Category: Africa



It’s the last day of the year. In less than 24 hours, it’ll be 2013. And I have yet to firm up my travel plans this coming year. Been putting it off for sometime. For once, I’ve either run out of ideas or I have grown so confused on what I want to do the year I turn senior. So, I’d give it a rest. And for the moment, I’m looking back on how my travel calendar went this 2012. The photos show what kept me “busy”.

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The Park Near Fort San Pedro in Cebu City

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3 hours on the road, but no luck with tuki sightings in Oslob, Cebu

 

 

Just before I left for Madrid in February, I made a quick trip to Cebu. No luck with tuki sightings (whale sharks) in Oslob, so we instead toured the towns of Boljoon, Dalaguete, Carcar in Southern Cebu. In Madrid, I helped a niece set up house. Stayed nearly 3 months, and blogged every other day! Walked the streets of Madrid every single day. Visited way too many churches and museums. Lucky to be in all the right places to witness Holy Week Processions especially in Sevilla and Cordoba. Went on random day trips to Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Alcala de Henares, Valencia, El Escorial, Valle de Los Caidos, Aranjuez via car, bus and trains and planned a few weekend get-aways to Andalusia and Barcelona. In between furniture shopping, palenque trips and household chores, I was busy!

 

 

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Cloudy Day in Parque del Retiro in Madrid

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Day Trip To Cochinillo Country in Segovia. And Not Just Once.

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Good Friday in Cordoba. Some religious procession!

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Toledo, Valencia, Aranjuez, Alcala de Henares, Segovia, Avila, El Escorial, Valle de los Caidos, Barcelona, Segovia, Cordoba. Then there’s Plaza de Toros, Plaza Mayor, Almudena Church, Palacio Real, Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, the Museos of Prado, Reina Sofia, Morolla, Thyssen, Riza’s Favorite Haunts, Senado, Plaza de Cibeles, etc just around Madrid.

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Photo Credit: Sarah. All my photos of this great monument were epic failures. Thank you, Sarah.

 

 

Spain was many things to me. I was alone often and my human interaction was limited to just a few hours a day. When I got back to Manila, I missed the daily walks and the solitude so much that I started on many solo trips to Chinatown, Intramuros, University of Santo Tomas, Batangas, Cavite, Pampanga, Bulacan, as well as trips to the National Museum, Metropolitan Museum and Ayala Museum.

 

 

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The lovely Betis Church in Guagua, Pampanga

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University of Santo Tomas. Oldest in Philippines. Oldest in Asia.

 

 

Before long, I left again. This time, to South Africa and Zambia. Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape of South Africa did not disappoint. Well, except for the botched cable car ride to Table Mountain and whale-watching adventure. The weather did not cooperate, but luck was on us searching for the Big 5 and other beasts. Yes, the trip highlight was the African Safari. But I must say Victoria Falls in Zambia was such a delightful surprise!

 

 

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In the kingdom where lions are kings, the males are def prettier than the mane-less females. Entabeni Park.

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And if there is a Big 5 of the Safari — elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and cape buffalos, the GIRAFFE ranks high up there among the Lovely 5.

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The Wildebeests of Entabeni Park. Just before sunset of the 2nd safari day, one of these served as early dinner for them lions. 😦

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We kept still and quiet as this lone rhino walked ever so slowly, and passed the side of our safari jeep. (Look Ma, no protective bars!)

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We had the best hotel in Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. Champagne and Oysters for breakfasts? Who’s complaining?

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Our Biggest Surprise : Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia. Double Rainbows were so uncommon!

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In Zambia, it is a must to take that 25 minute helicopter flight if only for this vista! Zimbabwe on your left. Zambia on the right. That bridge spans both countries.

 

 

The African adventures fired me up so much I needed to do more than the usual day trips once I got home. My niece and I planned on a Mount Pinatubo trekking adventure but ended up spending a long weekend in Sagada instead. Not bad, especially in terms of many “firsts”.

 

 

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Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave? At my age?

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Roadtrip from Sagada through Bontoc to La Trinindad Valley

 

 

A few more day trips and …… a cemetery tour. And that was it for me in 2012. I should be heading back to Madrid, likely in 2 separate trips as there’s the May election and a grandson’s March graduation. I also have Myanmar, Laos and Hanoi in my mind. There’s a few more, but I will likely confuse myself even more. The only trip “fixed” for now is autumn and Christmas in Madrid in 2013. Before then, who knows where my feet will take me?

 

 

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Scene from Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas. Taal lake and volcano in the background.

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Corregidor Island Tour for some history lessons. A 1 hour ferry ride back and forth from the Sun Cruise Terminal in CCP Complex.


This blog was written some months back. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how I missed publishing it. I beg your indulgence. This “back blog” completes my series on South Africa’s Western Cape.

 

 

This morning, we bundled and layered up good for a cold day at sea. No matter how cold it gets, we were ready for the whales. Humpbacks or Southern Rights, we’re eager to see them whales. The sun was out. But the water’s far from calm. Our premium whale-watching cruise was cancelled for safety reasons.

 

 

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We were hoping till the last minute. Quite frankly, I hardly paid attention to the majestic seascape offered by Plettenberg Bay as I mulled over the idea of seeing them Southern Rights in their own territory. All too often, our sleepy demeanor was disturbed whenever our coach coasts along the Adriatic and Indian Seaboard while our Tour Director points somewhere off the blue waters. A whale? Where? I couldn’t trust my eyesight and I simply obliged by snapping photos here and there. Upon review, I was dismayed to find nothing other than what looked like rocks off the ocean.

 

 

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Well, no whales today. And we leave tomorrow for our safari. Tough luck. Instead, we headed for the Birds of Eden to while away that frustrating afternoon. On other days, this could have been an interesting afternoon. The photos speak for themselves. Those are beautiful birds. But. They. Are. Birds. 🙂

 

 

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As we exited the bird sanctuary, we found a Monkey park right beside it. Also baboons right outside the bird park. They all looked busy. Either they found something to eat and share among themselves or they are simply on a “stroll”. Either way, they scare me. They look very aggressive. So unlike the safari “beasts” who didn’t seem interested in humans.

 

 

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And so, the day ended with some despair over the botched whale watching adventure. Coming on the heels of another botched adventure (cable car ride to the Table Mountain, no less!), we knew we just had to find our amusement elsewhere. Like a food adventure? Very well. Thank God South African cuisine didn’t disappoint.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE AFRICAN SAFARI


I’m back. One short to make the Big 5. The leopard was a no-show. But the giraffes, zebras and many antelopes more than made up for the leopard’s absence.

 

 

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Game! I was happy and content until I reviewed a blog written by my friend Shane Dallas a.k.a. Travel Camel. Shane did his first safari years back and has since gone back to the less beaten paths in Africa. You can say I’m the newbie where Shane has gone on to pursue other dimensions of travel adventures.

 

 

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I may have seen enough zebras in Entabeni Private Game Reserve.  BUT they were all COMMON zebras. Not the Grevy’s Zebras with white bellies and thinner stripes. I was awed by the regal giraffes with their elegant necks and luscious eyelashes, but not one I sighted was the reticulated giraffes Shane has blogged about. The ones we found in Entabeni had brown “splotches” while the reticulated giraffes have finer and more defined skin patterns. Spot the difference, if you will.

 

 

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Our very first Rhino!

 

 

The rhino we sighted was the white rhino. White not because of it skin color, but WIDE lipped rhinos. Compare this with the hook lipped BLACK rhino. Smaller in size, but different. More rare, they say.

 

 

 

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The Rare Black Rhino

 

 

And then there are the antelopes. Many impalas. Some elands. But no kudus with their spiral horns. Another friend (whose kudu photo i borrowed) suggests we do a national park next time. More animals, more natural, she says. Well, I guess there’s no “perfect safari”. There are some safari animals indigenous to a certain place. Like the springboks are indigenous to South Africa’s Western Cape while the Grevy’s zebras are nowhere to be found in Entabeni. But that’s fine. There’s always a next visit. 🙂

 

 

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Kudus. I only met you on a dinner plate but NOT in person 😦

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Elands. Looking like they just had their sumptuous dinner.

“Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.”

Brian Jackman (2004 Travel Writer of Year )

Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?


Only 42 then, Dr. Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and explorer whose claim to fame includes being the first European to discover Victoria Falls in 1855. He was also a witness to a massacre of African slaves, prompting a meeting between him and H. Stanley of the New York Herald. In that 1869 meeting, Stanley was quoted to have asked “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”. The question is tinged with humor because Livingstone was the only white face amidst a group of Africans. The quotation likewise gave rise to a song of the same title back in 1968. Obviously, Dr. Livingstone cannot easily be forgotten in this land where a town, a Museum and a hotel, among others, were named after him.

 

 

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Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: the Smoke that Thunders; the ‘i’ is silent). “Discovered” by Dr. Livingstone in 1855.

 

 

But this blog is not about the man. This is about the Royal Livingstone Hotel right by the Eastern Cataract of the majestic Victoria Falls. To visit Livingstone Island, one takes a short boat ride from the Sundeck of this 5 star hotel. Fabulous is one word to describe this hotel. From the Sundeck, to the poolside, to the porch and breakfast nook, to the sprawling garden overlooking the “smoke that thunders”, one is tempted to swear that a single visit ain’t enough.

 

 

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A boat ride from the Sundeck of Royal Livingstone Hotel will take you to the Livingstone Island where you can walk to the edge of the cliff or swim in Devil’s Pool right by the edge.

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This is the Sundeck. During the wet season, the “mist” is more dramatically visible complete with the sound of the waterfalls.

 

 

Drinking by the porch or in the Sundeck is a must. I can just imagine how misty it gets during the wet season. A friend told me she’d never forget the sound of the gushing waters from the Falls while sipping her drink in this hotel. Quite an experience, I must say.

 

 

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Poolside. Royal Livingstone Hotel. Eastern Cataract of Victoria Falls. Zambia.

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Colonial-inspired Royal Livingstone Hotel. Its sister-hotel, the Zambezi Sun Hotel has a more African and resort- theme.

 

 

It would be a dream to actually stay in this hotel and be served your breakfast in this very colonial-inspired dining parlor. Or perhaps enjoy your sundowner from the hotel bar while listening to good music. Would they play “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” . I bet!

 

 

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Breakfast Nook in Royal Livingstone Hotel

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Feels and looks very exclusive.

 

 

So, would you stay here the next time you visit? “Sam” is waiting. (He just migrated from Morocco to Zambia).

 

 

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Play it again, Sam.

NEVER FAIL TO READ THE SIGNS IN AFRICA


If there’s something I learned not to miss here in Africa, it’s reading the signs. Oh sure, mind those signs. It can save your life!

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BE WARNED! No wonder we had to sign so many waivers.

Funny. Amusing. Or scary? Having signed so many WAIVERS here, it becomes nearly obligatory to mind those signs. You don’t find much of them anywhere else.

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Baboons really scare me. Reminds me of their my scary episode with their cousins in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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This got me off that tempting bench by the river. In a heartbeat!

So, before you claim an empty bench and relax with a frothy hot cocoa, READ. For all the dangers they pose, I must say though that those signs are nearly inconspicuous.

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Zebras by the Hotel entrance.


Oh well, THIS IS AFRICA!

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What could be more exciting than an African Safari?

 

 

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Entabeni Rock and the Resident Wildebeests

 

 

Lion and cheetah sightings. Staring down cape buffaloes and warthogs. Admiring giraffes and waiting for hippos to come out of the water. Keeping still and quiet while a rhino sidesteps your safari cruiser. EXCITEMENT. MUCH!

 

 

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Safari Animals. Awesome experience!

 

 

A break between the morning and afternoon safari drives meant lunch in a garden setting and a visit to the Pedi Village within the Entabeni/Legend Wildlife Park and Game Reserve. AND A PEE BREAK. Of course. Those bladders can only hold it for so long. Unless you have the nerve to pee in the bush and risk a leopard passing by or stepping into a thicket within feet of a pride of lions feasting on a wildebeest.

 

 

 

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Pedi Village within Legend Wildlife Park

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Lunch was great. As with every meal served in Entabeni. Food quality and service quality is tops. Mediterranean this noontime, after an African bush dinner last night. Those meatballs, gyros, squid rings and feta salad are savory, “light” and ideal in-between-safari drives meals. But they need to do something about those toilet locks!

 

 

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Greek Salad in Africa?

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Mediterranean Light Lunch In Between Safari Drives

 

 

So there I was, lining up to pee. Only 2 toilets for women. I took the one on the right. Locked myself with the key on the keyhole. I shouldn’t have. But I wanted to shed my thermals under my safari suit as the afternoon sun kept us warm enough. When done, I turned that key right, left, up and down. No luck. I was locked in. I looked behind me and assessed the size of the toilet window. It meant getting up on the water closet and swinging out of the window into what looked like a private garden guarded by 2 pet dogs.

 

 

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Behind is the toilet facilities where IT all happened.

 

 

I dropped my bag through the window, prepping myself for the “escape”. Only to remember my cellphone was in the bag! No worries, those ladies knew I was locked in and sought help. Frankly I was more worried about the pet dogs by the garden. Thought if I survived the lions and the rhinos, jumped clean out of this toilet window, only to be bitten by 2 pet dogs, THAT WOULD REALLY BE FUNNY. All that barking either sent a message of sympathy (for me) or warned the owners of my impending intrusion.

 

 

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Pit Stop for Lunch and a Pee, plus more. Lunch was served in the garden… right side of this photo, under the trees.

 

 

Safari rangers to the rescue. These 2 gentlemen were trained well to guide you, protect you and save you during the safari drives. Were they also trained well to rescue old ladies out of a toilet window? Juan got in through the window to test the keys and locks, and then advised me to watch him get out again. He didn’t want me to jump out. Instead, he asked another fellow to help him pull me out. Well, not exactly pull me out. I climbed out as told: upper torso out the window, then right leg out (aaargh) onto the right arm of one rescuer, left hand on another rescuer’s head for balance, the other hand held by one of the rangers, then pulling the rest of me out the window, left leg on a rescuer’s thigh, and finally piggy back on the other fellow till my feet touched ground. All that time, the 2 pet dogs happily watched as if it was a show.

 

 

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Lunch. 2 x of this serving.

 

 

That episode worked up my appetite such that I had 2 plate servings. Thank you Juan. Thank you Pedi Village Guide. I’m sorry this old hag can’t recall your name. I promise NOT to lock the doors anymore anywhere here.

 

 

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MY HEROES!

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir

 


Was it an authentic boma dinner? Who’s to tell? I love it. Bush dinner under open starlit skies only African nights can offer. Listening to the rhythm of African drums as the aroma from various meats grilling to perfection wafted through the thin dusty air. Curries stewing in open metal pots. Camp fires and blankets failing to keep us warm.

 

 

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Campfires at 6 Celsius? Hand me that blanket!

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Steaming hot. Just the way we want it.

 

 

The drum beats and a motley group of singers and dancers entertained us in the Entabeni Private Game Reserve. So, this is what dining in the bush is all about. Another “experience” tucked under our belt. Hard to appreciate then because of the cold. Too cold that the thought that a beast may lurk somewhere in the dark hardly mattered. Too dark that we hardly cared what exotic meat we may be eating.

 

 

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Interactive Drum Session. (I’d rather dance)

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Medium Rare. Perfection.

 

 

But it must be said. They sure know how to do their steaks here in Africa. In Tribes in the Emperor Palace Complex in Jo’burg where we dined, I enjoyed my 300 gram rump so much. Before that, the Congo Wild Mushroom topped with creamed spinach and cheese is “to die for”. Better than Portabello, if you ask me.

 

 

 

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Order the Congo Mushrooms and the Rump. You won’t regret it. Then some Malva Pudding as African dessert.

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Malva Pudding on your lower left, folks.

 

 

And how about all those exotic meats in the buffet spreads in Zambezi Sun Hotel? The crocodile meat I found rather bland. But the Impala and Kudu meat…. Now, that’s real game dish I won’t pass up. Better than the biltongs, boerewors, kudu pies and ostrich bobotie I’ve tried in the Western Cape. (The springbok pie in Berluda Farmhouse is still tops)

 

 

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Choose your WILD!

 

For the life of me, I never thought I’d fall for antelope meat that much. The Zambezi fish was so good yet I just couldn’t pass up the exotic meats. Guess I knew they’re to be “experienced” best here than anywhere else. Truly, the “taste of Africa”. Speaking of which, I didn’t fail to visit the store by the same name to take home some pâtés made from the same exotic meats: crocodile, impala, kudu, ostrich, springbok.

 

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Exotic meat pates: Crocs, Kudu, Ostrich, Impala, Springbok.

 

 

For sure, this is an African cultural and culinary experience. Chatting up locals, engaging in culinary adventure, drinking their local beers and wines, bush dining under African skies. Quite a sensory experience, don’t you think?

 

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly


I like the vibe here. More than anywhere else. It has the “truly African” feel to it. Or perhaps, I should say “Truly Zambian”.

 

 

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Just a few meters away is the edge of the cliff. Have your Eggs Benedict breakfast here while “listening” to the smoke that thunders. Victoria Falls!

 

 

Breakfast right by the “smoke that thunders”. What beats that? I’d readily give up my oyster and champagne breakfast for this experience. Yes, it is more than just breakfast. It’s quite an experience to munch through your Eggs Benedict while listening to the gushing waters from the falls and feeling that “spray” of water as the wind blows your way.

 

 

 

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Thank you, Chikie, for this photo. I really hammed it up, didn’t I?

 

 

To think I was already so pleased with Zambezi Sun’s buffet breakfast. And my premier breakfast spot right by the pool, which Ngandan secures for me every morning! Can’t complain about this Zambian leg of my African journey. Everything worked out perfect here. It’s in the stars!

 

 

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Royal Breakfasts indeed! A local, Ngandan, secured this spot for me each morning.

 

 

From our hotel, it’s only 2 kilometers trailing a path to view the Falls from different angles. Make that 4 kilometers for a return trip. The sun is out but the path is slippery owing to the water spray from the waterfalls. I’ve read about this tourist who slipped and fell from the edge (yes, he died) when a baboon sprung from nowhere to snatch his bag. So let me just say I took great care scaling those steps, crossing the wet bridge, watching out for baboons and yes, snapping way too many photos.

 

 

 

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An aerial shot of the Falls with the Zambezi Sun Hotel on the lower left. From this spot, we hiked towards the steel bridge where we had a better viewing of the Falls and the Livingstone Bridge. Had a good “spray” too!

 

 

You can only take so many photos of the SAME Victoria Falls. From a helicopter, from the edge, from the bridge, from the many viewing spots. Lighting differs quite a bit, and the mist from the Falls can make or break a shot. After a while, you stop. Wiping my camera lens, I can only feel gratitude in my heart for all these natural wonders. The Falls. A rainbow here and there. Standing on a spot of land in Zambia, while looking out to the other tourists standing on a spot of land in Zimbabwe just across the Falls. Or looking down to the Zambezi River where some dare white-water raft or swim at Boiling Point. Such beauty. And I was there!

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credits: Chikie. (That’s me up front, busy snapping photos while getting slightly wet from the water spray)

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That’s the hiking trail. Just 4 kilometers return trip. And look at that rainbow!

 

 

Oh, by the way, there are some others who’d rather view the Falls while jumping off Livingstone Bridge which connects Zambia to Zimbabwe. If you care for a jump, just remember that a young woman once bungee-jumped and the rope snapped and she plunged straight into the waters. She had the presence of mind to swim under the currents to pull her feet off the rope then swim up to the nearest rock to wait for rescue. Now, what are the chances you can do a repeat of that? Best of luck, chap!

 

 

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You can only take so many photos of the same Falls.

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SEE THAT BUNGEE-JUMPER? IT’S THAT TINY RED DOT BELOW THE LIVINGSTONE BRIDGE WHICH CONNECTS ZAMBIA TO ZIMBABWE.

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THE LIVINGSTONE BRIDGE. AND THE ZAMBEZI RIVER BELOW. SOMEWHERE THERE IS THE “BOILING POINT”.

ZAMBIA: This.Is.Hardcore.Africa.


We took the 90 minute flight from Johannesburg and landed in the Livingstone International Airport. Frankly, one can hardly call it that. It’s a very small airport, manned by a minimum of airport crew who looked like a cast from some ongoing movie shoot. For a while, I suspected the X-ray machine would damage my camera and iPad. Don’t ask me why. The thought crossed my mind. Though I never expressed my fears.

 

 

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This is Africa!

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ZAMBIA

 

This is hardcore Africa. From the time we stepped out of the airport, fetched by a hotel van driving past dusty Livingstone with locals in colorful outfits, I sensed AFRICA. Soon enough, we were in our hotel touted as the nearest hotel to the majestic Victoria Falls. Not exactly in the same rank as its sister-hotel — the Royal Livingstone Hotel — but I like its ambience. Less colonial in architecture. Definitely more African.

 

 

 

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Honestly….I passed only 2 roads in Livingstone, Zambia. And yes, those are the blue taxis of Zambia!

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Not that old. But this is typical in the whole of Livingstone’s “CBD”.

 

The stark contrast between this small dusty town’s character and the grandness of the hotels by the Falls couldn’t be more pronounced. Zambezi Sun Hotel is a beautiful hotel with a very African theme. It is also a nature reserve where giraffes, baboons, crocodiles and zebras freely roam the grounds. It was tempting to leave some nuts just outside our room’s sliding doors. Or by the swinging bench by the river where a sign “Beware of Crocodiles” promptly got me off the bench to retreat back to my air conditioned room.

 

 

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This is my breakfast view during my stay in Zambezi Sun Hotel.

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Pleasantly surprised to find superb food quality and service here in Zambia. My favorite serving lady is named Nganda.

 

 

Once, the hotel van we were riding had to stop to let this towering giraffe pass. Another time, we got all excited when a good looking zebra roamed around the hotel front, unmindful of hotel guests snapping photos and following him around. My, we don’t even have to go to a wildlife park to see these safari animals. They’re everywhere. Sitting by the pool with a Mosi beer and a plateful of fries, I waited to check the rates for a foot massage by the pool. (Forget it. It’s way too much) From the corner of my eye, I saw a monkey and a tiny animal I couldn’t make out snooping from behind a tree. Not sure if they like French Fries or a beer, but really, I didn’t need company then. 😄

 

 

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Zebra right by the hotel entrance!

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Taken while inside the hotel van. The van stopped to let this regal safari animal pass. Giraffes in Zambezi Sun Hotel!

 

A bit of trivia: You can tell an alligator from a crocodile judging by the shape of their snouts. crocs have narrower, V shaped snouts while alligators have wider U shaped snouts. Alligators are also generally darker, almost black in color. As for the Lacoste reptile, it’s meant to be a crocodile. A green crocodile. Only in Lacoste. 😊

 

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Typical buildings in Livingstone’s CBD.

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And yes, this is a Catholic Church in Livingstone, Zambia.

 

 

Ah, I’ve been wrong so many times but I was never this sooooo wrong about one country. As we left Livingstone, Zambia I took one last look at the Saint Theresa Church along the Airport Road. Frankly? I didn’t expect to find Catholics in Zambia. It seems I was simply too engrossed over the country’s natural wonders that I was an epic failure in the other departments. To find almost every Zambian speaking fluent English came as a total surprise. And don’t tell me I should have known this country was once under British rule. There were many other ex-British colony countries I’ve visited where language was a problem. Not here. I totally enjoyed talking to the locals. Zambians are among the friendliest I’ve met. They can be quite chatty too. How delightful to find new friends!

 

 

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LOO WITH A VIEW? We found this tented toiled just a few meters from the cliff edge by the Victoria Falls.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

 

SUNSETS IN ZAMBIA


How many sunset shots before you give your camera a rest? How many Mosi beers or red wines or cocktail drinks while cruising along the Zambezi River before you call it a day? How many beast surprises – an elephant here, a croc there, a hippo by the riverbank – before you realize THIS IS AFRICA!

 

 

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Sunset While Cruising the Zambezi River

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Cruising Till Sundown

 

 

Here in Zambia, Lady Luck was with me all the way. The 25-minute helicopter flight, the Livingstone Island Visit, the African Queen Sunset Cruise. I’ve seen more elephants and hippos here than in all my zoo visits combined in my lifetime! Like I hardly remember how I felt when I saw that lone elephant while on a boat to Livingstone Island. We spotted more on our heliflight as the copter flew over an island with as many as 7 elephants there! Like I could hardly contain my enthusiasm over the nearly guaranteed viewing of hippos while doing the Sunset Cruise. They were not few. One too many, with one managing to draw oooohhhhs  and aaaaahhhs from the cruise passengers as he opened his mouth as in a big yawn.

 

 

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Ever wondered why elephants flap their ears?

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Hippos Are Main Attractions Too.

 

 

All that excitement……. helped along by an “OPEN BAR” and a very friendly English-speaking crew. I started and ended with red wine. Tempting to try Mosi Beer. Truly Zambian, but that can wait another day. Every now and then, I’d carry my glass from the bar to the deck. Who ever grows tired of sunsets?

 

 

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This is the little “sister” of the African Queen Sunset Cruise.

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The crew of friendly sailors were all so friendly on the whole 2 hour cruise.

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Who ever grows tired of sunsets?

 

A bit of trivia here: Elephants flap their ears to cool themselves as when it’s hot or when it’s upset. When you see one, don’t bother guessing if it’s feeling warm or upset. Best is to simply stay away.

 

Cheers, everyone! GESONDHEID!

 

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Truly Zambian!