This is the final post from Zambia before we set off for Botswana.
Dee and I had the opportunity to go on an Elephant Back Safari. The decision to go was not made lightly. Firstly, I always thought that African Elephants were big, dangerous, wild animals, and although baby elephants were rather sweet, their mums and dads would probably kill you if you went anywhere near them. I knew that Indian Elephants were often domesticated working animals, and that they could be ridden, but I wasn’t so sure about the african animals.
This is just a short post from the morning of our last full day in Zambia, with a few more pictures from the grounds of the Zambezi Sun Hotel.
There are several of these ponds around the grounds. This one was just behind our room and I was quite taken by the reflections in these two photos.
This is one of the gardeners working on removing weed from another pond. He was using the dugout canoe like a ‘wheelbarrow’, but before he could start work he needed to bail out the water.
The next few photographs are of Lesser Masked Weaver Birds. The male birds were all busy building nests in the hope of attracting a female. Females choose their mate based on which male has produced the best nest. I’m not quite sure how they keep the eggs in with a socking great hole in the bottom.
It was on this spot that our fellow guest, mentioned in an earlier post, had been standing when he was surprised by a crocodile emerging from the water. He told us the story when we were on the way back from this morning’s walk, so presumably the crocodile had been in the pool whilst we were standing here.
Veined Swallowtail Butterfly
This rather pretty lake within the grounds has a crocodile sculpture on the island. Maybe there are some real ones in here as well.
Vervet monkey mother and child.
Vervet monkey mother and baby club.
The gardeners were still working. I wonder whether they get ‘danger money’ for tidying the crocodile infested pools?
We are off on an Elephant Safari this afternoon. Please come back soon to see a few more photographs from Zambia. The first post in this series can be found here.
Whilst in Zambia, and included in our holiday, was a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi river. This took place at the end of our second day at the Victoria Falls.
At the appointed hour, we all trooped down to the landing stage to embark on our ‘cruise boat’. With no idea of which way the boat would be pointing when the sun went down, we settled for trying to find some seats by a rail on the upper deck. Then we sat back and enjoyed the included Gin and Tonics.
When travelling to Africa, one of the first questions that needs to be answered is when should you go. Dee and I particularly like the wildlife viewing, so choosing the best time for spotting animals is a priority. This normally means going during the ‘dry season’ because then the animals will be at the waterholes and rivers. This was the basis for choosing October for this trip, and we will get to the wildlife eventually, I promise.
During our stay in Zambia, we were staying at the Zambezi Sun Hotel. Sadly, this hotel was the poor relation to the 5 star Royal Livingstone next door. Never mind, we were only here for 3 nights and the hotel was comfortable enough.
There were armed guards stationed around the outside dining areas, but these ‘armed guards’ were armed only with catapults, and were there to keep the rather cheeky Vervet Monkeys from stealing food from the guests. These little devils would sit in strategic positions, waiting for guests to take their eyes off their food, then they would pounce. This was a serious problem at breakfast, where they had a particular taste for muffins, probably because they were easy to grab. It was quite amusing to watch, as long as it was not your breakfast. There were many Vervet Monkeys living in the hotel grounds and generally they were no problem, but it was important to keep your room doors and windows closed, otherwise they could be a little ‘light fingered’.
Dee and I went on a holiday to Zambia and Botswana in October 2008, a holiday which the tour operator grandly called “In the Footsteps of Livingstone”. It was hard to believe that this trip could possibly do justice to the experiences of this famous explorer and indeed I am sure that this was the case. Dr Livingstone must have experienced many trials and tribulations preparing for his travels though, and one problem that we had was the tour operator screwing up the booking of this holiday, and having to shorten it by a day because they didn’t book the return flight properly. On this trip they led us, and most of our travel companions, a ‘merry dance’ during the weeks before we were to depart. Thankfully though, they now seem to have overcome these problems, and recently our holiday arrangements with them have been better managed.
Regardless of these problems, this holiday was the best travel experience that we had ever had up until then, and it still ranks right at the top.