I’ve got a bike now so that means I can get around a little quicker, although the brakes aren’t as reliable as they could be.
At work we had some interesting meetings, including with a QuickBooks consultant. Implementing that should make a big difference to the efficiency of reporting so looking forwarded to getting that sorted.
On Friday I spontaneously decided to go to Livingstone for the weekend. I got up early on Saturday morning and caught a bus at 7am. The journey is 500km and for parts of the journey the road isn’t so great so it was pretty slow. I arrived in Livingstone at about 15:20 and had a sunset cruise booked for a 15:30 to 15:45 pick up so was a bit of a rushed arrival at the hotel but I made it.
The boat trip on the Zambezi was cool. Unlimited drinks and food and we saw hippos and elephants so it was well worth it.
On Sunday I went to Victoria Falls and then the reptile park in the morning and then did a walking safari/game drive in the afternoon. A great day! The falls (aka “Mosi o tunya” – Smoke that thunders!) were a bit dry but were still awesome. You can imagine the magnified noise and spray at the peak times of year being incredible.
The reptile park was small but really interesting. Once the group in front of me at the ticket desk had decided what rate they wanted to pay – 10 minutes of indecision – I got in. They have several species of snakes, including a couple of the ferocious Black Mambas and a huge selection of Nile Crocodiles of various sizes. One of the other visitors, a Zambian guy who was chatting to me about English football offered me a lift for the 1.2 mile back to my hotel so that was cool. Most Zambian people seem really friendly and polite which is always a plus.
After lunch at my hotel I was picked up for the afternoon walking safari and game drive. The walking safari started off with just a lot of analysing of animal droppings and footprints and not seeing many animals but then after about an hour we came to a group of white rhinos chilling out in the late afternoon sun. They were pretty docile but you could sense they were watching us in case we ventured too close. I don’t think any of us in the group wanted to find out what would happen if we did.
After that we were picked up by our vehicle and taken to the riverside for some refreshments. After that we drove through the lower part of the park. There we saw a lot of wildlife, a nile monitor lizard, impalas, cape buffalos, a single wildebeest, vultures, a crocodile basking on a rock in the middle of the river and towards the end three elephants. It was great. I am looking forward to my next safari trip which will for sure be to one of the large national parks where there will be lions, leopards, giraffes etc.
So now I am on the long bus journey back to Lusaka. I went for the same bus company as the trip down – Shalom Bus Services – but next time I head to Livingstone I think I will try one of the others. Apparently one has wifi on board which would be a bonus, and takes only 4 hours (which seems to verge on the unfeasible considering the distance and quality of the roads).
I actually started feeling a little bit homesick at the beginning of the week. I was missing my flat and getting a bit anxious about a no-deal Brexit and the possible implications but after the weekend adventures I feel much better.