Intercape – Jo’burg/Livingstone

This is encouraging from the Zambian Watchdog

South Africa’s biggest intercity passenger bus services will introduce its services to Zambia at the end of October, the Watchdog understands. Intercape currently services all towns in South Africa and most cities in Southern Africa. The introduction of Intercape services from Johannesburg to Lusaka and Livingstone is likely to bring excitement to passengers who have been subjected to poor services by Zambian operators.

Hundreds of cross-border traders travel from Lusaka to South Africa everyday but there have been complaints of poor services. South Africa is one Zambia’s biggest trade partners. Among the most frequent complaints from travellers has been overloading of luggage to the extent where luggage is packed inside the bus on the seats meant for passengers, over speeding, lack of toilets on board and lack of courtesy by bus crews. Passengers have also been complaining of being dumped in some dark corners called stations when they reach Johannesburg at night.

Though slightly more expensive than the current route operators, Intercape’s safety record and condition of the coaches are excellent.

Bring it on!


Livingstone ‘International’ Airport

We’re happy that construction of a new terminal has started at Livingstone Airport as per the article below from Lusaka Times and have seen the evidence for ourselves. However, when the runway extension was completed at huge expense some years ago, we were promised direct flights from Europe, Asia and other African countries apart from South Africa and that has not happened. Let’s hope the new terminal isn’t another ‘white elephant’ and actually produces an increase in international flight connections, otherwise it will just be a waste of more money!

“Communications and Transport Minister Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa has said that it is governments priority to ensure that all airports in the country are operational.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of new international terminal building at Livingstone international airport estimated to cost about $12 million, Professor Lungwangwa said that it is for this reason that government is carrying out maintenance works in provincial airports to improve connectivity in the country.

Professor Lungwangwa noted that with massive investment witnessed in Livingstone especially in the hospitality industry the number of tourists flying into Livingstone has been on the upswing. And speaking at the same function Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe said that one does not need to doubt that the Government under the leadership of Rupiah Banda is a working government.

He said that government through its sound economic policies is attracting a lot of investors and hence need to increase airport capacity. And at the same function National Airports Corporation Limited Managing Director Robinson Masitala said that the corporation has many challenges but that it will endeavor to provide efficient services to airline operators and the traveling public.

He said that the corporation is in the process of acquiring state of the art ground handling equipment to enhance service delivery capabilities at all the four international airports in the country.”


‘Uncle Jumbo’

Meet Mr Evaristo Webster Mutanga (and his sister Naomi), who featured on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, our regular 20.30 hrs Sunday night radio show, that goes out on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm every week. Evaristo is much better known as ‘Uncle Jumbo’, and he has a great programme of his own on Tuesday nights on 107.7 when he plays oldies for an hour – ‘Down Memory Lane’. Twice I’ve been honored to be his Guest on that show and it was definitely time to ‘turn the tables’.

Uncle Jumbo worked on Zambia Railways for 27 years and enjoyed those days. He has a great interest in music – both old and new. We sharpened him up with Katy Perry’s latest ‘Califurnia Girls’ and my favourite at the moment ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos ft Kim Wyatt. I’m getting mighty sick of these Zambian DJ’s Milli Jam and Soulchild – every time they play one of my latest saying ‘but this is hot Richard!’ What do they expect from Zambia’s most famous Mzungu DJ?! We played Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds for Jumbo and his sister – for old times sake! And TY2’s latest ‘This Feeling’.

A certain Nambayo won a dinner for 2 for telling us Uncle Jumbo’s real name, which we’d only mentioned once! Evaristo looks after all the transport arrangements for the 107.7 fm staff and he’s an essential worker – DJ’s being how they are when it comes to time! He first met Swithin Haangala the owner of 107.7 fm back in 67/68 when Jumbo was a footballer with City of Lusaka and he told us he was a good Badminton player too!

Great show!


Melissa Shales

We were lucky to have Melissa Shales as a Guest at Chanters Lodge recently, and there’s the picture of us together in the garden at the lodge.

Melissa’s an award-winning travel writer, editor and photographer, and has worked with many of the world’s best-known guidebook publishers, including Michelin, Fodors, the AA, Frommers, Dorling Kindersley, Berlitz and Insight Guides, winning three best guidebook awards! In addition to her freelance work, Melissa’s a director of l & L Media, a contract publishing company producing high quality books, magazines and newsletters for consumers and the trade. She’s currently Chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

Melissa’s on a Steel Safari through Africa researching the history of the Cape to Cairo rail routes, though her quest to travel from Lusaka to Livingstone by rail failed – that service has deteriorated ever since, and perhaps because, my shoes were stolen in the night in about May 1998, when Chanters Lodge was a start-up and we frequently used the service!

Ms Shales writes “with the British firmly ensconced at either end of the African continent, Cecil Rhodes, great visionary or megalomaniac, depending on your point of view, dreamed of colouring the map of Africa red and of running a railway line the length of the continent, through British territory the whole way – from Cairo to Cape Town. He didn’t quite succeed, although he annexed half of Africa in the attempt, but with the creation of the Tazara railway in the 1970s, the route was almost completed. The story however is not that simple…”

“The main route south from Cairo to Cape Town leads through Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Each of the main lines along the route was built by different people, at a different time and for a different purpose. Together, these lines were an extraordinary achievement for the builders, but also represent a staggering feat of social engineering that opened up a continent to the modern world.”

We wish Melissa all the best with her project and thank her for choosing Chanters Lodge.

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