I hadn’t been to Inter-City bus terminal in a long while. But here I was hurriedly heading there because I was running late for my 8hrs bus. I was traveling to Mongu in Western Province for a girl’s trip. The 8hrs Bus was the only Juldan bus heading there on Sunday. So if I missed the bus, I was going to have to go back home in shame. But it was 7:50 and that was when I was being dropped off at the Inter-City gate. If you’ve been to the terminal, you probably know the struggle of weaseling past the several call-boys and trying figure out which bus is yours.
I saw a new golden bus labeled Juldan and I excitedly walked towards it until I realized it was going to Jo-burg. The one I was supposed to get on turned out to be an old Pink bus that had seen a thousand better years. I got my ticket, packed my luggage and managed to find my seat and travel mates with some minutes to spare. 15 minutes later, we were on our way.
I had forgotten how it feels to travel long distances by bus. We were seated at the very back of the bus. The seats were old, small and uncomfortable. But we ignored that and chatted away. But you can only ignore the discomfort for so long before it starts getting to you. Here are few things about traveling to Mongu by bus.
The Heat: Summer is here. It’s starting to get hot. And when you pack a lot of people in a bus with no air conditioning, it only gets hotter.
Pee stops: The nearest pee stops are at the entrance and exit of Kafue National Park. They are pit latrines and are not in a really good condition. There are also toilets at Kaoma bus station but even they are not very clean.
Food Places: Maybe it’s because we were traveling on a Sunday but there were no decent places to buy food from. There was a shopping center at Mumbwa that looked like it could have food but the bus did not make a stop there. So if you’re traveling to Mongu, make sure you carry food from Lusaka.
Conversations: When you have to sit together with no other distractions because your phone is out of coverage area most of the time, you end up really talking. The conversations we had were deep and wide. We talked touched a whole lot of topics and we were so honest about it. So despite the fatigue and limited leg space, we still had some semblance of a good time.
So if you’re going to be traveling to Mongu by bus anytime soon, just remember to carry enough food to last you the whole 8 to 9 hours and don’t drink a lot of water. Also travel with a friend or two, it will definitely make the journey better.