ZAMBIA: Big 5 for 1000 Kwacha; Vic Falls & Royal Livingstone

375 Ruger Fan

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After my 3 days at Chobe, Botswana, we traveled by truck through the town of Kasane and got to the Zambezi River crossing. My lord, if ever a place demonstrated the inefficiency of Africa, this was the place. There are 18 wheelers along side the road for 3-4 miles. They are also parked at a truck stop and I guess there is some sort of organized method they get in line. The line is for the ferry across the Zambezi River. There are two ferries and they each hold just one 18 wheeler and a few cars. I was told that trucks might be in line for 2-3 days to get across. Amazing!

Luckily, cars have a much shorter line and since our transport just took us to the river, where we boarded a small, water taxi type boat. Cross the river and cleared customs quickly, at $50 a head. Then about an hour drive to Livingstone and our hotel for the next 3 nights, the Royal Livingstone. Top notch place, withing walking distance of Vic Falls. Some wild game, wondering around the manicured grounds of the hotel. Zebra, Warthog, Impala. A few, large bull elephants were also closer to the falls.

While I was there, I obtains the Big 5 for 1000 Kwacha or a little over $100 US. The carving is about 20 inches tall and probably weighs about 20 lbs. Had to pack it in a suitcase to bring it home, or I would have bought an even larger one. The detail is actually pretty good. Poachers got the tusks though. Actually, they were wrapped separately and I lost them. I'll have to figure out how to make some replacements.


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The Royal Livingstone was very nice.


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Great hotel bar


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Pool with the Zambezi River in the background
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No, I didn't go bungee jumping.



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This shot is from the bridge, looking through the gorge. The Victoria Falls Hotel, on the Zimbabwe side, is the white building. Next trip, will likely give that a try. The view of the falls is better from the Zim side.

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The water was exceptionally low for mid August. The rainy season in Angola was not very wet this year, so all the rivers that feed into the Zambezi are running low.

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Zam on the left and Zim on the right.

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See the person standing on the falls? We walked out there too.
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spike.t

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thi9elsp

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^^^Spike.T - I'm not sure my cajones are big enough to do that! Makes me think of the blokes in Hawaii recently that got flushed off the waterfall during monsoon rains.
 

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I was in Zimbabwe a month or so ago. We visited the 'Smoke that thunders', but from the Zim side. It is certainly worth a visit!
 

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Awesome, Thanks for sharing . Forrest
 

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good stuff ruger fan,
you certainly get around on your time off work .
whilst traveling through/around Zambia , was there many places to buy niknaks , and the like ?
 

375 Ruger Fan

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did you go for a swim in the devils pool? :D


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Mike...........NO!!!!!! Didn't make it to the Devil's Pool. Didn't go bungee jumping. Didn't go walk with the lions. Didn't go down to Cape Town and swim with the sharks. I'll leave all the stuff to the more adventurous.

We did walk out on the dry falls, since the water was low. We also did the old train for dinner.

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Old fashion train ride. We left Livingstone and in about 20 minutes, stopped on the bridge. Good view of the gorge, falls and river. Lots of street vendors hocking their wares to the tourists. Dinner was a multi course, elaborate affair. A nice way to spend an afternoon and evening.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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good stuff ruger fan,
you certainly get around on your time off work .
whilst traveling through/around Zambia , was there many places to buy niknaks , and the like ?

Bluey,

Absolutely, vendors everywhere. Lots of carvings, woodwork, art, jewelry, etc. I'm told the deals are better on the Zim side in the Vic Falls area. That carving of the Big 5 that I got, the shop owner had a large shop on the grounds of the two hotels (Royal Livingstone and the former Sun International). I gave him my email address because I told him I was interested in the larger version of the Big 5 and had some friends that might want one. He said he'd contact me and ship via DHL. I haven't heard from him, but I plan to phone the hotel and ask them to have the guy contact me and try to work a deal.

Dave
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bluey

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good stuff, thank you dave ......
 

enysse

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Neat pictures, I love the carving.
 

thi9elsp

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The old train looks awesome. I know Ann would love that. Thanks for the information, we'll be sure to do that when we get there.
 

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Depending how long you are planning to be in the area, you might want to book a train reservation ahead of time. We stayed 3 nights in Livingstone and the train was only available our first night there and it was full. A very nice motor coach bus picked us up at the hotel at 4pm and it was only about 15 min ride to the "train station". About 9:30pm, the bus took us back to the hotel.

http://www.royal-livingstone-express.com/#!info--times/c1rrh
 

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