Rural Zambia

With a 12 hour drive (including breaks) looming over us, our G Adventures African Overland Truck group left at 6am from Victoria Falls in Zambia.  We stopped for lunch at an abandoned school yard.  There were some children playing and they came over to check us out.

I had some crackers, so I doled some out to each of them.  The older ones tried to trick me and returned for more, but I didn’t fall for that.  Jess, our Tour Director said we should try not to give things to the children, because it perpetuated a begging problem.  I started reading another book about Africa on the trip, “Dark Star Safari“, by Paul Theroux, and he mentions how many people feel that all of the charity and aid for the past 40 years may have made things worse in Africa.  Anyway, Jess said she would give them our left over bread from lunch.  Unfortunately, she didn’t dole it out and the oldest one took it and ran off.

One of the guys in our group got a soccer ball out of the truck and started playing with the children…

Driving through the Zambian countryside with tree covered rolling hills reminded me at times of the Smoky Mountains or parts of Kentucky.   There weren’t many cars on the road, but a lot of people walking or bicycling alongside the road.  I wondered where they could be walking to…at times we were out in the middle of nowhere.  The roads were mainly paved and there were both cement block homes and simple huts along the road.  I noticed there were high walls around many of the houses.  Whenever there was a small village (even a few huts), there would be speed bumps.  We couldn’t see out the front of the Overland Truck, so it felt like we were in a capsule being propelled along the road, shaken up like a martini!

We stopped at a local market…

I love the bright colors the women wear!

That evening we camped at a place called Mama Rula’s Campsite.  The lights don’t switch on in the shower area until after dark, so I took a cold shower in the dark (well…almost dark)!  Jess made Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread for dinner…yum yum!


12 thoughts on “Rural Zambia

  1. Amazing how all over the world … boys play football/soccer. Love your street life photos – real life to me – love the photo with the solo teen age boy in red – his eyes and his smile. Wonderful shots, Sherry


  2. Makes it hard to know what to do, doesn’t it? You want to help, but are you really helping? I saw a similar thing in Morocco many years ago – adults sitting in the shade of a building, scolding their two-year-olds to get out there with their hands out because “here comes another lot of tourists.”


  3. I have heard that before – about perpetuating the begging. I was told that there are groups in some countries who actually hurt their elderly people to garner more sympathy and greater volumes of donations! Very sad. In Peru, we had kids follow all the time, trying to shine our shoes. I felt bad for them – they should have the opportunity to play. In the end, I agreed to one little boy. He took such pride in what he was doing, it just melted my heart! I gave him his money and a small handful of candy. I knew he would have to give the money to his family – but the smile on his face when I gave him the candy – that was precious. For such a small boy with a tough life ahead, I hope that I was able to bring him a little bit of childhood joy!


    • We were told on other trips to not give them candy because they start to get cavities and can’t get them fixed. It’s hard not to want to help! No one is sure what the best way is…there is so much corruption–a lot of the money goes into people’s pockets.


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