Days 29 and 30

September 18, 2012 - Livingstone, Zambia

Firstly, thanks everyone for the comments.  We've so enjoyed reading them and it makes us feel connected to all of you.

Before we set off from Muckleneuk Farm, Terry found that the fan on the car had lost several of its blades, so we were going to have to do something about that once we got to Livingstone which was about 200 km down the road.

However, we stopped fo a cup of tea with the farmer, Ian Bruce-Miller and his daughter, Emma, who farms with him, before we headed off.  Delightful people with amazing stories to tell about life in Zambia now and then.  They are 4th and 5th generation farmers and seem to be typical of the rather eccentric people who are the backbone of agriculture (at least white Zambian agriculture) here.  We were sorry to leave and would have liked to have had the time to get to know them better.

So we had an uneventful drive Westwards along the Northern side of Lake Kariba to Livingstone which is a dusty  and vibrant frontier town on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.  As a result the place is humming with tourists and there is every kind of tourist accommodation in the town from very basic backpackers to very grand top class hotels.

Our first priority was to find a motor spares shop of which there seem to be plenty in Livingstone, and Terry was soon sure he would be able to get a fan which could be adapted  the car.  But first we had a very decent toasted sandwich and an excellent cappucino at a local coffee shop where we met our friend, Sue Brink with  whom we were to stay the next 2 nights.

We followed her home to their wonderful house which is on the banks of the Zambesi about 30km to the west of Livingstone. Sue and Daan are a pair of go-getters who run the tourist activities on the Zambian side of Vic Falls, and their company does helicopter and microlite flights over the Falls as well as the African Queen and African Princess, large cruisers which travel up the Zambesi for idyllic sunset cruises.  They also do river safaris and horseback safaris.  Sue runs a couple of tourist shops at their helicopter base and 2 of the local upmarket hotels.  She sells only local stuff and her latest venture is a tailor shop where she makes all the uniforms for their staff as well as doing all the furnishings for the boats, etc.  Their home, which they designed and built themselves is huge but warm and inviting, and we are staying in a guest cottage in the garden which has every possible thing you could want.  What a delight to have a hot bath and sleep in a bed with air conditioning after 4 weeks camping.  The hippos came out of the river during the evening, but they have electric fencing so they can only invade the lower part of their beautiful garden.  Tonight we heard hyenas and elephants over the river.

Today Terry spent the morning fixing the car, which turned out to be a fairly simple exercise, while I sat and watched the helicopters leaving and coming back at the helicopter base. Then we met Sue to do a bit of shopping at one of the local small shops in a rather dingy part of town.  I was looking for shitengis, which are the colourful sarongs that all the local women wear both as skirts and also as a kind of sling to carry everything from babies to shopping.  We went to this little shop which had a huge selection and came away with some beautiful African themed lengths of cotton cloth.  And then to the supermarket for a few packets of Zambian coffee which is delicious.  Late in the afternoon, we went to the Victoria Falls, which are as spectacular on this side as on the more usual Zimbabwean side.  Got some lovely pictures of the sun going down behind the gorge, even though the water level is pretty low at the moment as this is the driest part of the year.  A fitting end to our stay in Zambia.

Tomorrow we leave Zambia and cross into Namibia and head for home.


1 Comment

Richard & Pauline (UK):
September 19, 2012
I thought we were being adventurous in deepest darkest Cornwall until I read your blog. Sounds both exiting and exhausting. I look forward to your reports with great anticipation.
Best wishes
Richard and the other one.
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