Day 22 – Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi

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.

   
I am proven right  by our arrival time -we get to Kapiri Mposhi at 8:30 – the journey has taken 3hrs not the estimated 4-5 hours.

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! 

    
    
   
There are no shops, no fast food places, no music or TV – very reminiscent of the Eastern Block – there is a goat! The only thing of interest.  

 
I amuse myself by counting ceiling tiles – there are 2900 of them.

 
In fact these are subdivided into  5800 smaller squares. I am truly bored!  

 

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.  

  We need to get to an ATM and get a little emergency provisions for the train just in case the food runs out on the train which it may do. Glen kindly decides to drive me in to town and I stock up.

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! 

   
We board the train just before 4pm. 
   

  

  

  

 Whether or not we can blog on route depends on connectivity and power so no blog may be possible before Dar – we will see!

Modes of Transport

  • Taxi (2)
  • Coach
  • Car
  • Train

Distance(miles)

  • 133

Accommodation 

  • Sleeping Compartment (First Class) Tazara Train

Cost

  • 3300 ZmK (£12.50) per person incl food and transport

Location

  • Various (Kapiri Mposhi to Dar Es Salaam)
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. janemlong23 says:

    Love the seating in first class ……sofa so good !!! 🚊

    Like

  2. Wendy says:

    I have found your blog … was wondering why you kept posting the same photo of the station and then realised it was a link to the blog. Wow! You were there since 8.30. No wonder your initial sense of awe at the station had diminished. I look forward to reading more about the journey. The cabins look quite wee! (Tips hat to the Scottish element of our sponsorship to being here)

    Liked by 1 person

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