Zambia

We crossed into Zambia pretty easily. We went straight to Livingston, which is directly across the Zambezi River from where the town of victoria falls is.  It was a ghost town.  Our guide Moses remembered that it was president Sata’s funeral that day so most of the country was at home that day.  We arrived at camp, and two of had wanted to go do the Devil’s Pool that day, but had already written it off as closed because of the funeral.  Lorraine and I were in luck, Moses had made a phone call and the hotel and guides doing the trip was open that day.  The Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool along Livingston Island that is literally on the edge of the waterfall.  Tourists go over the edge from time to time, I’m guessing no ones lived to tell since it’s an 128 meter drop. You can only go in it usually September-December when the water is low enough. I was pretty surprised that no one else joined us (it was due to cost) but every penny of it was worth it.  We chose to do high tea time.  We caught a cab to the hotel where it started from.  We caught our boat with a handful of other tourists to head out to Livingston Island.  When we arrived at the island we did the walk across swam across a couple of parts of the river, and there it was

We swam around and splashed and peaked over the edge, we even waved and yelled over to the tourists on the Zimbabwe side, it was awesome. If you are ever here do this! I think we ended up paying $90 USD each, which is expensive for a trip out to a pool for about 30 minutes and high tea but it’s definitely worth it.  Most people won’t bat an eye at dropping 90$ on some frivolous material purchase, but I am more willing to spend it on an experience.  I can’t take that material item with me when I go tits up anyways.   

As we were swimming around in the pool I kept feeling something biting my feet.  It felt like those little cichlid fish that you get the fish pedicures with in Asia, you know the big glass tanks on the side of the road with a big sign that usually says something along the lines of “FISH PEDI, NO PIRAHNA”. -real assuring.  I’m guessing it was some River dwelling critter mowing down on my delectable feets.   

 Had I known the guides would running around taking pictures I would have brought me real camera rather than my iPhone in a waterproof box.  Oh well, gives me an excuse to come back right?  Plus I didn’t go do the diving with the crocodiles there, so add that to the list.  Eventually we all got rounded up and sent over to our fancy little tent in the middle of the island for high tea.  I’d never gone to high tea before, and I had never thought I would attend my first high tea in a wet swimming suit and towel on the edge of a waterfall not located in the UK.  It was quite nice, cucumber sandwiches, Pemba’s and all.  

sunset over the river from the boat

Before we knew it our lovely afternoon was over.  We all hopped back on the boat.  We gotta show on our way back.  A mom Nellie and her two babies were in the river spraying water with their trunks.  I wish I had gotten my phone out to snap a picture but I was too busy just watching them.  Naturally when we arrived back at camp after our death defying and somewhat posh afternoon we had to rub it in to everyone who didn’t go.

….and the driving begins.  Spoiler alert: we mostly drive across Zambia, our one big stop here is for South Luangwa national park.  I really do wish we had more days in Zambia to see a little more of the country .  Well that looks like I’ve just given myself reason #3 to return, not that I typically need to coerce myself to this type of thing.

Next morning we got up and made our (long) way to Lusaka.  Oddly enough the first capital city I’d stumbled into since I had been in Africa.  It was pretty scenery on the way to Lusaka.  Zambia was the first time I really felt in Africa.  And not that South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or Zimbabwe aren’t “African enough” it’s just that the first four countries had a lot of similarity to other places in the world  I had been to (and I’m mainly talking scenery here, people. Don’t get your panties in a wad).  The Zambian countryside is what I pictured middle-of-nowhere-Africa to look like.  We arrived in Lusaka in the late afternoon, grabbed some things we would need for our time in Siuth Luangwa National Park and then headed to camp.  We drove through Lusaka early the next morning so it least can say I got a little tour, visually, so to speak before we were headed out on yet another long day on the road that would land us at our camp right outside of the park.   

somewhere between Lusaka and South Luangwa NP

It also somewhere around here in Zambia that we stopped along side the road for a little bathroom break.  And by bathroom I mean going for a piss in the bushes off the side of the road.  The girls all roamed out on one side of the truck.  I found my bush and had a squat and as I am peeing a giant wasp comes out of nowhere, slams into the side of my head and then proceeds to sting me! RIGHT IN THE SIDE OF MY FUCKING HEAD!  My temple on the left side to be exact.  I was in a bush peeing minding my own business.  And the real kicker is that somehow miraculously with the amount of time I’ve spent outside, that was the first time in the 28 years and some odd days of my life that I had ever been stung by a bee or a wasp! And it hurt.  I guess what I’m most happy about is that well, I lived, so I must not be allergic.

So we finally make it to south Luangwa.  We call it a night fairly early because it’s an early start the next day.  In the middle of the night some elephants came to visit and roam through our camp.  I heard the elephants walking around and making their elephanty type noises.

South Luangwa national park runs along the Luangwa River, which is a tributary of the Zambezi, and is one of the most densely populated parks (critter speaking) in all of Africa.  It is well known for its high number of leopards, among the his heat in the world. (which unfortunately we did not see).  

those dots in the river are all hippos

We saw quite a few animals while we were in the park.  Hippos, elephants, giraffe, zebra, impalas, Springsbok, crocs, an owl, lavender breasted role, warthogs and a ton of puku.  

a puku, a common sight here, but rare outside of Zambia

 

 

a tasty looking family

 

 

snack time!

 

 

being shy, hiding behind a little tree

So we didn’t see too many animals we hadn’t already seen before on the tour, but of all the national parks I think South Luangwa had some of the prettiest scenery.  All the parks were pretty in their own way, but I think Luangwa was very picturesque.

After spending the morning and early afternoon doing game drives we headed back to camp, packed up and made our way to Chipata to spend the night, stock up, and then cross the border into Malawi.  The town of Chipata was interesting.  It’s small, but it had a bustling little market where I picked up some nice fabric to pack back home with me. We stayed in a little camp called Mama Rula’s.  It had a nice pool and cute A-frame for a bar.

Next morning we packed up and headed for the Malawi border.  Lake time, here we come!

4 thoughts on “Zambia

  • Drifter (So Kwa Pala) August 22, 2015 at 10:04 am Reply

    Hi Nicki, this is a nice post – the animals look adorable. I want a pet Puku!
    Come to India while we’re here (a few more months) – many animals here on the road – cows, monkeys, dogs, etc.
    The natural pool looks amazing.

    • Nicole August 22, 2015 at 10:11 am Reply

      Thanks! Zambia was amazing. I want to go back and see more of the country now. I feel like I only got to see a couple of places but I crossed almost the entire country! I loved the animals I got to see along the way, and the Devil’s Pool is something you can’t pass up if you are there, it really is at the top of the list for the highlights of my Africa trip.
      I’d love to come to India to see wildlife. I have a photographer that comes into my work that regularly goes to India to shoot wildlife, he has some great pictures of tigers. Makes we wanna go even more!

  • Sonal of Drifter Planet November 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm Reply

    Love this! I love how you’ve been to some of the most exotic locations that are in my wishlist. 🙂

    • Nicole November 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm Reply

      Oh thanks Sonal! You’ve been some pretty unique places as well 🙂

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