The Pedicle Road

My next adventure was to the Luapula province, which, in my opinion, has the largest variety of water bodies (lakes, waterfalls, rivers) in the country. I opted to travel to Mansa, Luapula’s provincial capital, using the Mufulira – Pedicle route, it is the alternative way to get to there. I got to see a bit of the DRC, it’s culture and the numerous fabric vendors at the border posts, plus it was way shorter than using the Serenje-Samfya route.

🛂It was a 19km drive on gravel road from Mufulira to the Mokambo border. We begun border crossing formalities by presenting our ID’s (NRC/Passport) and the white book of the vehicle to Customs then to Immigration for a gate pass (no Covid test was required). I was pleased to see that the Zambian Immigration does not charge anything as you exit Zambia.

Once we crossed over to the DRC, we had to present our ID’s, the vehicle’s white book and we paid a fee for the vehicle (about K 100 in total at the time we crossed / it does not seem like it is a fixed fee but it should always add up to about the same 😄). We were then given a stamped gate pass which would have to be presented at the Mwenda border (🇨🇩 exit) and Chembe Border (🇿🇲 entry).

In the DRC, we drove along the Pedicle road, which was literally one long stretch from the Mokambo border to the Mwenda border with close to zero settlements along the road. You would definately need to buy enough fuel from Mufulira before you cross the border.

The Pedicle road was constructed prior to the 1950’s to enable Zambia to connect the Copperbelt and Luapula province. The road is tarred with occasional potholes but it is still a cost and time saving option if you’re heading to the Luapula province.

Once we got to the Mwenda and Chembe border posts we went through the same formality (present ID’s – Customs – Immigration) and then we crossed over the Luapula River via the Levy Mwanawasa Bridge into Chembe. The source of the Luapula river is actually located at Lake Bangweulu and it flows north into Lake Mweru. Throughout most of its path, the Luapula river forms the border line between Zambia and DRC.

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