My most memorable border crossing was from Zambia into Botswana at Kazangula. After we had travelled across Lake Kariba from Zimbabwe to Zambia we stayed for a night at Cubu Cabins where we had stayed when visiting Victoria Falls on our way to Malawi. We had wanted to visit Prince Sibeso again in the South Western region of Zambia but we ran out of time. So far all our border crossings in and out of the different African countries had been an experience (not one of them the same) but none came close to comparing with this one. This one was literally terrifying.
We breathed a sigh of relief as we finished our paperwork. We enthusiastically jumped back into our car ready to embark on a short ferry ride across the river to Botswana and drove up to the crossing where there was a man dressed in uniform with a rifle (AK47). We felt very uneasy as we had not seen this sort of display anywhere else. The man started shouting at me and waving the rifle in my face through the window and the little English I heard was “you out the car” “you out the car.” I was not keen to get out and I said “I don’t understand why” and he shouted back at me “you out the car” “you stay here.” At this point I was very confused I thought there must be something the matter with my passport.
A rifle in my face is impressively convincing so I got out the car. I could see that Derek was also really distressed. Then the man waved Derek on “you drive!” What! “What were they going to do with me?” I wondered. I feared I wasn’t going to see Derek again. One of our cousins had been thrown into jail without cause on her trip in a neighboring country and I began to fear the worst as I watched Derek drive onto the ferry. Once Derek was on the ferry the man ordered me to get on, “you walk.” This was not so easy as there was a 1 ½ meter wide ditch between me and the ferry which was filled with water. As I looked at it I imagined crocodiles. “How?” I asked, feeling a little foolish. “Walk” he again ordered. I knew I had better do as I was told but I was not impressed at getting my feet and shoes thoroughly wet. Thinking back this was probably more terrifying than our evening experience with the grazing hippo three nights before!
In the third photo you can see our car in the background.
In the last two photos you can see another ferry crossing at the same time.
By this time I had gotten the hang of things so I went ashore first and took the photo of Derek driving the vehicle off.
The wild life in Botswana, including elephants, roam freely and one has to keep a look out at all times for animals crossing the road. We were nearing the end of our trip through Southern Africa, only three more days to go before getting home.
Till next week, take care