Robert Munro
/ Rob Munro


Zambia in August 2006.

Cycling through northern Zambia has been the most remote part of our trip. It took us 6 days to cross the country - only half a day on a tarred road and only one town with a guesthouse to stay in.

On the second day we were cycling with James in the evening and he invited us to set up our tent by his house. We have been humbled by the hospitality of the Zambians. As would be repeated the next few nights, we were treated as welcome guests and enjoyed a freshly cooked meal and the fun company of his extended family.

Another day riding down a long unpopulated road with only a bush fire and scorpion for company.

The headman of Ketete village invited us to camp in his village on the the third night. We never learned his name - even when he gave us his address for us to send some photos to it simply said 'Headman, Ketete village'. Everyone had a good laugh at me trying to draw water from the well.

We passed through our only large town in Zambia when the road we were travelling along crossed the trans-African highway at Nakonde. Left is a typical scene in a dusty town: people struggling with an overloaded bike; two people greeting each other (this can be a lengthy process); and others carrying various goods around on their heads. Right is less typical - 6 years ago while Peter and I cycled through Queensland, Australia we had the pleasure of seeing the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre pass us as we cycled by. We had the same experience again by the road here as a young boy carried a massive poster of it right by us. It was an oddly surreal moment.

Chanda, a teacher in Shem, put us up on our last night in Zambia - he had the cutest little kid who reportedly never cried, except whenever he saw me.

It took us 2 days to cycle the final stretch of road to the Malawi border. We didn't pass a single vehicle the whole time but we heard that a 4WD made the trip every now and then. It was little more than a walking track in places and when we finally reached the border the Zambian side of immigration was abandoned. There are plans to pave this road in the next 5 years. It will be an overwhelming benefit for the few people living along it so I hope it goes ahead, but it was nice to pass through while it was still so remote.

From Zambia we headed into Malawi.