Kapiri Mposhi is apparently not a tourist town. All the guides are very dismissive of the place. We are coming here for one reason – to catch a train!
Kapiri Mposhi is the end of the line (or the beginning!) for the TAZARA Express. This train will take us to Dar Es Salaam in two days. It will provide both our transport and our accommodation (first class).
Our train does not leave until 4pm, the journey to Lusaka takes a few hours (5 hours we are told) and Kapiri Mposhi is not a place we want to stay for any length, so why the early start. There is a Bonus! Two people, who used to work with in Malawi in a project near to Anita, are coming to meet us and spend some time with us. Wendy and Glen now live in Zambia and Kapiri Mposhi is where we get closest to them.
Up at 4am for a taxi pick up at 4:45am. We get to the bus stand and pay for our tickets. There are spaces on the 5:30am bus so they put on this one instead – not sure if this is going to be a mistake, a wait means more hours in Kapiri Mposhi and Glen and Wendy will not be there to meet us on arrival. Still it means we’re not sitting around for a hour in Lusaka – though I’m not convinced this is not preferable but we go with the flow as we have so much on this journey.
Kapiri Mposhi has little to offer the tourist – the station is impressive from the outside but inside it’s a echoing box with chairs. We should probably have arrived later!
I am relieved to see a small market across the road outside of the station. We explore it; purchase some tomatoes and oranges; have some tea / coffee in a little café – it passes the time.
Glen and Wendy arrive with one daughter Kathy just after 11:30am with tea, coffee and lunch for us all. As we munch on boiled eggs and soda bread we chat about life in Zambia, Uganda and Malawi (where they have worked) and Tanzania. Glen works as a lecturer in a Bible School. For Anita it’s another opportunity to catch up with old friends and it’s good for the rest of us to put names to faces and make friends.
About 3pm they have to leave but it’s been good to touch base.
We are escorted to the First Class Lounge for the remainder of our wait. More importantly it has a First Class Toilet!
Modes of Transport
- Taxi (2)
- Sleeping Compartment (First Class) Tazara Train
- 3300 ZmK (£12.50) per person incl food and transport
- Various (Kapiri Mposhi to Dar Es Salaam)