Monday, 30 October 2017

The Dinner Train

(Retrospective post)

The final event on our Southern Africa journey was the Royal Livingstone Dinner Train at the Victoria Falls.

The train conveys guests to the bridge over the Victoria Falls. Stopping midway on the bridge the train is at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Guests can disembark during the short stop for photos and for those brave enough to face the forceful craft sellers. You can also step gingerly, if somewhat unofficially, onto Zimbabwe territory; ie their half of the bridge. After that short stay the train backs back more deeply into Zambia and onto a siding whilst a five courses dinner is served.

Some photos from our visit.

The bridge over Victoria Falls; Zambia to the left & Zimbabwe to the right

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Rhino safari

(Retrospective post)

Whilst in Livingstone we went on a Rhino walking safari. This occurred in the Mosi Oa Tunya National Park which is Zambia's smallest National Park. The Park is home of a number of White Rhinos. These Rhinos aren't actually white in appearance. Their name is a translation error by early British explorers who were told by locals that they had come across Wide-mouthed Rhinos.

The safari is cleverly constructed. Led by 'Skinny' the local guide and kept safe by 'Stanley the protector' our small group walked single file - so as not to suggest to animals that we were in attack formation - as we followed Rhino tracks and droppings in our 'search' for the White Rhinos.

The heat was intense as the temperature passed into the 40s centigrade (+104 fahrenheit). After about an hour we eventually 'located' the White Rhinos. Later events suggested clearly that the location of the White Rhinos was known all along but the simulation made for a more exciting safari experience.

Our Safari transport (apart from by foot)

Safari formation
'Skinny' the National Park Guide
The White Rhinos
The White Rhinos
'Stanley the Protector'

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Victoria Falls

(Retrospective post)

It is sad to write that the Victoria Falls proved to be the one disappointment of our trip. Unfortunately mother nature and climate deprived us of the full wonder of these Falls that I assume they are at their peak. A number of dry years has reduced the flow of water at Falls considerably, at least on the Zambian side. A hint of their more usual majesty is visible in the distance on the Zimbabwe side.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Royal Livingstone Hotel

(Retrospective post)

Our accommodation for our three days stay in Zambia was at The Royal Livingstone Hotel which is situated alongside the Victoria Falls. This is a very comfortable hotel indeed with wildlife roaming freely on the grounds.

The entry drive to the hotel
A section of the hotel lobby
The hotel pool with the Zambezi River in the background
A section of the bedroom suites
The verandah to the main dining room
Zebras grazing outside my bedroom
My bedroom

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Crossing the river

(Retrospective post)

Locals crossing the Zambezi River between Botswana and Zambia.

A bridge is being built alongside this crossing and is just visible in the background. It's completion will be a relief to the hundreds of truck drivers who have to queue currently for days and even weeks on either sides of the border in order to make the ferry crossing.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

4 Borders (rather than corners)

(Retrospective post)

We Australians (especially those with little overseas experience) are often bemused by the notion of crossing national borders; especially when those crossings occur within a short period. Our home is a one nation continent. Many Australian can live their entire lives without ever crossing a national border.

As if our cavalier crossing of the Botswana border was not enough, when we reached the Zambezi River again in order to enter Zambia we were near to a geographic point where the borders of four nations - Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - intersect. I'm not certain where that exact point lies but it was somewhere close to the photo below which shows our bags being loaded onto tender in Botswana on the nearside. The tender would convey us to the opposite shore which is Zambia. Somewhere to the left (or thereabouts) lies Nambia and somewhere to the right (or thereabouts) lies Zimbabwe.

The vehicular ferry, also in the photo, was criss-crossing the river continuously carrying vehicles and locals across the river border.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Botswana In and Out Pt 2

(Retrospective post)

Once again we used Botswana as a transit to pursue our Southern Africa journey.

The previous transit saw us enter from South Africa by air and depart for Namibia by river tender. Our Botswana 'stay' little more than an hour involved a bus trip from Kasane Airport to the nearby Zambezi River with Inwards and Outwards Immigration processing at either end.

Now, two days later we were engaged in a reverse transit to facilitate travel to Zambia. We entered Botswana by river tender from Namibia at the earlier Zambezi River border point and departed for Zambia by another tender at another border point on the same Zambezi River again with Inwards and Outwards Immigration processing at each end. This bus trip this time was of a little less than an hour.

This time at re-entry to Botswana we also had to have all our shoes treated for Foot and Mouth disease which is prevalent in Namibia. In addition our bags were examined for prohibited wooden products.

Bags examined at the Border
I felt slightly guilty as this scant interest in Botswana which we were told is very much an African success story whose economy was so strong that it loaned money to the World Bank.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The river safaris

(Retrospective post)

A selection of images from the river safaris during our time on the Zambezi River.