As a businessman aware of how far away your market is, would you be willing to cover the lengthy distance in order to satisfy your clients’ needs? The CHAMS media CEO, Alex Chamwada and his cameraman, Humphrey Odhiambo, joined Joel Wachira, a passionate businessman, in a five day trip to Gaborone Botswana where he was to deliver his goods.
The journey commences at 7a.m on a Saturday, where Joel fuels his vehicle before kickoff. His vehicle is well loaded with goods; curios, sandals, shoes and beauty products for his clients in Gaborone. 2 hours into their departure from Nairobi, they arrive at the Kenya-Namanga border.
A citizen from the East African community member countries except from South Sudan, passing through Tanzania to another country is required to have a valid passport and is issued with a one week free transit visa. A foreigner however is charged between 20$ to 30$ depending on the country they come from. While in Arusha, Tanzania, Joel has to maintain a speed limit of 50km/hr. as per the traffic rules there. At Babati, on their way to Dodoma, the team has their lunch cum supper before calling it a day.
Day 2 begins in Dodoma and Joel explains to the crew that such trips have challenges. He explains that there are some spots where he would not dare drive during the night.
“This year in January, some thieves climbed onto my trailer at a section of a damaged road in Zambia,” he explains, “They stole a lot of my clients’ merchandise.”
After a night’s rest at Tunduma, the Tanzania- Zambia border, they continued with their long journey. The team has to be cleared before entering Zambia. At some point they are lucky to meet their countrymen, Kenyan truck drivers. By Day 4, they are in Mkushi, 860km to the border between Zambia and Botswana. They get to the landmark junction in Zambia, at a town called Kapiri Mposhi where they are impressed at how one road leads to DRC while the other leads to Botswana.
From Livingstone on Day 5, they begin the last leg of their road trip. They are at the Zambia Botswana border known as Kazungula. According to a local they meet known as Leo Mabuku, the river they are crossing is the Zambezi River which is shared by Zambia, Zimbabwe on their left, Botswana on the opposite side and Namibia on their right. They finally arrive in Botswana on day 5 late in the night.
The next day, Joel delivers the merchandise to his clients. He says that to drive from Kenya to Botswana requires fuel of around Ksh.70, 000 and for an organized group he can charge up to Ksh.250, 000 one way.
By the end of the day, the effort and time Joel is seen to include in his goal to deliver the best for his clients just shows how much of a hard worker he is!