Published: February 4th 2012February 3rd 2012
So after two short flights we arrived in Livingstone which is named after David Livingstone who was the first white man to explore the area. It is also the home of Victoria Falls which is on the Zambezi river. An enjoyable taxi drive dicussing English football teams soon had us arriving at our waterfront campsite to start getting a feel for the next week of sleeping under canvas.....and with various wild animals around.....namely monkeys and baboons at this site! Our first night in tent was a bit more luxourious than what was to come as the tents actually had framed beds in and an electric bedside lamp. With mum and dad sharing, I was able to have my tent all to myself! Before we got too comfortable in them though we booked ourselves onto a sunset crusie along the Zambezi and what a way to get an introduction to the area. It was beautiful and straight away we started to see Hippo's and various wild birds all the way along the river.
The next morning I was awaken by a monkey thinking my tent was obviously an extension of the nearby tree and sat up quite alarmingly until I realised
what it was. It was then off to Victoria Falls with mum and dad. We had been warned that you would get wet, but i dont think any of us imagine to what extent they meant.......the spray back from the falls was like a tropical storm almost! The sky was bright blue with no clouds yet we were getting drenched! Mum and Dad had the ever so practical ponco's on.....me a bikini under my clothes turning out to be not so practical. But we embraced it and ended up spending about 3hrs at the falls getting wet, walking around, drying off and then getting wet again. Seeing the force of the water falling was incredible and for me it was my first ever big waterfall to see (mum and dad have been to niagra). Due to the wet nature of the area and the fact we did not have a waterproof camera meant our photos are somewhat limited, but they certainly hold some strong memories! After returning to camp and drying off properly we then went to meet the group of people we would be spending the next week with.
It was up early the next day to get
on the road in our truck and head for Kasane in Botswana! In Kasane we did our first game drive in Chobe National Park and was our first experience of seeing elephants, Hippo's and giraffe in the wild. I have soooooo many pictures of gorgeous elephants its ridiculous. At this time of year they all migrate to Botswana so we were spoilt! That evening we then also went on a boat ride on the Chobe river at sunset. Again we were spoilt with lots of elephants playing at the river edge but we also had the additional sightings of many crocodiles! There was also a small incident with a Hippo......for some reason it thought it would try and chase us. We all saw waves of water heading our way and suddenly a Hippo jumped forward towards the back of the boat with its mouth open!!! Luckily are driver quickly put his foot down and got us away from him otherwise I think I would be telling you a very different story!!! I would like to say that at this point mum and dad were very collected whereas I along with several of the other young girls were having minor heart
attacks and dreaded spotting anymore Hippos (which of course we did, many more!).
The following day we travelled further in Botswana to a place called 'Elephants Sands' where we were to camp. It wasnt until I was washing my clothes outside my tent and an Elephant walked past that I realised where this name came from and then later swimming in the pool and an elephant walked around behind us on the grass..... it was amazing, nature was just there around us...well actually, we were in it! There was nothing stopping the elephants coming into our tents or the pool!
The following days we travelled to Palaype and then back into South Africa to Polokwane where we did a nice bird walk and then onto the Greater Kruger where we stayed in a beautfiful bush camp that had just about recovered from the Tropical Cyclone that had hit the Kruger a few days earlier. At this Busy Camp a traditional South African meal and dance was organised for us which was very tasty and colourful. Then it was all eyes on the main event....a game drive thru the Kruger National Park!
The alarm went off at 4am
and off we went in the 4x4 with Binoculars and cameras in hand! It was a long and slow day to be honest. The cyclone had caused a lot of damage in the park and many of the roads were closed for safety reasons which therefore limited where we could drive. But regardless we did manage to spot giraffes, buffalo, lots and lots of monkeys and baboons, lots and lots of Impala, waterbuck, elephants, wild dogs, hyeena's, Kudo, Warthog, Zebra's, Lions and a Rhino (amongst other things that im bound to have forgotton!). So not bad for a days work really! That night we also booked onto a night game drive which was a completely different experience using spotlights to see the reflection of animal eyes. On this we saw lots and lots of Hippo's and babies out of the water as well as a Hyeena.
The following day driving out of the park in our big truck we also then went on the see a group of about 9 lions and some Leopards amongst other animals. So all in all the only thing we didnt get to see was a cheetah!
We then arrived in Johannesburg where
we booked ourselves into a lovely little B&B which we could highly recommend to anyone wanting to stay in a safe and friendly cottage type vibe whilst in Jo'burg (rutland house). Delia the owner is so attentive and helpful, nothing was too much for her to help us with. We went to the Apartheid Musuem before it was then time to say bye bye to my parents....and off to Vietnam for me!
There are more photos below