Kalabo Mongu Road Completed!

The Zambezi Floodplain separates the towns of Kalabo and Mongu. When I lived in Kalabo, it was an eight or ten hour canoe or 4-wheel drive trip to get from one to the other.

Kalabo Mongu Road by air, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas

This week I got an email saying, “HEY! Have you seen the road from Kalabo to Mongu is finished?” And I’m like … Highway? Finished?

I clicked on the link and it totally blew me away. I mean. I mean. It doesn’t seem possible. It’s like I was living on the moon and someone built a stairway.

For six years of my life, I traveled across this flood plain, from Kalabo  to Mongu. It was a daunting, full-day, hot trip.

Here’s what I remember:

1980 Kalabo to Mongu Trip by Canoe

ISBN 978-1-938769-02-3, So Many Africas, Jill Kandel, Zambia, Memoir, Mongu Banana BoatZambia, Jill Kandel, So Many AFricasISBN 978-1-938769-02-3, So Many Africas, Jill Kandel, Zambia, Memoir, Local canoe

1980 Kalabo to Mongu Trip by 4-Wheel Drive
ISBN 978-1-938769-02-3, So Many Africas, Jill Kandel, Zambia, Memoir, Kris and Joren,

 

 

 

 

Jill Kandel, So Many AFricas, travel, ferry ZambiaISBN 978-1-938769-02-3, So Many Africas, Jill Kandel, Zambia, Memoir,

Here’s what I’m told it looks like today.

A 2014 Trip looks like a piece of cake. The highway, through the Baroste Plains, includes 26 bridges.

 

Zambia, Kalabo Mongu Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

The Lusaka Times did a full color article on it, “Mongu Kalabo Road in Pictures.” 

I read through the article:

  • Construction began in  2011.
  • Five years to build
  • Cost of US $286.9 million dollars
  • 34 Kilometers in length

It was too much to digest. I stared at the pictures and scrolled through them, feeling baffled. Is it possible? I can’t wrap my head around it.

Then I found a link to a YouTube Video of the Kalabo Mongu Road. It just did me in.

I don’t know if I should cry or laugh. It just seems … wrong & right at the same time, impossible & totally understandable. I wonder if this is how people felt when electric lights first came on?

I’ll just say. Incredible.

Photo Credits of new highway to the Lusaka Times

Jill Kandel
jill.kandel@gmail.com
4 Comments
  • Irene Hoge Smith
    Posted at 15:13h, 28 June Reply

    “It was like I was living on the moon and someone built a stairway.”
    Perfect! I can feel the sense of amazement and almost disbelief.
    Thanks, Jill.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 08:33h, 29 June Reply

      It still seems a little unbelievable, Irene. 🙂

  • Dan Ball
    Posted at 22:19h, 30 June Reply

    Don’t be too daunted. It is still the moon – that part has not changed..

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 08:51h, 01 July Reply

      That is too funny, Dan! Let me know if you ever get out that way and drive that road. Then I’ll know for sure it’s real and not a hoax! Still remember you coming across on your motorcycle. Good days!

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