Royal Livingstone Hotel, Livingston, Zambia - Tuesday, 22 September


Having slept most of the evening, I was up and out on our terrace by 5:40am. My reward was to get a close view of 6 zebras on the lawn off our patio! They were just stiring and starting to move off for the day. Two of them walked within 5 metres of the terrace. The monkeys were just begining to scamper about as well and I could hear many birds, though I didn't see any.
The sound of Victoria Falls is ever-present, and it's also obvious why we're told to use insect repellant. I had forgotten at first, but quickly realized my mistake and got it on.
We set out on a morning walk but in fact walked to Victoria Falls before breakfast. The low amount of water was disappointing, but the falls are still beautiful - all broken up into narrow cascades along a long cliff. This is the end of the dry season so it's at its minimum.
After a lovely, relaxed breakfast we checked out of the hotel and rode back to the beginning of the path that leads to the falls. The light was entirely different, so it looked different and we could see the edge of the main falls that one can only see frontally from the Zimbabwe side, a side which is not currently safe for tourists.
We then headed for the Botswana border. Before we got to the border post, we left our mini-bus behind and boarded a small boat to cross the river - it had made a first trip taking our luggage and a few intrepids to watch the beached luggage on the first trip.
The driver pointed out that in the middle of the river, we were in "No Man's Land" - where 4 countries (Zambia, Namibia, Botswan and Zimbabwe ) come together.
It was quite an experience sitting in the vaste wasteland and seeing probably at least 100 trucks waiting to be taken, one at a time, across the river. They often wait a day or even two for their turn. So there were people down at the river washing and drinking. It was dry, hot, and dusty.
Also while waiting on the Zambia side, it was interesting watching the ladies returning from Botswana loading unbelievable packages on their heads and then carrying heavy bags to someplace up the road in Zambia. One had a full bag of cement loaded on her head.
On the Botswana bank we were met by Chobe Game Lodge safari vehicles with high seats and open sides.
We had to get out at the border post and have our passports stamped, as well as walking through a disinfecting bath for our shoes, while the vehicles drove through a puddle of the stuff.
The ride into the Chobe Game Lodge was amazing. We saw all kinds of wildlife on the way and we hadn't even started yet! Dave Wilkes of our group said that he saw more game on the trip in than he saw on his 10 day Kenya safari that visited 4 parks.
We were too late for the afternoon game drive, so we had very late lunch and unpacked, then went for a swim and a great "Hall Party" followed.
Dinner was on the lawn with great music and dancing under torch light.
I love this place - very comfortable and peaceful with beautiful surroundings.
Cathy was shocked to encounter a wart hog on the lawn on her way to swim. We all saw it later.
Photo show - click for larger

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