It was the last stretch of road and I had to now drive it by myself. Having just dropped off my trusty and favourite travel companion Gesa at the airport, I headed East and left the busy streets of Lusaka behind me. I was headed to the famous Lower Zambezi National Park - a place I've always wanted to visit since first seeing it from afar in the Mana Pools National Park, just opposite on the Zimbabwe side of the Zambezi river. I had heard a lot about this place in my recent time in Zambia, so lets just say expectations were high!
These expectations were however met within the first ten minutes of arriving at my destination, as I was escorted from my vehicle to a boat, and transferred to a lunch in the middle of the mighty Zambezi...
From here I could really appreciate the Zambezi escarpment which is an extension of the East African Rift Valley and one of the reasons for the high biodiversity of the area - and what an amazing biodiversity it was! The area clearly boasts healthy populations of the larger cats:
It also felt like an absolute paradise for general game and birds, of which I managed to identify 118 species in 2 days! But what makes the area so special to everyone is the variety of guided activities that are available. Having the Zambezi river as the Southern boundary allowed me the option of exploring by boat or even canoe! Both of which give you a totally different viewing experience of this promised land.
After what felt like a far to short stay in the Lower Zambezi National Park (but oh so worth it!) I was now headed to the place where most classic safaris start or finish: One of the seven wonders of the world. Victoria Falls! I spent a couple of days on the outskirts of the Zambian town, Livingstone, where I once again enjoyed the Zambezi! However, on my final day here, and visit to the falls, I took a slightly different and more adventurous way: I joined up with an amazing rafting company and their guests, who set out on a rafting trip to see the falls from below…
It was the start of their multiday rafting and camping trip down the Zambezi, where they conquer some world famous rapids! And what an amazing start as they got to explore, and have lunch, from the bottom of this natural wonder.
I left Vic Falls with a bang that day and said goodbye to the eager rafters as they set off down rapid number 1 (the first of many). At which point, having had all my non waterproof camera gear with me, I was grateful I didn’t follow as it was a very wet n wild adventure which I’m sure they won’t ever forget! Adding this one to the bucket list for sure!
I shot through Botswana, heading South and stopping along the way to rest overnight, reminiscing about past adventures and future plans. And now find myself back where my interest and passion for the African bush started: in the Greater Kruger National Park, in South Africa.
I’m now sitting in my old familiar chair, scrolling through the endless pictures and memories of our explorations…. It truly was the trip of a lifetime.