Botswana Wild Day 19 - Oct 16

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Africa » Zambia » Livingstone
October 22nd 2009
Published: October 30th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Bye Bye Botswana

Today we traveled from Kasane, Botswana to Livingstone, Zambia across the Zambezi River.

We had spent 8 days with wild animals and now we witnessed human commerce at its most competitive. There is no bridge across the Zambezi river but still lots of trade - many trucks waiting their turn for the one-truck ferry, several fast boats for walk-on transfers and some suspicious mocoro dug-outs. One group of dug-outs arrived from down stream and very quickly loaded gasoline, televison sets and other cardboard boxes, then immediately took off paddling fast downstream without any passengers - something looked not quite legal about their behaviour.

Our transportation across the Zambezi was a 6 passenger aluminum speed boat complete with life jackets which we were told to put on. On the Zambia side we were greeted by very persistent craft sellers and eventually Kayla was hooked. Turns out she really did get a good deal, as these crafts were double the price at our next hotel.

The transfer included Botswana passport control and Zambia passport control on either side of the river. Our Zambia support, Aston, expedited the Zambia passport stamping by collecting all our passports and jumping queue to talk to the security staff - we had expected up to 2 hours for this process but were on our way by bus to Livingstone in 20 minutes. People in their own personal car can expect at least 3 hours at Zambia Passport Control - on a good day.

It took an hour on tar road to get to our Hotel in Livingstone, Zambia - the Zambezi Sun - right next to Victoria Falls and right in the middle of the Mosi-y-Tunya National Park. Kayla and Richard walked very slowly from the hotel to the falls overview in 40C+ heat. Then at 4:00 pm, we bundled into a bus for a helicopter overview of the falls. We had opted for this instead of paying the funds to enter Zimbabwe to see that side of the falls. Many of us didn't want to provide any funds to Mugabe and his government. All 12 tourists made the 15 minute ride in two shifts. It was quite a sight in spite of the low water flow that it typical of this time of year.

Hotel buffet supper was almost as tasty to our previous 7 bush buffet suppers. But we had to admit the resort atmosphere was a bit over the top considering where we had been over the past several days. Check the pictures to see what we mean. Such a contrast!

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 23


Mokoro Polers (Smugglers?)  from ZimbabweMokoro Polers (Smugglers?)  from Zimbabwe
Mokoro Polers (Smugglers?) from Zimbabwe

Four countries join here: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana & Namibia
Loading the MokorosLoading the Mokoros
Loading the Mokoros

Returning down river to Zimbabwe loaded with goods.
Our Speed BoatOur Speed Boat
Our Speed Boat

We skipped all the waits and crossed in minutes. We learned to appreciate the advance prep for our transfers.
Craft SellersCraft Sellers
Craft Sellers

Rosemarie was quite a bargainer.
Greeters at Zambezi SunGreeters at Zambezi Sun
Greeters at Zambezi Sun

Members of the Tonga tribe?
Zambezi SunZambezi Sun
Zambezi Sun

What a shock after spending the past several days in the bush.
Cool Drinks & ShadeCool Drinks & Shade
Cool Drinks & Shade

It was hot as usual, over 40 degrees yet again.

30th October 2009

Prize-Winning Pictures
In all of your blogs there are so many pictures that could be submitted for prizes. How about National Geographic?

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