On Monday morning we woke up to a really rainy morning. Thea was very kind and took us to the airport except for some reason (probably the rain), the whole of Johannesburg was grid locked today so it took us over 2 hours for what should have been a 30-40 minute journey. Thea also took 2 and half hours to get back home!
Even though we were a little late, we still managed to check in comfortably and catch our flight on time. Our flight to Livingstone airport in Zambia was quick and very comfortable on South African Airways.
Once at the tiny Livingstone Airport, we paid our US Dollars entry fee and immediately got a cab to our hotel just down the road. We caught up on some sleep on Monday and took it easy as well as planning what we were going to do over the next few days.
On Tuesday we visited the mighty Victoria Falls! Again, a short drive down the road and we were there. At first impressions it seemed to ber far less commercialised than Iguazu Falls. Also, it was very quiet, not many people were there compared to the hundreds at Iguazu!!
Once we had walked along the rainforest paths and put on our ponchos we discovered why it might be a bit quiter at this time of year. The water levels of the Zambezi River are so high that the awesome waterfalls create an incredible amount of spray as the water cascades into the valley. This spray travels upwards into the air, which you can see from miles away! Unfortunately the spray is so vast that it makes it difficult to get a good angle of the whole waterfall making it difficult to appreciate its full magnificence.
Nevertheless, what we did experience was beautiful and incredible just the same. The first part of our walk in the national park was accross an incredible bridge built over the valley. It’s so close to the falls that spray completely showers you and gets you soaked all the way through. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a shower like it. Water was coming from all angles and it made my poncho pointless. Everything was wet!!
We then walked along a path parallel to the falls and we were able to appreciate how wide these falls were! They truly are awesome!!
Walking back up upstream towards a drier part of the park, we dried our clothes off and relaxed on a rock close to the edge of the waterfall.
Once dry we went to visit the Boiling Pot. This path took us down to the river through some stunning rainforest filled with cheeky baboons. At the end of the path was the river just down from where the water cascades down from the falls. This meant the incredible currents swirled the water round and round like water in a boiling pot!! It was beautiful.
Climbing back up reminded us of the Inca Trail At the top we were greeted by 2 Zimbabweans who tried to sell us a Zimbabwean Trillion Dollar note as a souvenir. It’s funny how all the sales people we met start their conversation: “Hey, where are you from?”, “How is David Cameron?”. It was so funny, they all said the same thing wherever we went before trying to sell us something or other. In the end we said we were Spanish to any new guys that came and they soon went away!
Also at the top were a couple of troops of baboons with their strange red bottoms!
After visiting the park, we headed out along the road and through the Zambian border crossing on to the bridge which connects the Zambian to Zimbabwean side of the Zambizi River.
This bridge serves a dual purpose of transporting cars, lorries, trains and people to either country as well as being the place to do an incredible bungee jump, which lets you hurtle towards the river! I or Heidi didn’t fancy it this time around, maybe next time!
Next, we walked down to the Royal Livingstone Hotel, a very posh place where you can sit and have a drink by the river with a great view of the spray drifting up from waterfalls. The Hotel looked very nice indeed! We checked and it’s very expensive! It was a nice experience sitting in the grounds and taking in the view.
On Wednesday we decided to really appreciate the falls at this time of year, we needed to see them from a different angle….from above!
We did one of the popular helicopter tours and it was spectacular! We were picked up and taken to the helipad a few minutes down the road. The waiting area is really nice with the best view of the Zambian landscape with the falls in the background!
After a short wait we were ushered to the helicopter, strapped in and took off into the Zambian sky. It was a great experience and we were finally able to trully appreciate the awesomeness of this gigantic waterfall!! It was simply stunning!!
I’ll let the photos do the talking.
For the rest of the day we relaxed by our pool and caught some rays. A great day!!
Today we tried two of the other many activities you can do in the area. In the morning we did a game drive at the local National Park called Musi-o-Tunya. This park was small compared to African standards but still had lots of incredible animals in it! We were driven on a safri truck and guided by Tony, an Australian who has been a safari guide for over 25 years in Africa.
We saw some beautiful stork that had vibrant red bills, loads of Impala, zebra, a family of giraffe including a very cute baby one, a huge herd of elephant (maybe 30 of them?) across the other side of the river, a Golden Orb spider that spins an amazing golden web, lots of monkeys, waterbok and two crocodiles. Unfortunately we didn’t see the elusive buffalo, which are the only ones we have left to see out of the big 5.
In the evening we did the Sunset Water Safari along the Zambezi river. It was really really good! We set off in a small properleress boat (so we could travel in shallower water) and drifted up stream taking in the wildlife and beautiful scenery.
We got to see some incredible birds, 5 hippos in and out of water and a massive elephant that had crossed the water and was eating trees on an island in the middle of the Zambezi.
As well as all the amazing wildlife, there were free drinks from the coolbox throughtout the journey and we stopped on a small island to have some snacks. It was all great fun! Towards the end we dropped off the posh people at the Royal Livingstone Hotel and then we went full stream up river into the Zambian sunset. It was a great feeling having the wind in your hair and racing along the Zambezi!
A great end to our trip in Zambia. Tomorrow we head off to Cape Town!