After forking out too many dollars for a few too many days around Vic Falls, we decided to get off the tourist route for a bit. James has family in Lusaka who we went to stay with. In Lusaka we went to see Lilayi elephant orphanage. They are raising baby elephants that have been orphaned due to poaching and then slowly release them into Kafue National Park. It was great watching the little babies playing in the mud. After cycling out there and watching the ellies being fed, we decided to see the main lodge. It had a beautiful setting in a game management area. We saw some kudu, zebra, warthog, impala and giraffe all on our ride in. The food looked delicious too. Despite blowing our weekly food budget, we decided it would be our Valentines treat. In the evening we caught up with an old friend from the rowing club. It was great to have a few beers with a friendly face and find out what life is like living and working in an African city. Local knowledge is always good and he gave us plenty of advice for what to do in Malawi.
Agnes and Malcolm, who we were staying with, have a lovely piece of land at the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi rivers where they offered to take us for a few days. It was awesome to have a boat to cruise up the river on. Being the wet season we only saw hippo and crocodile, but it was a treat to be able to spend the day in such a beautiful setting. The number of hippo in that area was insane. You were always on the lookout to not drive over one. And the birdlife was stunning. Even James got into his birds. After a few days of relaxing we moved on to South Luangwa National Park.
South Luangwa was a long drive, so we thought we’d get an early start. It was still pitch dark as we drove through the streets of Lusaka. We were turning right at a robot when suddenly a cop pulled in front of us, blocked us and got out of his car. We couldn’t understand what we’d done wrong. He told James he’d “invaded the intersection”. If you want to turn right, you need to stay behind the white line until there is a green arrow(even though most robots don’t have a green arrow). You cannot wait in the middle of the intersection until it is safe to turn right. He said we should follow him to the police station. I said on the way there I feel happier that we’ve gone to the station, there’ll be less chance of him trying to cheat us. Once there he wrote out a fine(obviously not on carbon paper) and fined James for two offences. One for invading the intersection and a second for dangerous driving, as a result of invading the intersection. It all came to about R1000. He then mentioned that the police station only opened at 8am so if we wanted to get an invoice, we’d have to wait 3 hours! If we didn’t have a 10 hour drive ahead of us we might have waited it out. But managed to halve the fine (which we would mark down as African school fees), paid and got going again. He waved us off with a smile and assured us the receipt would be in the post!