Published: January 5th 2012January 5th 2012
Breaking down whilst on a self drive safari is something that nightmares are made of. Even more so when there is no phone reception and 8km from the closest road where help may pass by. This is how the second afternoon on our safari through Kafue National Park panned out and turned out to be one of the most nervous but at the same time funniest (at the beginning of break down) trips we have had.
Hiring a car and doing a self drive is something we have been looking forward to with our friends visiting for two weeks. All excited, organized and ready to go and thinking nothing can go wrong on this safari but things started to go bad from the point of our hire car turning up in the morning with a missing side vision mirror. This may seem like a little hiccup but not here in Africa, turned out to be a three hour process with the whole door coming off to be repaired (which made it worse) to also be fixed, key breaking (when trying to fix the door) and when half broken and twisted getting it stuck the ignition, pulling the ignition
apart to receive the key and them trying to make a new copy. We still don’t really understand how all that happened when all they needed to do was put in a new mirror, but like we said before, this is Africa.
So finally we were underway and enjoying the amazing scenery that Zambia has to offer and arriving at our camp site after three hours. If anyone wishes to go to Kafue NP head to Mayukuyuku Camp. As it is absolutely amazing, great staff and situated on the Zambezi River with hippos and crocs ten meters away from your tent. At night especially when the hippos come out to eat they are wandering around your tent grunting away and makes for an entertaining night.
Well the actual driving safari was fantastic (when we weren’t broken down) and got to see everything that we wanted and more. Plenty of elephants, cheetahs, hunting dogs, fish eagle, buffalos and of course a lion were our main highlights but we saw much more. All this is in the low season for this park as for fifty percent of the time it was raining which has made the
vegetation thick and roads impassable. Two roads were open when we were visiting and we found all we needed on those for the three days. Dry season must be totally amazing in this place and it is a great deal cheaper than the game parks in Tanzania and Kenya.
So the breaking down part. Well much was going right with car for the whole time but it wasn’t until the car stopped and wouldn’t start that was the worst and best part. Best part now because we are fine but at the time needing to push the car 8km along a dirt road to reach some help and looking over our shoulders to make sure no lion or elephant is coming up from. Once we made it to the main road we were able to wave a passing car that thankfully was a mechanic and able to pull apart the fuel pump and repair it all. Well this was actually a highlight for us and to be broken down with some of the most dangerous wildlife in the world lurking around really makes you feel very vulnerable. You realize how important your hearing is at this stage
as when we heard a stick snap we were quickly back in the car wondering what on earth done that. But all was fine, had a great time, saw a lot of wildlife and slept in an amazing place. Cannot get any better :)
There are more photos below