17.04.2012 - 24.04.2012 30 °C
We made our way to our campsite, from the border, and wow – what a place it was! Situated right on the Zambezi River, the views were stunning with the Falls in the distance, and the setting was just perfect, and we were spoilt with a pool too We decided to head to see Victoria Falls, though as it flows into Zimbabwe we decided to cross the border to get the best view. It was well and truly worth every penny and border crossing! The view was incredible, and as we got closer to the falls you could feel the spray in the air. Once we got to the point where you have a full frontal view, it was like a torrential downpour! We looked as though we had just had a bath with our clothes on, we were drenched! We then got to a section where there were signs up saying it was extremely windy, slippery and there were no barriers. We started walking along that part when we realised our brand new camera had stopped working, so we thought it would be a better idea to leave the wet area and try and resuscitate the camera! It was touch and go, and it wasn’t until the following morning that the camera showed signs of life! The whole day had been pretty incredible and we’d managed to visit three countries in one day… from Botswana to Zambia to Zimbabwe!
With a huge sigh of relief, we headed out on a Lion Encounter, with a seemingly fixed camera! After a few camera hiccups and a safety briefing on what not to do around the lions, we set off. We were taken to an area where lions that have been raised by a charity called Alert are released into the wild. We were all handed a stick and told to use this to distract the lions if we needed to as they could pounce etc. Into the lions den we went and there were two females and one male waiting for us! My heart was pounding in my chest, Lee was as cool as a cucumber. One by one we were able to approach the lions from behind and stroke them, it was incredible and they were so much softer than I imagined they would be. We then went for a walk with them and went down to the river and watched them attacking some logs! They were also attacking each other and biting, it was funny to watch, they were very playful!
We headed back to camp to do some chores and prepare for our booze cruise. We were getting bombarded and hounded by the monkeys, they were just so cheeky! One stole my wine glass and ran up a tree with it. He then dropped it and it smashed on the floor by our tents! We headed out on a sunset cruise which had a free bar – bad idea! It was great fun, and we returned pretty sloshed! We then headed to another bar back on site and continued with the fun. When we decided it was time for bed and we had drunk more than enough, we headed back to our tents and went to brush our teeth. On leaving the bathroom we bumped into some of our group who had got back to their tents and decided it was too early to go to bed! They wanted to go for one more drink, and so we got kidnapped by them and taken to the bar with our toothbrushes! After one more drink we finally hit the sack, only to awake the following morning feeling rather worse for ware! We had to say a sad goodbye to half of our group as we were heading in different directions. We then spent the day lazing around and sunbathing which was just what we needed, and then had a nice early night Before we left, we did have another monkey encounter when we spotted one eating out of a saucepan. The cheeky little thing then decided to run away with the saucepan, whilst being chased by a tour leader from another tour group! The saucepan was retrieved after the monkey dropped it twice
The following day we did much of the same, before leaving for Kafue River. Once we’d arrived we left the truck and headed off down the river for a cruise We arrived at our campsite for the night which was only reachable by water. It was typical ‘bush’ camping. We were cooked dinner by the boat crew and were entertained by locals dancing and drumming for us, which was certainly a bit different to say the least! We then headed to bed and went up to use the bathroom facilities. It was basically a stone shed with no lighting. I was scouring the place for spiders when I spied a monster. There hiding in a little hole in the wall was a spider probably the size of my hand, and his eyes were glinting in my torch light. That was enough to make me not want to go to the toilet until the morning! After we braved the toilets back on the boat we headed for bed. I surprisingly slept like a baby, even knowing sid the spider was only a few meters from our tent! We jumped on a speedboat and got taken to a local village where we learnt about their life and met a man and his family, which was nice. We then boarded the boat back to meet our truck and headed to our next campsite. Once we arrived and had lunch, a few of us decided to head out for an unguided walk to spot some wildlife. As I was only in flip-flops I was hoping we weren’t going to run into anything that could eat us, as there was no way I was going to be able to run! We walked around and found plenty of Impala, as usual, and lots of prints on the ground, but no animals We decided to head back to camp and just as we thought we’d had a pretty lame game walk, there were a few Giraffe’s happily grazing just a few meters ahead of us! We couldn’t believe it and headed closer to them for a better look. They then got spooked by a car and started moving a little too quickly for my liking! I backed off a little and Lee went closer, no change there though! He managed to get really close, before they all disappeared off into the bushes. We returned to camp pretty happy with our walk We’d been told that we may be lucky enough to spot Zebra in our camp, but unfortunately they were no where to be seen.
The following day we were bound for Chipata, on a 620km drive, though minus two of our group as one was admitted to hospital It was a good chance to see the local life along the road, and our driver stopped en route to buy some doors, which would have looked pretty nice in our house! One sad part was when we saw a truck crash where it was upside down and the cab was literally crushed Apparently the roads get a lot worse as we carry on up the continent, and we will see a lot more road accidents.
The next day we were headed for the border crossing into Malawi… time to explore another country