Feeling a bit like an African pioneer, the name of this Safari Camp/Campground certainly sounded appealing for me and Zimba. Another bonus is that it lies on a big property near the airport, about 15 km’s east off the city centre off Zambian’s capital Lusaka.
There really isn’t much to see or to do in Lusaka and the traffic is absolutely chaotic and to be avoided as much as possible. This is a hard task, as there is no ring road around the city center, to avoid congestion.
A friendly young girl with a ‘Precious’ Name welcomed me and showed me around. Lots of space with braai facilities and hot showers. There was a vibrant feel in the air and I felt home straight away. After a few days bush camping, I was looking forward to the basics; food and shower.
However the dynamics in this camp left me astray. There was another Zebra wagon camped out, a newer Nisan Navarra model with all bits and bops. But when English owner David told me the trouble they had with their zebra already, I just looked at Zimba and was even more happy, driving this reliable cruising zebra.
Nompumelelo is a South African painting and photographing artist, who spent a week here at pioneer camp with a dozen more artists from Cape Town. She was interested to see my photos as we were talking about the subject. She was quite impressed and asked for a photo shoot in the afternoon. Sure, why not? Meanwhile, I was friendly greeted by new neighbours with the words: ‘hallo, wie lange sind sie schon unterwegs?’ (How long have you been traveling?) Seeing the German stickers on Zimba, a polite, slightly older Swiss couple suggested that I speak German.
They were right. We had a good chat, but I needed to get started to set up camp.
That didn’t happen for some time longer, as a scruffy looking ‘Italiano seniori’ Claudio told me all about their planned upcoming trip through some remote areas of Zambia and later in Botswana. He’s doing the maintenance on 4 off-road vehicles before his family and friends arrive at the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Nompumelelo got dressed in colourful fashion for the photo shoot. And this is what we did.
The dynamics of this camp with travelers and extremely friendly and helpful staff was somehow electric, just what any camp should be like. Just fabulous. I managed to shower and eat eventually to meet the other ‘pioneers’ around the bush TV for a few beers and Gin Tonic and plenty of stories to share. Even the precious staff joined in, which made this a homey gathering.
Claudio offered me to join them on their adventure around Zambia. Maybe it was the gin talking?
On a quiet day during the week, Claudio and I decided to go shopping and cook some nice food tonight.
We invited Precious to join and we had a plan.
Claudio was the grill master Italian style, adding ‘Bruschetta’ to the menu.
I would do the stir fry vegetables and the almost famous carrot salad and Precious was coordinating the table set, coals and so on.
The wine complimented the fantastic food well and the company was just perfect.
With no other guests, it felt like a three-course dinner on safari.
Coming back from ‘Lower Zambezi National Park’, Claudio welcomed me with open arms and introduced me to his family and friends. A friendly Italian bunch, more like family. They were happy for me to join them and so I will. Via ‘Blue Lagoon National Park’ into ‘Kafue National Park’ and further northwest towards the Angola border, before circling down to Livingstone and Victoria Falls. Most of the tour covers seldom driven 4 WD tracks in the middle off nowhere. My kinda tour. A lot of prep, shopping, and organizing will be done before we leave tomorrow morning.
I never have joined a WD convoy before, it will be an interesting adventure in many ways. Let’s see what happens?!?
If you happen to get to Lusaka, I would suggest staying at ‘Pioneer Camp’.
Owners Paul and Sophie and all their friendly staff will make you feel at home, away from home.
They also own ‘Kafue River Lodge’ in Kafue National Park and organize Taylor made trips throughout the country.