Kaoma is a small district town about 3km from the Great West Road
between Kafue and Mongu, about 76km west of Kafue National Park. Though not close to Kafue, it's also only on the edge of the Western Province, so it is very much a gateway to the area. It has a post office, several guesthouses, some basic shops and local eateries, and two vital fuel stations; vital to anyone travelling west that is.
Whichever way you're travelling, it's wise to fill your fuel tank (and spare fuel drums) here. If you have spare space in your vehicle, then you'll find no shortage of people wanting to share the journey. Given the shortage of transport, and the insight that hitchhikers can give to visitors, don't appear rude to the locals by refusing a lift.
Getting there and awayBy bus
All the buses now turn at the BP station and stop in the centre of town. Buses to/from Lusaka take about 5 hours 30 minutes, and cost US$7/Kw35,000; those to/from Mongu take about 2 hours, and cost US$4/Kw20,000.From Kaoma to Lukulu
If you're heading to Lukulu, take the tar road towards Mongu for about 25km, then there's a gravel road on the right, signposted as 195km to Lukulu. After 16km on this road it forks: keep to the right. Later there's a sign heralding a turn to the right, to the M8, which leads to the Watopa pontoon (GPS: FERRY4).
Lining this road are small villages, each consisting of thatched huts built in varying sizes. Ox-carts are also a frequent sight, straight out of a biblical scene. From Kaoma to Kasempa
Turning off the Great West Road at Kaoma, there's a gravel road that heads north and then northeast to Kasempa.
Where to stay and eat
There's a choice of small local guesthouse and eateries in Kaoma. Tom Kok reported that the three best places for drink and a chat here are all along the main shopping street: Maseka, Liye Liye
and Kazanga Inn
. Maseka has an outside terrace, where you can meet plenty of local people; Liye Liye is a guesthouse that has a bar with satellite television; whilst Kazanga inn serves good local food and is a pleasant place to spend an evening. At Kazanga inn it'll cost you about us$3/kw15,000 for a meal of Nshima or rice, with beef or chicken (or occasionally fish) and a drink.
Probably the best of the guesthouses are Luena View Guesthouse
, on the north edge of town, and Mak's Guestvilla
, opposite the bus station. Both have fairly clean rooms and may be able to arrange simple meals; Mak's is busier and also has a bar.