Nairobi, Kenya to Livingstone, Zambia (Part 1)

Whoa! Where do I even start from…

This was probably the best trip I’ve taken in a hot minute. It started off as a simple tweet from Zeddy and the rest became history.

After numerous zoom meetings which mostly involved itinerary planning, finance talks and us trying to secure some sponsorship deals, we were good to go.

The most interesting part about the trip is that we were mostly strangers who were united by our love for travels. Not everyone knew each other before the trip started. This should actually encourage most of you who are scared of solo travelling / tired of waiting for your friends to show up for trips.

Here we go: Nairobi, Kenya – Dar, Mbeya & Tunduma, Tanzania

At the Nairobi SGR Station waiting to board the train to Mombasa

We (Jess, Hylda, Terry and I) left Nairobi on 11th December at 10pm, took the night SGR train to Mombasa, met up with Zeddy the following morning and proceeded with our journey.

Can your squad even?

Speaking for myself, I was mostly overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety. I had been looking forward to take on such a trip for years and there we were…it was finally happening!

From Mombasa, our next stop was the LungaLunga – HoroHoro border. We got done with immigration & hopped back into the bus. The journey to Dar Es Salaam was very smooth. Our first stop was at Tanga (a town I’ve always wanted to visit), last stop was at Shekilango, Dar Es Salaam. I finally got to meet up with an acquaintance who helped us settle down in Dar.

Our stay in Dar-Es-Salaam was brief. Two nights only before proceeding to our next destination, Mbeya. The first night in Dar was mostly dedicated to rest. On day two we took a stroll around town, visited the National Museum of Tanzania and called it a night.

Kigamboni, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
The National Museum of Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam

The initial plan involved us taking the famous Tazara train from Dar Es Salaam to Mbeya but because we missed it, our only option was to take a bus to Mbeya, which we did.

The bus ride to Mbeya was smooth. One major point to note if you are planning on taking such a trip is that Tanzanian drivers are mostly strict when it comes to time. Passing through major towns and seeing significant geographical features that I mostly hear of from other travellers was a big deal for me. We passed through Morogoro, Mikumi National Park, Iringa and some other small towns before alighting at Mbeya, our final stop.

Iringa, Tanzania

When taking on such a trip, it’s best if everyone is flexible and can easily adapt to any hurdle that comes your way. Select your travel group wisely. I repeat…select your travel group wisely.

Based on our initial itinerary, we were ahead of time since we didn’t use the train. That was good news. We had more time to rest and figure out our next plan.  After spending a night in Mbeya, we decided to proceed with the trip to Zambia. We took a bus to Tunduma, walked to the immigration counters, got cleared and proceeded to Nakonde, Zambia.

Nakonde, Zambia

It was around 8pm when we were crossing over to Nakonde. We were hungry, didn’t have a place to sleep and were yet to find a bus to Lusaka. Nakonde to Lusaka was the longest part of the trip. We had to find a way to get things in order before anything else…pressure was building up…stay tuned for part two!   

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