Sleeping under a Mango Tree, Zambia

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To buy a ticket to Africa is for many people a hard decision. There are many things to consider. If you are traveling on a low budget as we do, you need a cheap flight, but at the same time there has to be something tempting close to your destination.

We decided to start with Lusaka, Zambia. Deciding which country to go to can be hard. Every country and place has it’s Pro’s and Con’s when it comes to where to be in which season. The reason we wanted to go to Zambia was due to the yearly bat migration in Kasanka National Park.

Just as many other things we’ve done, you might ask yourself why a bat migration would be so special? The bat migration in Zambia is the biggest gathering of any mammal in the world. They gather up to 10 million in numbers and fly united every night to feed on fruits and flowers. This event qualifies easily to our bucket-lists over an event that we have to see!

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Additionally, in this National Park there is a conservation/research project with Kinda Baboons. It’s a special type of baboon famous for giving birth to white furred babies. So we decided to put 1+1 together and visit this project at the same time.

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Entering Zambia started with a rip off. 25-30 euros for a 20 min taxi wasn’t really what we expected but when you don’t know the currency, it’s harder to bargain and after flying far, we’re not really in the mood for it either. With amazingly poor guidance from local people we finally found the camping spot we were looking for.

Within the camping place, we found a nice place under a mango tree where we settled the tent. Some mango fruits were dangling ripe above us just out of reach to pick them by hand. With a long iron stick we could hit them down and eat them in the morning while enjoying the sun, before it became too hot. On the camping-site we quickly got to know people and we got friends with a German couple, Sabine and Thomas. On Zambias 50th anniversary of liberty they had met a pastor who was going for the football (soccer) game Zambia-Ivory Coast the next day, and we joined in.

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The stadium was new and impressive, and it was the second game ever played there. Although the stadium was generally tidy – the toilet looked to be older than the country itself. The game itself was uneventful and boring. Instead the most interesting thing was the falcons roaming the arena for prey for a long time, displaying quite a show! They were flying over everybody’s heads in swindling speed, diving low and making accurate turns. It was also fun to see how the fans supported their National Team with loud cheering’s and booing’s.

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On the way home we got stuck in a traffic jam together with Pastor Peter. Chaos braked out with cars driving on the wrong side of the street (like our own car) and for a long time nothing was moving at all. In the meanwhile we sang patiently songs about the lord, Jesus and God.

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The German couple, Sabine and Thomas invited us to come in their big overland truck to Kasanka to see the bat migration. They had up to now travelled for 5 years with this car, going around the world, from Mongolia, to Argentina, to Zambia. So the day after we took off in a slow pace to the countryside of Zambia and the real adventure of being on the road again had finally started!

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