’s wild north

This adventurous trip to the remote north of Zambia takes us from Kabwe towards Lake Tanganyika, the longest freshwater lake on earth. A journey through lonely, wild areas, abundance of animals and thundering waterfalls, some without tourist infrastructure and thus a very special experience for motorbikes and off-road riders.

From Frankfurt to Lusaka and by jeep to Kabwe. Fill up motorbikes, pack your backpack and off to Kapiri Mposhi. Then by train to Kasama. From Kasama we continue towards Chisimba Falls and then towards Mbala. From Mbala to Kalombo Falls: Here the waterfall plunges about 220m and then moves towards Lake Tanganyika!

Mpulungu is the next destination, which we head for with our motorcycles, a day tour. The plan: We are looking for a boat that should bring us to a dream lodge across Lake Tanganyika.

The result: The boat was nailed together from boards and the joints were stuffed with rags to prevent water from entering quickly.

But the owner said we don’t need to worry? Excitement spread! Do we dare?

We dared and loaded the boat with food and drinking water, since it might be that nobody is at home in the lodge. It starts, engine on, we start moving. It goes well, but unfortunately there are no paddles. Well, we still have our hands just in case!

After ten minutes of driving, water enters our boat. But we have a capable boat carpenter with us. He scoops water out of the boat for an hour to keep from drowning us.

We moor the boat safely. We survived! In front of us: white sand, palm trees, sun and a world class lodge. A dream, but no one is at home! But we had a wonderful night and a relaxing day.

Our journey continued to Lufubu, then to Nkamba Bay from there to Tundulu and on to Lumangwe to Kabweluma Falls. Two nights in a tent in the bush was a dream!

We are heading for Lubwe. From there we want to continue to Sanfya, a beautiful lake with warm water, sand, palm trees and another abandoned lodge for us. Not wrong either, because that doesn’t cost us anything. So we set up our bush kitchen. After two days of beach vacation, we continue!

Our next destination: Kasanka National Park. We want to spend the night in the park in the tent to watch a natural spectacle that is unique in the world and only takes place at this point in October and November. This was only discovered in 2002 and is relatively unexplored.

Flying dogs – they look like bats and are about 90 cm tall – always fly at 18:00 hours in groups of about 8-10 million. When that happens, the sky darkens. Unbelievable.

Then we continued towards the Kundalika waterfall and one night later to Old Mkushi to visit some old friends.

Everything has remained the same, the same pub is still there and the owner is still the same! Joy of reunion!

The whole village is on their feet and is moving in our direction. It is always a sensation for the residents, since no one else comes here. Questions after questions, the village policeman has also left his office and speaks to us. We spread out our camp next to the well and talk around the campfire all night. About everything and nothing. The topics included:

  • The pig gave birth to cubs
  • The harvest was good
  • We have built a new corn mill
  • The cattle population has increased

You just love to listen. Simple people, but happy people.

The next day we unfortunately have to go back to Kabwe. Only now we realize that the vacation and our discovery tour is almost over!

We spent 20 nights in the bush, drove 2000 km through Zambia and experienced a lot of things. And saw no tourists! After all, the north of Zambia is still very wild and unexplored. We had a good time here to get away from the stress of everyday life in Germany and felt like we were set back a thousand years.

No newspaper, no phone and radio. We were just at home on a piece of earth between animals, natives and nature and only those who have experienced it themselves can understand it. It was like magic to each of us, like a journey through time or like a dream, not to be reproduced in words!

See you in Zambia…

Thomas, Frank, Inge, Burkard (Tourguide), Cole the chef, Oli (Bike Manager) and Klinge

PS: We went shopping for two days and spent the donation money!

– 500 exercise books
– 25 compass boxes
– 100 pencils
– blackboards
– 80 school bags
– 80 rulers
We also bought a lot of small items for everyday school needs and a bike for the headmaster. The old didn’t drive anymore and that guy used to cover 30 kilometers by foot every day.

Joy in all eyes! But see for yourself what we could all do with the donations from 2006-2008.


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