African Safari 2010  Header

Gene & Lee's African Safari
South Africa - April 28 to May 24, 2010


Introduction to our African adventure!

April 28 - Edmonton to Calgary

April 29 - Calgary to Frankfurt

April 30 - Frankfurt to Jo'burg

May 01 - Jo'burg

May 02 - Jo'burg to Livingstone

May 03 - Victoria Falls, Zambia

May 04 - Livingstone to Jo'burg

May 05 - Jo'burg to Hazyview

May 06 - Kruger National Park

May 07 - Kruger National Park

May 08 - Kruger to Pongola

May 09 - Pongola to Durban

May 10 - Durban to Cape Town

May 11 - Cape Town to Gordon's Bay

May 12 - Gordon's Bay / Gansbaai

May 13 - Gordon's Bay / Stellenbosch

May 14 - Cape Town to Jo'burg

May 15 - Jo'burg to Lephalale

May 16 - First day of hunting safari

May 17 - Second day of hunting safari

May 18 - Third day of hunting safari

May 19 - Fourth day of hunting safari

May 20 - Fifth day of hunting safari

May 21 - Sixth day of hunting safari

May 22 - Seventh day of hunting safari

May 23 - Jo'burg to Frankfurt

May 24 - Frankfurt to Calgary


Monday, May 3rd - Victoria Falls, Zambia

I slept well until 5 a.m., then dozed till 6. At 7:30 we went down to join the Nikolaj's for the breakfast buffet which is included with our stay. An omelette station and eggs cooked to order, along with a great selection of breakfast meats, fruit, cheese etc. There were also several kinds of juice (the mango was best) and the coffee was strong. We finished up at 7:45 in time to head over to the Activity Centre for our walking tour of the Falls.

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Our guide showed up on time and was none other than Purity, our driver from the airport. We were supplied with ponchos, put them on and away we went. Reminded me of National Lampoons Animal House when Stork wearing a raincoat led the marching band into a brick wall. The tour lasted 1 ½ hours and was very wet. At times the rain/mist from the Falls was so heavy it was difficult to breathe through it. Good thing the water flowing down the Zambezi is pure and free of parasites, or so we were told.

Victoria Falls is approximately 1,700 metres wide, and varies in height from 80-108 meters. It's one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls and twice the height making it the biggest curtain of water in the world. Around mid-April is when peak flood waters occur and roughly 625 million litres of water flow over the edge per minute. This huge volume of water produces a spray that rises up to 1,650 feet into the air.

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While we were walking we got the history, the discovery and the current state of the Falls. Purity told us she has been guiding for Bushtracks for 4 ½ years and is their only woman guide. She also has the distinction of being a driver. Evidently, women drivers are very rare in Zambia.

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After the tour it was back to our rooms to change into dry clothes and head over by the pool for a couple of hours of R&R. While having lunch, we spotted a pack of baboons climbing around on the balconies over at our room building. They were moving too quick for us to get a picture but Harold and Wendy's neighbours later told us that he saw them on their balcony. So it was probably with good reason that the resort said not to leave anything on your balcony or the patio doors open because the monkeys or baboons would get your stuff or get in and destroy the room.

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At 3:30 it was time to make our way back again to the Activity Centre to catch our shuttle to the African Queen sunset cruise on the Zambezi. There were the usual late people that forced us all wait in the cramped shuttle, especially a couple of loud and obnoxious women from you guessed it, the good old USA. By the time we got to the boat dock, everyone on the bus knew their life histories (who cares), that they had their masters (whoop de do) and other nauseous facts about them that absolutely nobody gave a rat's ass about. Thank the lord for small favours that they were on a different tour from ours when we reached the pier.

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The Sundowner Cruise on the African Queen was very leisurely. As we were making our way upriver our waitress continuously was at our table taking drink orders and bringing several different hors d'oeuvres for us to snack on. Everything was included in the price of admission.

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We didn't see any wildlife from our vantage point on the top level deck and we had been warned we probably wouldn't because of the high water levels. Regardless, it was a great little two hour cruise that gave us an exceptional view of a beautiful sunset on the Zambezi. It was unanimous that we would highly recommend the cruise.

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After the boat docked and we disembarked it was back onto our waiting shuttle. Wendy convinced the shuttle driver to drop us at the Royal Livingstone rather than our resort. The Royal Livingstone is owned by the same outfit as the Zambezi Sun and is the adjacent property. Earlier, Harold had made us a reservation at the Royal Livingstone for dinner.

We were shown to our table in a very nice dining room with an a la carte menu. This place was so classy that the chairs we sat on were draped with linen and linen-covered stools were placed beside the ladies chairs so they could set their purses on them. Nice touch.

We shared a seafood appetizer. Lee ordered the Pork Cooked 2 Ways, Harold ordered the lamb chops but had to settle for the Pork Cooked 2 Ways as they were out of the lamb, I had the Nile Perch and Wendy had Gazpacho. This was a much nicer meal than the buffet back at the Zambezi Sun and actually cost less.

Harold asked what cognac was available and was tempted to order us a round of Courvoisier VO. But, when he was informed it was $24 USD a shot he declined (we found out later it was $6 a shot). We all agreed it would be much better to drink Harold's private stash of Hennessey back at his room. Finishing off our dinner, we caught a shuttle back to our hotel and off to bed by 10.

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