Friday, June 5, 2009

Savuti to Zambia

On our final morning at Savuti, we had an abbreviated morning drive. Our plane to Kasane, Botswana would pick us up at 11AM. We would go through customs in Kasane then fly over the border of Botswana to Livingstone, Zambia. This was our last game drive as our time in Zambia was to be spent exploring Victoria Falls.

We came upon a troop of agitated Chacma Baboons. At first, we didn't know what had them so upset. Then Goodman pointed out some unwelcome visitors on the left side of the trail:

The wild dogs looked hungry. As much as they look like our own domestic canines, don't be fooled... They are ruthless predators and can take down an antelope in a matter of minutes. They won't take on the baboons - the primates are too fast, have too many options for escape and they outnumber the dogs by a handsome ratio. Here, one of the dogs sizes up a baboon:

Chacma Baboons are a social animal. They travel in large, family groups and are quite vocal. I found this family quite cute:

After watching the theatrics of the canines & primates, we moved along to the runway. One of the other guides, Vincent, would meet us at the runway with our bags. We were off to another country and other great adventures.

Here is the approach to Kasane Airport (I got to sit next to the pilot!):

Once we cleared customs in Kasane, we followed the beautiful Zambezi River downstream, coming upon Victoria Falls. Our pilot received clearance for a fly-over - so we enjoyed a spectacular view of the falls before landing in Livingstone.

It was a 30 minute drive from the airport to our lodge, The Islands of Siankaba. This was the most meaningful part of the visit to me - I was so excited to visit this lodge.

We were greeted at the mainland reception building and within a few minutes were on our boat, to get to our island hideaway. The four of us (me, James, Ed & Marty) were the only visitors at the 6 chalet resort. We had the entire staff at our disposal, which was a luxury we had not ever experienced. Our chalets were accessible by a network of rope bridges which dangled above the very swollen Zambezi River:

Here is the view from the deck of our chalet:

And of course, no day is complete without a 'Sundowner' - which we joyfully enjoyed from our boat:

Our first Zambian sunset:

The following day, Saturday, we were off to visit Victoria Falls and make the descent to the 'Boiling Point'. You'll love seeing the photos!!! Until tomorrow...!

1 comment:

Susan Stevenson said...

Primates have the most amazing personalities. I could watch monkeys all day long.

Beautiful photos, Mich. Looks like an amazing time. I love the suspended bridge walkway at the lodge.

Great photo of James. And the sunset is glorious!