The summer of 2012 was a pretty good one as far as adventures go: Africa, the Olympic Games and Bulgaria!
In June my man and I got on a plane to Lusaka. Okay, whatka? Yes, Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Uhm, Zambia? Yes, that’s right, Zambia. For most travellers to the African continent Zambia is not very high on the list, especially not for a first visit. This of course got Zambia even higher on our list :). And the fact that Zambia promotes itself as being “the real Africa” (which is confirmed by several guidebooks) made it climb all the way to the top of our Africa bucket list. Okay, and we found this great KLM ticketdeal since they just started with direct flights between Lusaka and Amsterdam. So we actually were on the fourth flight out there, pretty neat.
After a first night in Lusaka we got on a public bus to Livingstone, which is a border town between Zimbabwe and Zambia and mostly known for its proximity to the Victoria Falls. Most people visit the falls from the Zimbabwean side and they have no clue that you actually have way better views if you go to the falls from the Zambian side. Trust me, we know: we’ve checked out both sides. We got extra lucky since we were in Livingstone at the full moon period. And in June especially the full moon provides an amazing view over the falls at night which results in a moonbow – a rainbow at night. During the full moon evenings you can access the falls with a special ticket and it’s so worth it to time your visit accordingly. What a beautiful sight…
After a few nights in Livingstone we crossed the border to Botswana to camp out in the middle of Chobe National Park. To clarify, camping does not mean sleeping in a resort or a campground or anything. Nope. Our guide/driver just stopped the jeep somewhere in the wilderness where they’d put up three little tents, and that was that. No gates. No guards. No guns. Nothing. Just us, the guide, a chef and the tents. Ow, and a fire which was supposed to scare off the animals. Animals as in lions, hyenas, leopards and so on. I did hear lions growling and elephants in distress the entire night, while my man was sound asleep (this was his first night in a tent – EVER!)… If you see the footprints of lions really close to your little tent the next morning, you’re pretty relieved that this is only for one night!
After we got back from Botswana we picked up this extremely cool (brand new) jeep we rented. With a rooftop tent. That’s right: a tent on the roof of the extremely cool jeep. We drove from Livingstone all the way across the country down to the Zambezi river. We camped at two beautiful campgrounds where we were the only guests and got amazing service. At the Zambezi river we’d set up camp right next to the river and we could see crocs and hippos slide their fat bodies into the water from our rooftop bed. I can tell you: you’re glad to be sleeping on the roof of your car if you see that… Okay we can only cross off three African countries, and I can already tell that I will be back for more because travelling in Africa is amazing!