Wednesday morning I put on Levi's and we headed south. It was a four hour drive to the Zambezi River and border with Zimbabwe. We then made a left turn and headed to the Kafue River to meet our boat.
The view below was just before the little river lodge where we left our truck and met the boat. This view is looking back to the north. The mountains are known as the Zambezi escarpment. Lusaka and most of Zambia sit on top of that wide plateau. It is the reason Lusaka has such pleasant weather at 4000 feet. It is a lot warmer down by the river.
All that dry territory and beautiful rivers. Not much irrigation to speak of since the soil is so poor.
We were met by Louis then Kristi and I got a two and half hour tour of the rivers in the middle of Africa.
We had to pinch ourselves that we were really here.
There were folks washing clothes and dishes and themselves all along the rivers.
It is sort of incredible considering all the wildlife around. As long as you look out for each other and give wide berth, there aren't too many problems.
Just a traditional hollowed out log for a boat. We saw several out fishing, or just paddling along the way. I would be a little nervous with hippos and crocodiles about.
This is typical of the scenes that have stuck with me most of all.
It seemed so unreal with a sort of Jurassic Park feel. Here are elephants and hippos and strange birds. Everything comes to the river to drink, but the best grazing grasses are further and further away from the river until the rains come.
I would be content to just sit and watch an elephant or hippo all day. They were everywhere.
The pods of hippo reminded me of the "Jungle Cruise" at Disneyland. Most pods were between 8 and 25 hippos. There would be nothing and then there they were. Just as quickly and noiselessly they would disappear. We were told that they kill more people than any other wild animal.
I asked several people what animal they feared most. They all had different choices and reasons. Many feared getting between a mom and baby elephant unintentionally.
The elephants seemed to be relaxed and own the land.
Everywhere we looked there were these black dots which emerged into flapping ears as we got closer.
Finally we turned in to our river lodge. We were greeted with drinks and given a briefing on safety for our stay.
1. Watch out for monkeys - they are "cheeky"
2. Watch out for the baboons - they will steal anything. The bathrooms are open so don't leave anything there they can take.
3. There is a local elephant that still thinks this part of the river bank is his home. It is, we just let him have his space and eventually he'll move on.
4. Do not leave the camp area without a "guide".
5. Do not leave the paths or bridges that lead to your room/tent.
6. At night you will be escorted to or from your room/tent.
7. Blow the whistle tied to your bed if you need any assistance in the night. The night guard will come.
I am thinking - "Is this going to be fun?" "Will I be lying awake all night listening to the sounds?"
8. If you would like something, just ask We are here to SERVE YOU.
Naw, I'm not nervous, I am in paradise!
I am having fruit juice and ice and humming tunes from "Lion King".
It couldn't have been better!
We ended up with the honeymoon suite and this was our view out on a point all by ourselves with the sounds of hippos and elephants and lions, yes lions. Sound on the river carries an incredible distance.
I could get addicted to the antidote for my "medical emergency."