Crossing the Zambezi

Waiting for the ferry beside the Zambezi River

Waiting for the ferry beside the Zambezi River

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 Kazungula Ferry, Africa

The Kazungula Ferry, Africa

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.

Zambia-Botswana border crossing

Zambia-Botswana border crossing

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.


Zambia-Botswana Border Customs Office
Zambia-Botswana Border Customs Office


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander




The two-day truck line

The two-day truck line

18 thoughts on “Crossing the Zambezi

    • Thanks, Janet, I’m so glad you liked it. It’s challenging to book transportation in this area due to the border disputes. We made the river crossing twice, once on our own and once with a group; and it’s definitely easier with a tour guide to maneuver through. But always an adventure! 🙂

  1. Great post, Jet. I love your insights into the exotic places to which you travel. Thanks. Two-day truck line? Yikes. Looks like that bridge would be a fine thing.

    • The truck drivers keep their trucka parked in line and then they walk around talking, eating, killing time for however long it takes to cross. When the ferry can only carry one or two trucks in a crossing, the line doesn’t move too fast. I’m glad you liked the post, Jim, and appreciate your comment and visit. 🙂

    • I’ve seen those rapids on the Zambezi — that must have been a wild adventure! It’s a beautiful river, I love the Zambezi. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Joanne, and appreciate your comment. 🙂

  2. Just a quick visit my dearest friend Jet simply to say hi and tell you how much I have missed you and your wondrous posts.I will revisit and write a proper comment ; I don’t want to play favourites …
    Warm Greetings and Love from UK 🙂 xxx

  3. Sounds like a wonderful adventure and so sad that people responsible to represent the people do not complete their duties and get the bridge built. If those responsible had to carry their mob around with them, perhaps more would get done.

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