A small town called Lukulu, Zambia

‘Ben! Today we have an easy day. It’s only 250 km’s to Lukulu, mainly on tar road’ was Claudio’s famous words this morning. To a degree, he was right. What he didn’t consider were the road conditions of the tarmac. Once I got on to the D557 road, the usual dust, gravel and potholes conditions caused another slow motion.

Business as usual by the river, Lukulu, Zambia

Business as usual by the river, Lukulu, Zambia

Crossing the ‘Kabompo River’ by ferry, I was the last of the 5 vehicles. It was only 70 km from here to Lukulu. The road was actually fun to drive, although I  needed to pay a lot of attention to potholes. This is a very remote and hardly visited region. Friendly locals seemed almost ecstatic as Zimba and I passed by.

Sun is setting low near Lukulu, Zambia

Sun is setting low near Lukulu, Zambia

The sun was relatively low already, time wasn’t on my side.

Family transport near Lukulu, Zambia

Family transport near Lukulu, Zambia

Passing a typical ox wagon carrying a whole family, I just had to stop for a few photos. Everyone greeted in a friendly way as they passed by with few gestures.

Ox wagon stop near Lukulu, Zambia

Ox wagon stop near Lukulu, Zambia

A palaver started before they stopped about 20 meters in front of me. A young boy jumped off and told me that his pregnant aunt needs to go to Lukulu hospital and asked if I could give her a lift.

Young boy negotiating a ride with Zimba for his pregnant aunt, Lukulu, Zambia

Young boy negotiating a ride with Zimba for his pregnant aunt, Lukulu, Zambia

I can take only one person I explained but was happy to do so for her.

Pretty in pink, Lukulu, Zambia

Pretty in pink, Lukulu, Zambia

However, this turned in to a discussion with family members. Haha, typical Africa.

Typical housing near Lukulu, Zambia

Typical housing near Lukulu, Zambia

As the lift never happened, I stopped to take a photo with the setting sun on a house in red. The bundled grass added spectrum.

A girl posing in front off my lens, Lukulu, Zambia

A girl posing in front of my lens, Lukulu, Zambia

It didn’t take long for a few girls to arrive, happily posing in front of my lens.

Surrounded by locals, Lukulu, Zambia

Surrounded by locals, Lukulu, Zambia

The word got out, that a zebra is parked on the road. Kids and adults came to investigate the situation.

Grandma speaks out near Lukulu, Zambia

Grandma speaks out near Lukulu, Zambia

Granny had a word or two to say as well.

A bit uncertain, Lukulu, Zambia

A bit uncertain, Lukulu, Zambia

A mother with a cute daughter arrived as well. The boys were friendly shouting ‘bola, bola’, one of the few English words they know. As I had a ball with me, I thought this would be a great photo opportunity taking action shots in the dust against the sun. After a group photo, I handed out the plastic ball.

The ball is out, Lukulu, Zambia

The ball is out, Lukulu, Zambia

The glaring exciting eyes on everyone’s face was priceless. The ball got chucked around in happy laughter, too quick for me to follow.

She loves Mummy, Lukulu, Zambia

She loves Mummy, Lukulu, Zambia

It didn’t take long for the excitement to last though. The ball somehow landed in a thorny scrub, that was the end of that. Shame, but it was worth a try. At least they had 10 minutes of joy and laughter. 

Low setting sun over a community near Lukulu, Zambia

Low setting sun over a community near Lukulu, Zambia

It was way dark before I arrived in Lukulu. The streets were extremely busy, being a public holiday tomorrow. It took a while to find the Italian mob but I  was happy to have stopped driving. 

Vittoria comfortable asleep with her sheep, Lukulu, Zambia

Vittoria comfortable asleep with her sheep, Lukulu, Zambia

Everyone was noticeably tired and edgy about another ‘slow day’. Vittoria fell asleep peacefully in a camping chair, looking rather cute and comfortable. 

Zambezi River, lifeline in Lukulu, Zambia

Zambezi River, a lifeline in Lukulu, Zambia

Another easy day was announced by Claudio, I had my doubts. We didn’t have far to go, but crossing the Zambezi via ferry in uncertain territory towards ‘Liuwa Plains National Park’ didn’t sound like an easy day to me. We lost hours driving back and forth through Lukulu, buying water, meat and exchanging money. I got somewhat annoyed as this could have been done in the towns we passed yesterday like I did.

Watching the ferry leave in Lukulu, Zambia

Watching the ferry leave in Lukulu, Zambia

We eventually got to the pontoon ferry point to see the ferry just leaving. This is a long boat journey against the current of the Zambezi, this will take a while.

Washing while the ferry is gone in Lukulu, Zambia

Washing while the ferry is gone in Lukulu, Zambia

Mothers used the ferry landing spot to do their washing, others were having a bath.

Banana boat transport in Lukulu, Zambia

Banana boat transport in Lukulu, Zambia

Banana boat fishermen passed by the shores.

Dreadlocks and red jacket, Lukulu, Zambia

Dreadlocks and red jacket, Lukulu, Zambia

5 off-road vehicles stirred up attention with local kids.

Family smiles in Lukulu, Zambia

Family smiles in Lukulu, Zambia

A big crowd arrived and interacted with the Italians.

Boys in the hood, Lukulu, Zambia

Boys in the hood, Lukulu, Zambia

I stood behind and took photos.

Ferry post, Lukulu, Zambia

Ferry post, Lukulu, Zambia

We had plenty of time, as we needed at least 3 trips. 

Cheeky monkeys, Lukulu, Zambia

Cheeky monkeys, Lukulu, Zambia

The youngsters handed out sweets, which caused a few issues. There weren’t enough for the incoming army of kids.

Uncertain smile, Lukulu, Zambia

Uncertain smile, Lukulu, Zambia

The ones who got some wanted more. And the fact that no one uses dental hygiene is a health risk for their teeth. A few of the kids gotten quite cheeky, possibly fuelled by the sugar intake.

Modern pirate in Lukulu, Zambia

Modern pirate in Lukulu, Zambia

One young girl in particular. Fashioned like a modern pirate, she played up like one.

Smoking stick, Lukulu, Zambia

Smoking stick, Lukulu, Zambia

Imitating Jasmine’s smoking habit,

Blow me!, Lukulu, Zambia

Blow me!, Lukulu, Zambia

she picked up a stick to have a blow competition.

Monkey see, Monkey do, Lukulu, Zambia

Monkey see Monkey do, Lukulu, Zambia

Her little friend thought that was quite fashionable. There were just too many photo opportunities here and there.

Dreads in the sun, Lukulu, Zambia

Dreads in the sun, Lukulu, Zambia

Kids everywhere, watching the ferries load and unload, the fishermen pass by or interacting Mzungu and locals with each other was just too much for my camera to handle.

Watching what’s going on in Lukulu, Zambia

Watching what’s going on in Lukulu, Zambia

Particular cute was this little one, who didn’t quite know what was going on.

Cute brothers, Lukulu, Zambia

Cute brothers, Lukulu, Zambia

A boy was posing with his younger sibling, just too cute.

Model like Chiara, Lukulu, Zambia

The model-like Chiara, Lukulu, Zambia

It was a good opportunity to take a few photos of my Italian friends in unexpected moments too.

Model like Chiara, Lukulu, Zambia

Giancarlo’s photo shoot, Lukulu, Zambia

Giancarlo is a hobby photographer as well and a good object for my lens too.

Local meeting, Lukulu, Zambia

Local meeting, Lukulu, Zambia

The Zambezi is the lifeline of this region, water the source of life and transport. 

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