OK, after the failed Namibia post, I decided to make a post of a much easier trip, our trip to Victoria Falls and Etosha National Park. The reason it is such an easy post is because there are not many pictures to include. Why? Well, it begins with the trip to Victoria Falls, where "spray" does not begin to explain the amount of water that pummels you from the falls. Luckily, my camera made it through the bath with no damage, however my travel companions cameras did not turn out as well. The viewfinders were gone, so the rest of the trip consisted of literally "pointing and shooting" without any idea of what was in the lens. Luckily, we had mine. So I take a bunch of photos, until my camera gets stolen in Botswana. After a chase involving metered cabs and minibus taxis, I gave up and declared it gone.
Besides the camera mishap, it was an incredible trip-- I got to see four of the big five animals, a wonder of the world, and eat truly local Zambian food with my hands.
We started by flying into Victoria Falls airport in Zimbabwe, spent a few days there before crossing into Zambia, and then from there crossing into Botswana, before crossing back to Zimbabwe to fly home.
So, we have pieced together enough photos from the group to represent our trip. As a side note, chronologically they ARE in order, but for some reason the blog posts them down to up, so they are in reverse chronological order... oops.
Sorry for the chronology issues... I PROMISE I will do the next one correctly.
Picture 1&2: LIONS! we saw four female, and one young male lion while on safari in Botswana. The second is a picture of the lions leaving their perch on top of the mound to chase a warthog that was walking in front of them. The second is their return to the hill after FAILING to catch the warthog. Did you know warthogs are faster than lions?
Picture 3: My final big 5 animal, LEOPARD! Our safari guide actually had to drive off road (not allowed) to take us to this tree where the leopard was hanging out it. A pretty rare spotting in the park we were in, we were all ecstatic.
Picture 4: Giraffes just chilling, walking along with our safari bus.
Pictures 5&6&7: Taken from our river safari. The first is the sunset, the second a family of elephants that had come to the river to drink. The third was an elephant that was pulling grasses from in the river. He would literally submerge himself underwater to dig with his tusks, and stand up with his tusks covered in mud and grasses. I just realized I didn't include any of the hippo pictures, but there were a bunch of those too!
Pictures 8&9: At the border of Zambia and Botswana. There were a bunch of small boats like the one in the first picture that were taking goods up and down the river. The second is what we crossed the river in. We all had to board these barges to take people and cars and trucks across the river to Botswana. They were powered by these huge tractor engines which had to have a guy hand pumping the fuel! Not surprisingly, while we were trying to cross there were some technical difficulties with our barge, and it took about an hour and a half to get across the river.
Picture 10: An image of the Zambian border. It was a pretty casual border crossing...
Pictures 11&12&13: Victoria Falls!
Picture 14&15: Elephants and warthogs that were just hanging out in the bushes along the road to Victoria Falls.
Picture 16: The view from Victoria Falls hotel. There is constantly a view of the spray from the falls, as well as an almost constant rainbow (I can't remember if there is a rainbow in this one...) We certainly didn't stay here, we chose the nicer accommodations of a backpackers... but we did go for high tea one day.
Picture 17: The street outside our backpackers. Not only were there gorgeous flowers and trees along the way, but elephants! Since we were on the outskirts of town, the elephants crossed by our backpackers both nights we were there on their way to the game reserve just outside of town. We got a VERY close look at the elephants!
Finally, Picture 18: The last, but first, picture, of our welcome to Zimbabwe thanks to the Victoria Falls Airport.