This morning Vincent came back! We were very happy to see him and he hugged us all but he didn't really seem like his usual jolly self. Not surprising really!
We also met our new guide Mandla. We've seen him previously as he has been running the accommodated tour alongside our camping tour all the way from Cape Town. The rest of his group have all finished and none of them are going further into East Africa. Because this particular tour always has smaller groups there will no longer be 2 trucks running and both camping and accommodated customers will be travelling together. This is also because all campsites in East Africa also have bungalows for rent meaning we can stay together.
Mandla is also from Zimbabwe and is actually from the same village as Vincent meaning they grew up together! He seems nice enough and hopefully he'll be as good as Siziba. We also got to meet Stefan properly. I think my first impression was correct, he does seem shy with strangers. He is really nice though and was born in South Africa so his first language is Afrikaans, meaning Roen can understand him seeing as the language is based on old Dutch. However, he moved to Namibia when he was quite young and most people there speak German as a first language. Like Thekla he is fluent in Afrikaans, German and English and is trying to learn some of the guide's tribal languages. This isn't his first tour as he has been working for Nomad for over a year but has never done the East Africa tour before meaning its new terrain! He's quite excited as he's never been further from home than Vic Falls!
So as mentioned yesterday the group consists of, Lea, Kay, Marcus, Roen, Hisako and joining us will be:-
• Sarah (Australian) - young Sarah is a bit of a seasoned traveller and is only joining the group as she realised that travelling alone in Africa is near on impossible. She's a last minute booker and only decided to join us a few days ago but will be going all the way to Uganda.
• Amy (English) - Amy is on holiday and will be travelling with us to Dar es Salaam. From there she will make her own way to Zanzibar as she didn't realise she could book it as part of the trip (Lea will be going as far as Zanzibar and then leaving us).
• Elizabeth (German) - pronounced Elizabet, she has also come on holiday and has quite a good job back home but no husband or children. She has travelled with Nomad before on their Cape Town to Vic Falls tour so is now doing stage 2 before returning home to Germany. Elizabeth is not camping.
• Chantelle (Belgian - Flemish speaking so she can converse with Roen as it's similar to Dutch) - Chantelle is on holiday as well and has left her husband at home to visit Africa. She has a grown up Daughter who she appears very close to and is clearly homesick. Chantelle is also not camping.
That's all of us! A much smaller group this time which means we can spread out more on the truck and have 2 lockers and 2 mattresses each!
We crossed the bungy bridge and then spent about an hour at the Zambian border post. This particular crossing is notoriously slow and it's actually the truck paperwork that took most of the time! Whilst there we saw Wing who was making her own way across the border with a porter to carry her backpack. She will then cross again into Namibia via the Caprivi Strip and whilst in Namibia will be spending the next month volunteering at an animal rescue centre that is just being built before returning to Hong Kong. We hope to meet up with her again when we get there!
The rest of the day consisted of an 8 hour drive to Lusaka, Zambia's capital city. Our campsite is on the outskirts of the city and it was almost dark by the time we arrived. We rushed around to put our tents up (unfortunately on a hill) and then after dinner went straight to sleep as we were exhausted!