Epic African Road Trip

Hi everyone! I’m so excited about this post. I was born and raised in Africa (Zimbabwe, to be exact), and moved to Canada in 1998. A few friends and family still live there and one of them, another Jane, and a group of fellow travelers, recently completed a road trip from Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka, to Kampala in Uganda! And back. Approximately 6,500 kilometers. The group all met in Lusaka and drove to Kampala in vintage cars – 25 years or older! Even for me, this would be the trip of a lifetime.

Some of the paragraphs didn’t turn out the way I spaced them – it may have something to do with the photos.

With her permission, here’s Jane’s account of the trip from her daily FaceBook posts.

DAY ONE

Our First night on the road! First stop Mpika, Zambia at the Fresh Air Lodge and surprisingly comfortable! Our drive up here from Lusaka (670 km) was without a hitch. All the cars performed above expectation, with the little Renault 4 surprising us all 😎.  About to leave for Mbeya, Tanzania. It’s 7.30 am and no sign of breakfast…. nothing happens fast in Africa!!!!

Freshair Lodge in Mpika Zambia

African Road Trip - Harare to Kampala, Uganda

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

DAY TWO

The journey up to Tunduma border between Zambia and Tanzania

Epic African Road Trip

… we have arrived at the border and we wait…

Epic African Road Trip

The Bug attracts a lot of attention. .. they got shy when I got out the camera

Epic African Road Trip

We are on our way – just 100 km more to travel today can’t wait for that ice cold glass of wine…. and a shower 😆

Epic African Road Trip: Zambai to Uganda

DAY THREE

Breakfast at Utengule Coffee Lodge in Tanzania …. getting ready for day three! Dodoma here we come

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

The first Breakdown. Fortunately not a major one – just a loose wire on the distributor! I did tell them but they didn’t really hear me 😂 they had to find the other end to confirm

Epic African Road Trip

 

Just love the audience ❤️

Epic African Road Trip

DAY FOUR
After an extremely long day yesterday, we are up and ready to do the next leg – day four to Mwanza. All cars performing up to Top Gear standards.
The New Dodoma Hotel
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
Breakfast
Epic African Road Trip
Apparently, you cannot take photos of official places or thereabouts. Nearly got arrested by a heavily armed security guard and he wanted to confiscate my phone for taking this picture of Ty outside a bank.
Epic African Road Trip
Second breakdown … this time, blocked fuel jet. By the time we get back she would have had a complete overhaul!
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
Well we didn’t make Mwanza due to an unforeseen delay  . The highway is actually a highway under construction!!! And the roads we had to use are not for the faint-hearted! Hence, we lost 4 hours and instead, we are spending the night in a town called Igunga. Tomorrow we will leave at 5 am to make up the time!
This little bridge was the start of the 4 hours of almost impassable roads! I can’t believe that they are building this massive highway through these peaceful villages, literally dividing them in half.
African Village
Our en suite bathroom in Masala Lodge in Igunga … it’s hidden somewhere in the township!
Epic African Road Trip
Our bed. You even have to make your own � but at least it’s a bed
Epic African Road Trip
Crammed in the back of the cruiser going for a drink and some food
Epic African Road Trip
We had to find a local to buy our own beer
Epic African Road Trip
DAY FIVE
An early start to make up for the 4 hours lost taking the ‘highway.’ Smooth sailing until after we crossed Lake Victoria by ferry at Mwanza, and then the fun started …
Epic African Road Trip
After a couple of fuel-related breakdowns (dirt in the carburetor and overheating!), we thought it best to tow the little bug to save time… except Dennis thought I was supposed to fly over gravel and dirt! First the bumper was ripped off, then I realized I had no brakes so we resorted to using a tow bar attached to the bumper bracket. When Dennis braked for a pothole, I was literally flung into the air past the cruiser and then rudely swung back, almost side swiping it. I decided to take my chances in the dark with a car that kept cutting out on low revs and no brakes – at least my life was in my own hands! I can honestly say that I’m now pretty adept in the ‘one-foot accelerator and brake pedal, and the one-hand clutch and handbrake manouvers! 😝 We finally arrived at our destination, Bukoba, at midnight! Fun and games … Hakuna matata!
We have 300 or so km to go to Kampala, but are sadly leaving the Beetle here in Bukoba for some repairs. The harsh terrain has taken its toll on her. She has quite a bad oil leak and has lost her bumper😲 amongst other minor things – but she’s still smiling and we will be back to pick her up on Tuesday for our homeward journey … hopefully avoiding the roadworks!!! But all is good … HAKUNA MATATA.
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
DAY SIX
GOOD FRIDAY. The drive from Kampala to Fort Portal and then onto our Lodges for the weekend. What an awesome place to be spending the weekend. We have left the classic cars, except the cruiser, in Kampala for a much needed rest!!

 

Epic Africa Road Trip
The distance traveled from Lusaka.

Ndali Lodge

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

Chimpanzee tracking at Kibale National Park was absolutely awesome!!

Chimpanzee tracking at Kibale National Park

Epic African Road Trip

Mr. Toti – the president of the Kibale community

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

Our last morning and packing up for the drive home. We have had an awesome stay at one of the most beautiful spots in Africa. The people are very friendly and everything is green energy. The fruits are organic, plentiful and delicious. Banana trees everywhere … Uganda is definitely a place worth visiting from the busy city of Kampala and the boda bodas, to the peaceful surrounds of Ndali Kasenda Crater Area. Stunning lakes and the privilege of seeing chimpanzees in a protected sanctuary, the Kibale Forest. Will keep you posted on the next six days as we travel back down to Zimbabwe on the second part of the Classics …

Epic African Road Trip

Epic African Road Trip

THE RETURN TRIP

DAY ONE

A quick stop for fuel and Ugandan beer at Mbarara on our first day of the return trip.

Epic African Road Trip

Our destination for today is Bukoba in Tanzanzia to collect the ‘bug’! 🚕  We will spend the day there tomorrow and get to see a little more of Lake Victoria while we wait for the other 3 cars to arrive from Kampala and have much needed oil changes, service and necessary repairs.

epic African Road Trip
We have crossed the Ugandan border into Tanzania and having a well deserved drink on the terrace at Kolping Hotel, Bukoba.
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
Took a hair raising road with muddy potholes … thank God we were in the cruiser and didn’t stall or just slide into the mud…
Epic African Road Trip
A ride through Bukoba with Abdul on his tuc tuc … won’t catch me on a boda boda!!!  It cost us 6,000 shillings ($3) up to our hotel and back 😎
Epic African Road TRip
Boda Boda
A morning in Bukoba waiting for the beetle to be ready for the road …. everything in one street!
The Market
Africa - The Market
Heading to the Courthouse for an affidavit for me to drive my car
Africa - heading to the courthouse
The Internet Cafe and Bureau de Exchange
Epic African Road Trip
The Courthouse
Epic African Road Trip
The Bank
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
…and lunch of vimpy and samoosa just across the way from the garage
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
The garage Naushad Toyota
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
DAY TWO
My baby is up and running. Still with an oil leak, but we are keeping an eye on it!! Total cost of repairs $40… 😎 No breakdowns, just oil checks
Epic African Road Trip-Day 2
Overlooking Lake Victoria – in Biharamulo, Kagera, Tanzania
Africa-Lake Victoria
Our room for the night in Biharamulo, Kagera, Tanzania
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
At least it’s a normal toilet!
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
DAY THREE
A long 12 hours to Singida, Tanzania, but it makes a huge difference having a good road! The only hitch was that we all got caught speeding! 53 km in a 50 km zone, I tried to negotiate down, but all the guy could repeat was ‘not enough! We ended up paying the equivalent of $60 for all 5 cars 😎 . But on the absolute up side, I am so happy that the bug is going well and to be staying in a decent hotel with a normal toilet! All those squats have paid off – have the accuracy spot on!! 😂
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Africa-Singida
DAY FOUR
We have arrived at an awesome little farm lodge just 50 km after Iringa, Tanzania, called Kisolanza Farm. Such a stunning drive through Tanzania from banana plantations to sunflowers, but not without being fined for speeding yet again.. and before 7.30am!! So we changed the front driver to the Mercedes, as the R4 has a faulty speedometer  … figure that 🙂 … the bug has survived another day.
Image result for images of tanzania banana plantations
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Epic African road trip-The Classics
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Posing for photos … my little bug has been the most photographed car. Everyone wants one and with me on it!!! … too funny.
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Sunrise over Lake Singidani
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Oh and last but not least the exhaust thingy finally fell off!!
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
DAY FIVE
we have arrived in Zambia. It’s been a long hard day…. bad roads and a long time at the border. We had to negotiate some pretty hectic potholes in the dark to get to Prosper Inn Lodge where we are stopping for the night and, Murphy’s Law, I ran out of fuel on our last 2 km and had to be towed in!
The highway under construction
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
So much excitement to see my little car… everyone wants a photo
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Tuc tucs and some interesting cargo �
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Miles and miles of road
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Prosper Inn – 7.45 pm local time (8.45 Tanzanian time), which means we’ve been on the road 15 hours.
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Early morning set off and final day to Lusaka … plus or minus 1,000 km
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
LAST LEG – DAY SIX!!
If we thought yesterday was long try 18 hours! We set off from Isoka to drive to Lusaka – roughly 1000 km – at 6 am. Potholes for the first 200 km or so and stopping every so often to top up the oil in my little bug. This made the journey longer than we anticipated and when it got down to stopping every 15 minutes the boys were doubtful the beetle would make it!! However against all odds and with some positive determination and a fair amount of luck we made it to Lusaka at midnight to attend the Netherlands Kings Day Ball! Shattered but triumphant!
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
The bug and all her oil containers!!
Epic African Road Trip-The Classics
Epic African Road Trip
The ‘silver horn’ award … well deserved to Hans Sportel
Epic African Road Trip
Epic African Road Trip
Makes you want to go on a road trip, yes?
Well done to all concerned. You made it look so easy, but I know it wasn’t!!
Until next time … safe travels.
thejaneeffect

Booking.com

An Epic African Road Trip: Zambia to Uganda and Back in Classic Cars

8 thoughts on “An Epic African Road Trip: Zambia to Uganda and Back in Classic Cars

  • April 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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    Your pictures totally tell an adventure! I love how different they all are, and how you captured so many different parts of your trip. I have never been to Africa, but hope to someday! Thanks for the interesting read, and for the trip I took while looking at your pictures! 😉

    Reply
    • April 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm
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      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t do the trip myself – it was a friend of mine, her husband and a group of people. But, yes, it does make you want to visit Africa.

      Reply
  • April 28, 2017 at 8:16 am
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    Looks like an exciting adventure and road trips are my favourite!
    Great post!

    Reply
    • April 28, 2017 at 9:26 am
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      Yes, I love road trips – we did a road trip at least twice a year when I was growing up.

      Reply
    • April 28, 2017 at 9:26 am
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      Thank you! Yes, it certainly makes me want to travel!

      Reply
  • April 28, 2017 at 7:54 am
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    Wow, this looks so cool! The Bug is my favorite too, I don’t blame the locals for wanting to get up close to it. I’d love to go around Africa someday. A road trip would be the best!

    Reply
    • April 28, 2017 at 9:27 am
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      Yes, I love the Bug. It was one of my first cars.

      Reply

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