Kazungala: A Town Tied to Four Countries
Kazungala: A Town Tied to Four Countries
My wonderful mother turns 70 today.
I have a phone call to make tonight!
So, there is a big difference between beer that is 5% alcohol and beer that is 4.2% alcohol. I had no idea that a small 0.8% could make such a big difference, but the difference is between getting smashed and being hungover or having fun and waking up feeling good.
I have been consuming crazy amounts of Mosi beer at night. It is one of Zambia’s premier beer, but it is 4.2% alcohol. In the past two nights, I had at least six or seven of the big 500ml bottles. At the end of the night, I did not really feel much differently than I would normally. No slurred words. No tripping over things. No mud on my pants. No blackouts. No waking up with new piercings in my ears. No new tattoos.
If I drank the same amount of 5% beer, I would know it in the morning. There would be a haze in my mind from the night before. I would end up drunk. I know this because of plenty of experience. That 0.8% alcohol difference seems to really keep things in check. Maybe I am onto something here…
There is a harbor in Kazungula and there are three ferries that cross the river. A primitive cement dock has a lane going straight ahead to take you to Botswana, one to the left for Zimbabwe and one to the right for Namibia. There is nothing really there other than long-haul trucks, but somehow it is very cool. I talked to the locals standing around. They had no idea there was no other place like it in the whole world where so many countries joined together in one place.
From Kazungala, ferries to cross the river to Botswana and Namibia were busy, but the ferry to Zimbabwe was broken down. Workers were installing a new engine and propeller as I was there. So, if Zimbabwe was your destination today, it will likely be your destination tomorrow instead…
I asked some questions in Kazungala and it turns out that Zambia is sort of in charge of everything. If you are in Zimbabwe and you want to go to Namibia, there is no ferry to take you the 150 meters down the river to bypass Botswana and skip Zambia. You will have to catch a ferry across from Zimbabwe to Zambia and then turn around and cross from Zambia to Namibia. According to the locals, you will have to be stamped through immigration in and out of Zambia. That is sort of a headache. I want to hire a man with a small boat to try and get from Zimbabwe to Namibia myself now.
Had the Zimbabwe ferry not have been broken down I may have tried to cross all of the ferries and return to Zambia after. When else will you get a chance to say you were in four countries in one day…actually, one hour…
But, Zimbabwe was not going to work, and I have visited three countries in a day before at Iguasu Falls between Brazil, Argentina and then went to Paraguay that night.
So, after about an hour today, there was nothing much more to see so I caught a shared taxi from Kazungala back to Livingstone (Where are the tourist shops that you would sure find exploiting the point everywhere else in the world?).
In the taxi with me was a lady from Botswana, a couple from Zimbabwe, our Zambian driver and me. It was a very cool international conglomeration of people, something that usually never happens unless it is a group of Caucasian travelers on some kind of organized trip together. It was kind of a special ride back to Livingstone somehow.
On the drive back, I told everyone in the car that the town of Kazungala is the only place in the world where you could stand in one country and look at three. No one in the car knew that it was unique either. One of the women said, “Well, thank god for that.” I said, “I’m not so sure that is who you should be thanking…”
I came home in the evening, interviewed a very interesting man in the hostel I was staying in next door, and then called my parents. It had been a while since I had heard those voices. It was wonderful to talk to them…
It sure is nice to talk to your parents when you have not had a chance for a while. It makes you feel like a kid. It seems to take one on a time warp and it makes a person feel less like an adult. It is like a vacation from your mind…