An early morning because the group wanted to go zip lining before the safari scheduled for noon. So we had breakfast at 7:00am and the students were thrilled with the full breakfast we had today at the Chanters Lodge! Much better than the toast and coffee/tea at the Zebra Guest House in Lusaka!
The Abseil company van arrived at 8:30 and we all went to the gorge – a short drive, some of it on a bumpy dirt road. We saw some baboons along the way. At the gorge we met Kingford who explained the system and said that people could choose to go across the gorge either in a sitting position or a flying position. They had to sign a waiver but he did say that they have been doing this for 16 years with a perfect safety record.
So next was everyone getting their harness on – and first to go was Elizabeth – in the flying position! She had such a good time that several others who had been thinking of sitting also decided to try flying! So – everyone went one by one and in the end ALL 12 students and Jenn went across the gorge! I remained the solitary “chicken” but there was no way I was going to “fly” across it! They all enjoyed it thoroughly and we finished in plenty of time to get back to the lodge and have a snack before starting off on our safari.
Paul our guide from yesterday came to pick us up at 11:30 and we went to the offices of Safari Par Excellence where we loaded into 2 safari jeeps – half with Paul and the other half in another jeep with Tim and set off to the Mosi-o-Tunya (meaning smoke that thunders – referring to Victoria Falls) park. This is actually the smallest game park in Zambia and does not have large cats. The safari was for 3 hours and right at the start we ran into a group of elephants! In fact, they were so close and they actually blocked the road and we had to wait several minutes for them to all cross the road before we could proceed. It was pretty awesome to see them so close! I have seen many elephants on safaris in India, but this was the closest I have ever seen them! We later again saw a very large herd of elephants – probably 50 or so – not as close this time since they were off to the side of the road, but there were some young ones in this group!
Then we saw some giraffes – and we saw several again later in the safari. The giraffes seemed duller in color compared to the ones we saw last year, but we did see a lot more of them including a young one, and two large males fighting with each other! They seemed to be fighting in slow motion but one bumped the other with his neck and pushed it, and then they would saunter together a bit as if they were friends, when actually they were fighting over a female apparently! It was very interesting to see!
We also saw zebra – 3 of them, pretty close also! Last year we had ot been able to get a good look at zebra, because we saw a large herd but they were very far away and raced off. So that was a nice treat this year! Of course we saw impala – the most common type of deer here. Also a large herd of buffalo. The park has 8 white rhino, but unfortunately we did not see any of them.
We took a short break during the safari and got out of the jeep along the banks of the Zambezi river!
After the safari, we returned to the Safari offices and from there we took the sunset cruise on the Zambezi river.
The river was very peaceful and we saw several hippo in the water, which was pretty cool!
The sunset was around 6:00pm and happened very quickly after which we returned to the dock.
Paul dropped us off at Olga’s Italian Corner – a restaurant that raises funds for youth. We had dinner / dessert (some people ate on the boat) and then had a little crisis! We were planning to go to the nearby grocery store Shop Rite to get lunch for tomorrow’s bus ride back. But we found that the store closes at 8:00pm and that today is actually a holiday as it is Africa Freedom Day! So Jenn ran to the store nearby and picked up some food while I finished paying the bill and the crisis was averted! 🙂 Then we all returned to the lodge with Emmie giving us a ride.
We couldn’t have packed any more fun into this day and tomorrow we have the bus ride back to Lusaka. And then one more week full of work….