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17th September
2011
written by Hazel

We had a great first night camping and slept really well in the nice, sandy campground.

First Safari Campground

First Safari Campground

We had to get up really early, but it meant that we got to see a beautiful sunrise before breakfast!

African Sunrise

African Sunrise

Right after breakfast we got going because we needed to finish driving through Botswana and get into Zambia this day.  The landscape wasn’t that interesting, but we did see a little wildlife before we made it to the Kazungula Ferry that crosses into Zambia.

Kind of bleak landscape

Kind of bleak landscape

First spotting!  Sable antelope!

First spotting! Sable antelope!

Second Spotting!  Elephant!!!!  And this was taken without zoom!

Second Spotting! Elephant!!!! And this was taken without zoom!

We made it to the ferry around noon and it was pretty chaotic.  Fortunately, passenger vehicles get priority, otherwise we would have had to wait for hours or even days.  I think we waited about 30 minutes before it was our turn to load up and go across.  There were several people in small wooden boats who were running their own “ferry” service to compete with the big ferry.  It was fun to watch them navigating the river.

Ferry

Ferry and small independent "ferries"

Once we were across the river we had to go through the border to get into Zambia.  We were really glad to have our guide with us because it was total chaos there.  Fortunately, he took care of almost everything and we just had to get our passports stamped.  When we came out of the office there were lots of hawkers waiting for us trying to sell us souvenirs.  A few of the girls on the tour were looking to buy some things, so it was fun listening to them haggle.  They were good at it and managed to get some sweet deals!  It took about an hour, but we got back on our way again.

Graveyard in Zambia

Graveyard in Zambia

This is where the day took a bit of a turn for the worse.  We were supposed to go to the campground, have lunch (and we were hungry, since it was 2 pm and breakfast had been at 7 am!) then go to see Victoria Falls.  The group was pretty sick of being in the car since we’d done almost 20 hours in two days and we were really looking forward to getting to the falls.  But it didn’t work out like that.  We ordered lunch at the campground and it took an hour and a half to arrive and then a bit of time to eat.  Then we were ushered upstairs to watch a far too lengthy video on the VERY expensive activities we could add on.  Then, finally, we were supposed to go to the falls.  But it was too late.  The falls closed at 6 pm and it was already 4:30 and would take at least 20 minutes to get there and we would need two hours to see it properly.  So there was a bit of a mutiny.  It did seem like we had been in the car for two whole days and would be stuck at the campground for the night.  After a bit of grumbling and dissatisfaction, we worked it out though.

Long story short, Justin, Mom and I would be going on a walking safari (HOORAY!!!) the next morning and then our guide would take us to the falls in the afternoon so that we would have plenty of time.  We were not at all interested in most of the expensive activities at Victoria Falls (like a 15 minute helicopter ride for over $200/person!  No way) but were so stoked to see some animals in the morning.

The campsite was very nice once again and we even got to have kudu (a local game meat) for dinner and it was delicious!  There were monkeys everywhere and the sunset was spectacular!

Sunset view from the deck at the campground

Sunset view from the deck at the campground

 

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