Landing in Lusaka
I arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday with the original plan to spend a couple of days in Cape Town before going onto Zambia. But I had to scrap that plan at the last minute and fly the same day to Lusaka. I hope to visit Cape Town on the tail end of my trip when I return to Johannesburg next month.
I flew South African Airlines to Zambia, along with Travis and Lydia (who I’ve worked with the last two years). The Lusaka International Airport is not a huge airport, but the people are friendly and helpful, and the airport is clean and secure.
Stepping outside and onto Zambia ground for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the warm temperature. This is winter time here, but at 70F it sure didn’t seem like winter. One of our drivers met us at pickup and drove us to the TAJ Pomodzi Hotel, normally a 20 minute drive, but longer this time because of the traffic. People drive on the left side here, but pedestrians walk anywhere they can. And like many other countries in Africa, driving is somewhat chaotic in the city.
The TAJ Pomodzi is a very nice hotel; I would guess a 4 or 5 star. The huge lobby is decorated with many local cultural pieces of art. The staff is very eager to help the guests, but I get the impression that not everything is professional. For one thing, the female employees have flirted from the minute we arrived. We were told that they’re probably looking for a one-way ticket out of Zambia, and anyone who can afford to stay here is rich and has the means to take them away. But aside from that, the restaurant has great food. They also have a health club, lounge, room service, and wireless internet. The internet was not so good the first night, but now it is much faster.
I retired early. I was so exhausted, as I didn’t get much sleep on the 24 hour flight to Johannesburg. And on Monday morning we would be meeting early at the Zambia UN headquarters where the local UNICEF offices are located.