I had the curious pleasure of crossing a section of the Zambezi River where four African countries converge: Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. I remember being sandwiched next to a man with a mop.
The Kazungula Ferry transports pedestrians, semi-trucks, and everything in between. There were local merchants and residents crossing the river for a day’s work, as well as tourists like myself and my three traveling friends, and truck drivers who had waited two days to cross.
The Zambezi River has strong currents and powerful force, and eventually empties into the Indian Ocean. At this juncture in the river you can see across to the other side, it’s only a miles or two. A bridge here would be brilliant. But due to the warring politics and border disputes of these countries, they have not built a bridge to cross this minor expanse. There was an “agreement” and talks in 2007, but this has not yet materialized into a bridge.
It’s a spirited place in the world with many different African ethnic groups, border control officials, tourists, strong winds, and sparkling waters. The lives of the people in this region would be so much more prosperous if they could use a bridge to cross the river.
But for now, we all gather at the river’s edge and wait for that diesel-spewing ferry to carry us.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander