Day 1: We're in Livingstone, I presume?

Livingstone Travel Blog

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are we there yet?
Yeah yeah, lame joke, I know. But somehow the usual "Day 1: Amsterdam - Paris - Johannesburg - Livingstone" title just didn't seem to cut it for this blog.

Usually the flight at the start of my trip is rather uneventful, and this was no exception. Though we had to travel 24 hours door to door, the whole trip went very smooth and highly efficient.


We started with a short flight to Paris, where we only an hour to catch our next flight to Johannesburg. I am not a big fan of KLM, and I was thrilled to find that the Paris - Jo'burg section of the flight was executed by Air France, with a spanking new Boeiing 777-300ER.
The excitement was short-lived though, because I suddenly remembered French are rather short people and their planes are modelled to their stature.
the flight to Livingstone
When I say I suddenly remembered I mean I had to fold myself up to fit into the seat and then recalled I once travelled on the TGV to Paris in a similar position. So for the next ten or so hours I had to try to catch some sleep, while seated upright on a seat too short and too narrow with virtually no leg room. Ah, the joys of going on vacation.

We arrived in Johannesburg around 5:30 after which we went through customs, checked in our luggage for the next flight, had some breakfast and went through customs again, in order to fly onwards to Zambia. Less than three hours in South Africa, but a genuine visa and stamps in the passport - that must be a new record!

The South African Airlines plane was the opposite of the Air France one, with plenty of leg room and seats that were designed to seat a homo sapiens, rather than a midget.
flying over the salt pans of Botswana
During this flight I finally managed to get some well-deserved sleep.

And so we arrived in Livingstone, Zambia, from where our journey would truly begin. We were picked up from the airport by someone from our hostel and in a little safari vehicle (a lunchbox in popular local talk) we drove the fifteen minutes into town.

Before leaving I didn't really have this “yay we're gonna go travelling again” feeling. In fact, it didn't feel as if I was to go travelling at all. Because we had planned and booked everything months ago, there had been very few last minute preparations, so I wasn't really feeling like I was about to embark on another journey. In fact, even though I now was in surroundings that didn't even remotely look like Holland at all, with temperatures soaring north of 35 degrees, I still felt as if I would be sleeping in my own bed tonight.
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant


That all changed after Robbel and I had had a shower and walked into town for a bit. We were both getting rather hungry so we ended up in a traditional African restaurant, Ngoma Zanga, which has a terrific outdoor setting and serves up some delicious traditional meals, with great English translations. We had stuff like Koko Yakusashila (chicken in peanut sauce pounded by village women), Beef Mama Africa (with mamas secret ingredients), Chibwabwa (no, not a dog, but pumpkin leaves with crushed nuts),Bondwe (wild spinach) and  Kalembula (sweet potato leaves).
As we were sitting here, enjoying our late lunch / early dinner, washing it down with some ice cold local brew, the feeling suddenly kicked in. We were in Africa! We were travelling again. We would be on another adventure for the next three weeks. But most of all, we were in FUCKING Africa!!!

_francine_ says:
Glad you arrived safely :)
Posted on: Sep 15, 2009
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are we there yet?
are we there yet?
the flight to Livingstone
the flight to Livingstone
flying over the salt pans of Botsw…
flying over the salt pans of Bots…
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
French aeroplanes, like sardines i…
French aeroplanes, like sardines …
arrival in Livingstone
arrival in Livingstone
free condoms at the airport toilet.
free condoms at the airport toilet.
the streets of Livingstone
the streets of Livingstone
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
Ngoma Zanga Restaurant
Mosi beer: as mighty as the Mosi-o…
Mosi beer: as mighty as the Mosi-…
Livingstone Hostels review
nice, relaxed and cozy
This lively place just outside the centre of town is an excellent choice to use as a base in Livingstone. Accommodation varies from dorms to basic roo… read entire review
Livingstone Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
recommended tourist trap
The Ngoma Zanga restaurant is run by Zambian celebrity Jane Osborne. The restaurant serves traditional Zambian food in a pleasant outdoor setting. The… read entire review
Livingstone
photo by: sarahsan