A Travellerspoint blog

Zambia

Wild Zambia

Raging rapids to roaring animals

sunny 70 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

Lioness in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Lioness in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.


Zambia is a country of pot holed dirt roads linking little villages of thatch roof mud huts. It hasn't had any major conflict and we immediately noticed the cultural contrast with South Africa. In the country's capital, Lusaka, we noticed a sense of equality among people of all races. Like most of Africa there is a lot of poverty. Most of the population lives on less than one or two dollars a day. HIV infection rates are also very high.

It's difficult for us to imagine living in one of these mud huts.

It's difficult for us to imagine living in one of these mud huts.


LIVINGSTONE - We started our journey through Zambia in Livingstone on the crocodile and hippo filled banks of the Zambezi River. Livingstone is also home to Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls is stunningly beautiful. It's the largest falls in the world at 5,600 feet wide and 360 feet high.

Victoria Falls is stunningly beautiful. It's the largest falls in the world at 5,600 feet wide and 360 feet high.


The indigenous people call the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders).

The indigenous people call the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders).


We got our adrenaline flowing by jumping into a raft at the base of the falls.

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It's one of the most challenging rafting trips in the world as there are several level five rapids (as well as one level six that we got out and walked around). On these rapids there was a 50/50 chance that we'd flip over. Thankfully, out of four rafts we were the only lucky ones that stayed upright!

It's one of the most challenging rafting trips in the world as there are several level five rapids (as well as one level six that we got out and walked around). On these rapids there was a 50/50 chance that we'd flip over. Thankfully, out of four rafts we were the only lucky ones that stayed upright!


Notice the faceless orange helmet two from the back. Underneath is Elizabeth. She stayed in this position and missed most of the rapids. Apparently she mistook the "get down" command from the guide to mean there are snipers on the shoreline that you need to hide from.

Notice the faceless orange helmet two from the back. Underneath is Elizabeth. She stayed in this position and missed most of the rapids. Apparently she mistook the "get down" command from the guide to mean there are snipers on the shoreline that you need to hide from.


CHIPATA - On our way to South Luangwa National Park we stopped at the border town of Chipata, where we shopped at a local market with lots of friendly vendors.

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At one of our lunch stops on the road I struck up a little football challenge. I wasn't much of a match for this little Zambian!

At one of our lunch stops on the road I struck up a little football challenge. I wasn't much of a match for this little Zambian!


SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK - We then headed for the remote South Luangwa National Park. The owner of the campground welcomed us by explaining that we were in a zoo and living inside the cage with the animals. We were warned not to wear bright colors. You don't want to startle one of the elephants, hippos or giraffes that might greet you at any time of day.

As you can imagine, several people in our group (ELIZABETH) were a bit nervous about this. Luckily our cloths are far from bright anymore. Never-the-less, we enjoyed the beautiful campground. We spent our free time relaxing while watching crocodiles, hippos, zebras, buffalo and impalas across the river that separated the campground from the national park.

On our first morning we were awoken by our guide's call, "Breakfast is ready! Be careful of the elephant!" The day before an elephant had actually gotten stuck in the campground swimming pool and destroyed a water pump.

On our first morning we were awoken by our guide's call, "Breakfast is ready! Be careful of the elephant!" The day before an elephant had actually gotten stuck in the campground swimming pool and destroyed a water pump.


The elephants then crossed the river treating us to a beautiful sunrise vista.

The elephants then crossed the river treating us to a beautiful sunrise vista.


Monkeys were all over camp. It was a struggle to keep these little guys from stealing our food! One got away with a bottle of garlic, but dropped it out of a tree once they realized the meal would make them an outcast.

Monkeys were all over camp. It was a struggle to keep these little guys from stealing our food! One got away with a bottle of garlic, but dropped it out of a tree once they realized the meal would make them an outcast.


Thankfully, on our first game drive, we realized the carnivorous animals aren't really interested in humans.

These lionesses could have easily jumped into our doorless and windowless truck and eaten a few people, but they didn't want us.

These lionesses could have easily jumped into our doorless and windowless truck and eaten a few people, but they didn't want us.


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We went on a night time game drive too, to see some nocturnal animals on the move.

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We're now en route to the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro (which I'm going to attempt to climb.) We just wrapped up more than a week in Malawi and relaxing in Zanzibar, Tanzania. More on those adventures soon!

- Dave

Posted by daveliz 03:59 Archived in Zambia Comments (3)

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