On the Lower Zambezi
Lower Zambezi National Park Travel Blog› entry 92 of 98 › view all entries
Matt and Clare arrived in their red Toyota after coming up through Zimbabwe and we caught up on ach others travelling tails. They were going north from Zambia and we would go south, so we decided to take a trip over to the Lower Zambezi river as we heard some nice things about it, canoeing on the river, hippos, crocodiles … While we stayed near Lusaka we went into town to get some supplies and Paulina took me to the cinema. This was the first time I’d been in a cinema for a very long time and we watch “Inception” with Leonardo DiCaprio, about planting ideas in people dreams, a good thinking movie! On leaving the cinema which had taken me familiar surroundings for an hour and forty minutes, like back home going to the movies plus the movie being about living in a dream state.
Returning to our trip, the Lower Zambezi river separates Zambia from Zimbabwe.
The river was choppy and took a lot of effort.
Afternoon tea was setup and served on the river bank by the other guide with a large boat with an outboard engine. We enjoyed a light paddle down the river, going from one side to another avoiding any hippo families. Later in the day we ate and camped on an island in the middle of the river, we also had some visitors as we sat outside by the bush TV (the fire). Some elephants camp right beside the tents as we all sat quietly, they can’t see well but can smell and hear to make up for it. They carried on casually eating and I’m sure they could smell our camp but these were older elephants so more calm, it’s the younger ones with something to prove you have to watch out for! We could also hear the hippos calling to each other out in the river, they would be soon coming onto land to eat the green grass and they would walk many kms to find food as they do elsewhere.
Feeling less afraid Paulina and I booked a half day cannon trip, she was feeling more comfortable with the hippos and crocodiles. The group got towed upstream, four cannons. This time we came much closer to the elephants that were right at the water’s edge sometimes, we paddled off the main river and down some smaller cannels and we both became use to manoeuvring the cannon to look at the animals.
We had another night with Matt and Clare when they returned, BBQ, beers and stories. Next day we all set off, they had their sights north towards Tanzania and us Paulina’s Zimbabwe visa in Lusaka. We travelled the rough dust track to the river crossing boat and then towards the main road north and with that parted company with the red Hilux.
Next stop was a day driving south to Livingstone. Before crossing to Zimbabwe I was looking for a place to drill a hole to screw in an extra screw to my homemade internal lock on the back door, it was coming loose.
We got talking about education and he explained he had to pay 15,000,000 Kwacha for a year (3,000USD) for a computer course at university and was saving hard. Speaking about the local politics, as this was an election year, he explained how Zambian politicians came around to shake your hand during the elections only to shake your confidence later and we both laughed, but it was so true and only in Africa.
There was no drill but he directed us to another place to try and it took a few more places after that I had drilled and strengthened the lock with another screw.