Zambia: Lower Zambezi

It is difficult to remember what happened where because every place we visited involved water (except for the Kalahari, of course).  The first night it was difficult to fall asleep.  The hippos and hyenas were quite active and noisy.  In none of these camps were we allowed to wander around after nightfall due to the likelihood of night visitors who aren’t too fond of humans.  These are, of course, my favorite type of camp.  Always in the morning you could find the footprints of hippos, elephants, lions and more.   One of the first things we did was visit a cultural village, subsidized by AWF.  This was the people’s request.

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The necessary request made of the village elder to proceed.

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Acknowledgement of ancestors…

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The lookout tower for keeping track of elephants that may be approaching the village.  The lookout would ‘drum’ the warning.

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The making of maize flour, which several of our group felt obligated to try.

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And the dancing…

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Which, of course, inevitably leads to  participation of the visitors.

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I asked our guide if I could take her picture.  I loved her hair.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

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And always my favorite part of visiting with the people… taking photos of the children!

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This young man requested that I take his picture and send it to one of our guides. 

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If I ever worried that I wouldn’t see enough hippos, I worry no longer.  There were hippos everywhere.  We took several boat rides, and they were always around.  And, on this trip I saw the biggest crocodiles yet.  Even bigger than the ones on the banks of the Mara River in Kenya.

On the Zambezi, there are many islands.  It must be quite shallow because hippos don’t really swim but ‘walk’ on the riverbed or floor of pools.  This was our first elephant, found on one of these islands that we drove past in the boat.  When you consider how large an African elephant is, you can get a sense of just how high this grass grows.

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Many of the elephants we saw on the river were on the Zimbabwe side so we couldn’t get too close… had to stay on ‘our’, the Zambia, side.

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First night stop for sundowners.  A little boring if you don’t drink, but the company makes up for it.  This was a nice group of people.  I was happy to travel with them.

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Game drive on… land!

This is the first time I’ve seen army ants.  We came upon them several times in their relentless trek to wherever.

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Female kudu.  They are so graceful.

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One of my favorites, and a pose that would appeal to my students.

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Open billed stork.  These were everywhere.

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Red billed hornbill.  There are so many varieties.  I find them quite appealing.

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I think this is a male bushbuck, but he doesn’t quite match the pictures in my book.  Hopefully, someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

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I think this is the emerald spotted dove.  It’s not particularly interesting to look at, but I love its call.

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Male waterbuck.  No shortage of these around.

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These are bee eaters.  It’s fascinating to watch them feed.  They sit on a branch, take off catching something I never see, fly back to the branch to eat it.  This is the little bee eater. 

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And this is the white fronted bee eater.  Larger than the little bee eater although they are all small relatively speaking.

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The baobob tree.  These are so big and so old… easily 2000 years old.  I thought I saw plenty at Mashatu; but here they are everywhere. 

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We stopped for sundowners here.  I suggested a little tree hugging to show just how big these trees are.  They are virtually indestructible.  Even elephants can’t destroy these trees.  If you look carefully you can see someone hugging the tree.

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We took a couple of night drives.  I was quite thrilled to see a genet.  They are strictly nocturnal.  I’ve never seen one before.  However, during another night drive we saw six different genets!

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Not a great leopard shot but I included it because this was the first time I’d seen a red light used to illuminate creatures of the night.  Apparently, the regular lights don’t bother the cats (having seen a leopard bring down an impala with the regular light source, it’s obvious that it doesn’t), but it really does bother other animals.. you know, the ‘deer in the headlights’ look.

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And finally, I got to see a porcupine!  I don’t know how any animal could actually catch one and eat it.

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These vervet monkeys came to raid the vegetables thrown out.  This little guy (or gal) was happily eating a red pepper and not particularly interested in sharing.

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Such a pensive look.. at a bunch of leaves.

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And now a few other photos of the larger beasts.

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Outa my way!  Look at that wave action…

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All back to normal again, whew!

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Just a photo of this wide, wide river.

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Obviously, this was a canoe trip up a channel of the Zambezi. I was reluctant to take my good camera so I took my little waterproof point and shoot.

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This was one huge crocodile.  It was amazing to be at ground level, so to speak.IMG_0700IMG_0701IMG_0702IMG_0703

I wish it had been hotter so s/he would have been lying there with a wide open mouth!  It would be a ‘unique’ angle for me!

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Next, Victoria Falls and  a small nearby national park.

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5 thoughts on “Zambia: Lower Zambezi

  1. Hi Nancy
    What a way to start my day. I didn’t think I would have time to look at every photo before I went to work but I couldn’t stop myself. I absolutely love the photos of the children and am pee green with envy that you got to see a porcupine. Looking at your photos taken from the water really gives a different perspective of what you are photographing. The length of the grass is astounding, is there a time when the grasses are shorter, making it easier to see the wildlife. Love them all and will be back to look over and over again. Can’t wait for the next entry.

  2. Wow….what an amazing trip! My random thoughts: One of the shots of the hippo’s reminded me of my mother-in-law! Kids are precious no matter where they are from! The birds were gorgeous! The leopard, majestic! That was one gi-normous croc!!!! Why did everyone in the village dress alike – and yes, the guide’s hair was awesome! Loved the warthogs! And genets! Looks like it was just wonderful. You can sure tell from your pictures that ‘she’ is in your blood!

  3. Judy, the people were dressed that way while demonstrating some of their customs. I’m just getting started…. still have Victoria Falls, a small reserve that has the last 8 remaining white rhinos in Zambia, Chobe National Park, Okavanga Delta, and finally the Kalahari!
    Thank you both for the positive comments.

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