On the second weekend of September, I bused 7 hours from Kitwe to Lusaka and 7 hours back from Lusaka to Kitwe for a ZamFam bonding at Lilayi Lodge.
On the third weekend of September, I bused 15 hours from Kitwe to Livingstone and 13 hours back from Livingstone to Kitwe to take a dip in Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls.
On the fourth weekend of September, this past weekend, I bused 25 hours from Kitwe to Lilongwe and then 5 hours from Lilongwe to Mangochi and then 3 hours from Mangochi to Lilongwe, 15 hours from Lilongwe to Lusaka, and then finally 7 hours from Lusaka to Kitwe – back home.
This concludes my 3-weekend frenzy of travel as well as my tolerance for buses in Zambia. It all started off fine and dandy as Mazhandu Family Bus Services is widely the most trusted charter company in Zambia.
Things went a little south, however, on my trip back from Livingstone when the entire bus was jolted awake as the driver swerved to avoid hitting a person and then again when the driver slammed on the breaks to let cattle cross the road. I thought night-time driving would be super convenient, but it turns out it is actually terrifying.
Then our Kobs Charter bus from Lusaka to Lilongwe and back was dreadful. I incorrectly assumed this bus would be even nicer than all the others I had ridden because it was cross-country and estimated to take 14 hours. I was wrong. Not only did the bus arrive late, it did not have A/C, it was overloaded with passengers standing or sitting on stools in the aisle, and on the way back a bag fell from the top compartment and hit me in the face. Then, after finally arriving in Malawi at 7 am, 14 of us and a driver piled into a 12-passenger minibus with all of our gear for Lake of Stars. I sorely missed the semi-cama buses I used to travel from Uruguay to Chile in those moments.
The adventure at the other end of the bus was definitely worth it, but for anyone interested in traveling from Zambia to Malawi, I suggest finding another bus company or flying!
After 97 hours of sleeping, reading, playing candy crush, and staring out the window of buses, I am FINALLY back in Kitwe and here to stay.