Hot foot from Zambia we’ve arrived in SA – ready for more adventures. We are Catherine & Paul – Gill’s sister & brother-in-law.
We’ve been in Zambia for a week. We started in Lusaka where Paul attended a Conference for the Order of St John – visiting mother & baby units around the capital and meeting volunteer health visitors and beneficiaries. The work is simple but very effective: encouraging pregnant mums to book into health clinics, running ante-natal classes, mentoring new parents and running community foodbanks.
We also attended a service for the Order in Lusaka Anglican Cathedral – which has spectacular stained glass – and a very lively worship band.
In our hotel in Lusaka (Southern Sun Ridgeway) we enjoyed good food and company and a rather spectacular veranda pond with crocodiles and weaver birds – a great place to while away the hours, watching the extraordinary skills of these very pretty yellow birds.
Next, we flew to Livingstone where we took up residence at the Avani Falls Resort – adjacent to Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. Being in the National Park we had all the advantages of living amongst wildlife. Zebra, giraffe and impala roamed freely around the hotel complex – an African themed hotel with well appointed rooms, good food, and friendly service.
Highlights on this part of our trip were the helicopter flight over the Falls and a sunset river safari. Our first time in a helicopter, Paul & I loved the adventure & the Falls were spectacular from above. We flew backwards and forwards between Zambia and Zimbabwe enjoying the Falls from all angles and marvelling at the amount of water crashing down.
The next day we visited the Falls very early at 6am: we had the park to ourselves – got thoroughly soaked as we got up close and personal with a huge amount of water and vast clouds of spray: ‘the smoke that thunders’.
Our sunset river safari took place that afternoon – in a small boat with eight people & two crew. Plied with frequent G&Ts and very knowledgeable rangers we floated down the mighty Zambezi – spotting several pods of hippos, a croc or two and large numbers of birds: fish eagles, darters, egrets, storks, swallows, bulbul, and even a little bee-eater (quite a rare site the rangers assured us). We landed on a small island - checked first for elephants & crocs – had some snacks, another G&T and watched the sunset over the Zambezi – a memorable sight.
We’ve really enjoyed our Zambian stay. Zambians are friendly, gentle, kind and helpful. They are very proud of their country and excited to share it with all those who come to visit. Now our adventures continue as we land in Durban (finally – following delays, a missed flight and a new booking!) meet up with Gill and Michael and make our way north…