It’s Monday 25th October 2010 and Zambia in perspective

I’m back from an extraordinary educational trip through Zambia, I had the most incredible experiences, from canoeing in the Lower Zambezi to swimming in the Devil’s pool in the Victoria Falls which I highly recommend to anyone.

Zambezi RiverBaby Hippo at Sausage Three lodge

I left South Luangwa on the morning flight and flew to Jeki Airstrip, a route which takes you along the Zambezi at low level – what a magnificent sight. The river can get up to 2km wide and the water is crystal clear, looking blue from the air, with large swirling sandbanks underneath.

Canoeing on Zambezi RiverCanoeing on Zambezi River

After 30 minutes transfer through the park we arrived at Old Mondoro, a very open camp facing the Zambezi River. This camp breathes adventure and wildness. Lots of elephants around camp, as there are in South Luangwa at this time of year.

Herd of elephantsHerd of elephants drinking by the Zambezi channel

From here we boated to Sausage Tree camp where I had a wonderful stay. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi, with marsh islands directly in front of camp, the sights are amazing. You can relax in front of your tent and contemplate the game just a few meters from you. Each tent is secluded and very private, positioned perfectly in the shade of enormous Sausage Trees. The tents are elegant and very well decorated.

elephants scratchingelephants scratching

Tiger fishing, game drives, canoeing, boating and walking are all available and can be combined for fantastic game viewing. I had a magical morning canoeing along a beautiful Zambezi channel. From the silent canoes we saw more than 200 elephants, which were very relaxed with our presence. Different herds stopped a few meters from us to drink and refresh before crossing the channel. It’s beautiful how the herd gets all together before crossing. Some juveniles played on the edge, with others scratching their back on the trees or covering their bodies with dry sand.

cubs having a siesta in the treelioness siesta in the tree

After lunch I was transferred by boat to Chiawa, where I was kindly welcomed by Grant Cummings. Everyone in the area was really excited about a pride of lions that had killed a buffalo the day before and were sleeping not far from camp. So we jumped in the Land Cruiser and hit the road to find this pride, and we made it! After this lovely sighting we stopped by the Zambezi channel and took some great hippo shoots while the sun went down and we had our G&T.

Early in the morning I was transferred to Chongwe River Camp – what a stunning location, not only the confluence of two rivers but also near the mountains of the impressive Zambezi escarpment. All rooms face the Chongwe River and the Albida Suite is something very, very special; ideal for honeymoon.

I had great expectations for my visit to Chongwe River House, the sister house of Luangwa Safari House, both designed by Neil Rocher – it’s a really great piece of art! As in Luangwa Safari House, there is no single straight line to be seen! From the house you look out over the deck and pool to the river and mountains beyond – really amazing.

Time is always too short when you are in such an amazing place as Lower Zambezi. But it was time to leave and Livingstone was waiting.

Tongabezi Lodge by Zambezi RiverVictoria Falls Spray from Tongabezi Lodge

Tongabezi Lodge is set in a grove of African ebony trees on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River, it’s a fantastic and very romantic lodge. I had the privilege of staying in the Nut House with a private plunge pool and the most fabulous view to the river. Here they offer all the activities which you can do in Livingstone. I had a very pleasant sunset cruise in the evening and explored one of the most awe-inspiring phenomenon – Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls – early in the morning.

Victoria Falls Zambia sideVictoria Falls Zimbabwe side

Finally, Stanley Safari Lodge. Being so near to Victoria Falls you can see the spray and across the Zambezi into Zimbabwe.

Michelle Attala

Just before I go, some of you may have met, Michelle Attala who worked with us in these last two years. She is exhibiting her photographs taken in Liuwa Plain and on Mobiles at the John Fielder Gallery (Denver Photo & Art Gallery) on 833 Sante Fe Drive, Denver, Colorado, USA. If you can’t make the exhibition then check out her website www.michelleattala.com to see her beautiful photographs.

Have a wonderful week,

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