Canoeing down the Zambezi, as you do.
Chirundu Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
Yet another stupidly slow internet connection so I'm not even going to attempt to upload any photos, which are really, really cool. Will try to as soon as we hit some kind of semblance of fast internet, or a really slow day when I desire to spend two hours in front of a computer in a stupidly hot room in a hot country and wait, doing nothing. As you can guess its not top of my list of priorities right now. Unlike ice cream and cool beer, which I really could go for right now.
You know when people say that there isn't a cloud in the sky, they are usually exaggerating, there's usually a small one just behind that tree over there, or a clump of wispy ones if you squint at the upper atmosphere. For four of our five days on the Lower Zambezi in the last week, there was not a cloud in the sky. It was phenomenal. At the moment we are approaching the end of the Zambian winter and going straight into the Zambian summer. Seasons run: wet, dry, windy, hot round here, and we arrived during the windy (between the hours of 12 and 3 only!) and consequently dusty season, but with the winds dying down, the temperature is able to rise to above 30 (as opposed to the glorious 25 or so that you get during the winter) and it becomes a little too hot to be canoeing all day! Hopefully we'll be gone by the time the temps hit the high thirties. But after a couple of summers in cooler climates its really nice.
Anywho, we've been canoeing! Down the lower Zambezi, the might zambezi, and it is an awesome river. Incredibly wide, two km in places apparently but it gets really hard to judge distances. And rather shallow, three, four metres at most, many places less than a metre. Lots of islands, the land of the Zimbabwean side is so flat that you could block it out with a little finger at arm's length, leaving just sky and water. On the Zambian side the kilometre high plateau that forms most of the country looms above. As it forms the border between the two countries it also means I've technically illegally entered Zimbabwe twice and stolen their natural resources (well, wood). Shhh! I deny everything. We were camping beside the Zambezi everynight in lion-proof tents barely ten metres from the banks (apparently the crocs don't attack humans here!). I've also been informed that the tsetse flies round here don't carry sleeping sickness, which is good, because I got bitten, and they do have a painful bite. No mosquitos suprisingly, which is a relief. But we have all managed to be ill, which is a really good start inside the first week, though I was the only one not to resort to vomit. Nice.
The campsites were beautiful, the second one especially had to be the nicest campsite I've ever visited. Such an awesome view over the river. We've seen countless hippos, which you need to avoid in a canoe, lots of elephants, which you don't need to avoid in a canoe and so can consequently get really close (5m or so!) to provided your in deep water. The elephants were amazing, it was an awesome sight, so big and majestic and beautiful and wow!!!! There have also been crocs, baboons, monkeys, warthogs (suprisingly cute despite being ugly), lots of birds, various antelope species ("oh, another impala" was a phrase often uttered), and a herd of water buffalo, which were also amazing to watch. We heard a lion but didn't see it. We got a game drive during a middle day spent off the river, a walking safari and a trip to an African village, which was a very very humbling experience. Oh yes, and used a toilet inside a boabab tree. (Not like I'm lowering the tone or anything, am I?!?)
Would right more, but time is against us, as usual. Anyway, we're back in Lusaka now, which to be honest, isn't a particularly nice city, I intend to write an entry about it next time, which will probably be in Livingstone, as that is where we're heading next. Onwards and upwards.