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Safari on the Zambezi: Part I

You may notice that I haven’t blogged for over a month. It is always amazing how busy I feel, yet when someone says ‘So, what have you been up to?’,  I find it difficult to justify what has taken all my time.

The rains are holding off, even now at the end of November. Locals will give opposing views on the weather. Some will tell you, ‘It’s always like this. We get two rain storms at first, then we have to wait for the real rains to come’.  Others will claim that this year is unusual, and that normally it ALWAYS rains on Independence Day (24 October).

We were glad for purely selfish reasons, as we drove down to the Lower Zambezi National Park at the end of October to stay at Kanyemba Lodge.  This is quite a luxury option, with beautiful chalets to stay in like this one:

It was wonderful, I would recommend Kanyemba if you are planning a safari with children over 12 years.  (Many of the activities available are off limits to younger children for safety reasons. They are permitted to stay at the lodge but  activities such as  game drives and canoe safaris are not permitted.)

The Kanyemba staff were attentive without being intrusive and their guides were knowledgeable and reassuring. Whilst back at the lodge, life was very relaxing.

But for me, it was all about the animals.

The day we arrived, our guide Tommy took us out on a sunset cruise down the Zambezi river.  It was magical: our first experience of Zambian wildlife, and we were not disappointed.  We bumped against the bank next to a resting crocodile (who slid silently into the water just in front of my children… yikes).  We saw many pods of hippos, poking their eyes out of the water at us. One or two yawned as well, but of course I wasn’t quick enough to capture that.

Then Tommy spotted this beautiful lady, completely spent after catching a kudu on her own:

She was exhausted, and we watched her for at least ten minutes while she lapped water from the river’s edge.  I will refrain from posting the photo of her kill out of respect for readers of a more sensitive nature!

These guys captivated me as well.  There is something very appealing about a submerged hippo. 

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