Kabompo Ferry

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The Kabompo Ferry is a vehicle pontoon ferry with a 25-tonne capacity on the Kabompo River dividing the Western and North-Western Provinces of Zambia. It is a manually powered cable ferry, propelled by pulling on the steel cables which anchor it to each bank of the 100 m wide river. The workers stand on the ferry and use wooden clubs to grasp the cable — each club has a groove cut in it which attaches to the cable and by moving the club like a paddle, half a dozen men can pull the pontoon across the river, which is a major tributary of the upper Zambezi River. This system is used on other pontoon ferries in Zambia such as the Kafue Ferry north of Chirundu and the Chambeshi Ferry at Mbesuma.

The Kabompo Ferry is on the main north-south gravel road in western Zambia, from Lukulu, Kaoma and Mongu in Western Province to Kabompo, Zambezi town and Mwinilunga in North-Western Province. If the ferry is not operating the only alternative to reach the other bank is a detour of about 900 km via Kasempa in the east.

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