A couple of weeks ago Zambia Tourism published a news post regarding our “epic” tour through Zambia. Well, after a week in Botswana en route we’ve now set up camp in Livingstone, our first stop in Zambia. We will be posting a number of trip reports and updates with accompanying photos in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out here. And to set the ball rolling, here’s a quick recap of our first few days in the Victoria Falls area.
We crossed the border from Botswana into Zimbabwe after the short drive from Chobe National Park. We had been advised to get to the border early, and it certainly seemed a good piece of advice: the border was almost empty, the immigration officer was friendly and the whole procedure was remarkably painless.
From the border we drove the remaining 40kms or so to the small, easy-going town of Victoria Falls.
We reached the entrance to Victoria Falls National Park at a little after 8am. As we walked around there were very few other tourists around. The early morning light created beautiful rainbows arcing in front of the falls. The falls themselves, even at this drier time of year, were spectacular as they thundered down into the deep gorge below.
We then crossed over into Zambia and after visiting a few local operators and conducting a few lodge and hotel site inspections we set up camp right by the river at the picturesque Maramba River Lodge, which is also home to Bundu Adventures. We had a braai for dinner and saw hippo grazing on the other side of the river bank and a civet cat trotting through the middle of the camp before turning in for an early night.
The next morning we were up before dawn and took a game drive into Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. It’s a small park (about 60kms squared) and there are no big predators, but there are plenty of white rhino, elephant, buffalo, warthog, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, rare birds and plains game to be seen. We saw our fair share of all of the above, including a particularly huge herd of buffalo.
It’s an easily navigable park, with a main tar road running along the active river bank and a number of other flat and well-maintained dirt tracks. It’s a pretty park too, with lots of old baobab and mopane trees and more greenery than you might expect at this time of year
Despite the small size of the park, we didn’t see a single other vehicle during our few hours driving around, which combined with everything else mentioned above helped to make for a surprisingly enjoyable game drive. It seems that with all the adventure activities going on around here, many visitors to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls end up overlooking the national park itself (though some of the luxury lodges are located within its perimeters). I for one was glad we decided to buck that trend.
That’s not to say that we won’t be delving into a fair bit of the adrenaline stuff too over the coming days, before moving on to Lusaka and then Lower Zambezi National Park towards the end of the weekend.
Read our next report to find out how we get on on a rafting outing in the mighty Zambezi, as well as swimming beneath the falls, looking over the frightening precipice at Devil’s Pool and more.