My friend Gail called me from Los Angeles and
left a message on Saturday, October 17th, 2005. She and I went to the Netherlands for the tulip
and a cruise around the country in 2004.
She asked if I
wanted to go to visit South Africa!
I, of course, instantly answered
"Yes!" and she started planning the trip.
here we are, sitting on the veranda over looking the Zambezi
River having cocktails by the famous Victoria Falls,
one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
Use this link to view the Zambian & Victoria
Falls photos taken on our trip!
Below is a blow by blow description or our
fabulous trip to Zambia and Victoria Falls, read on!
March 02nd, 2006 – Thursday: We were up early and went to
the airport to fly to Zambia on Nationwide Airlines, a 737. We landed and were greeted in the beautiful lounge and
given a run down of the five stars Royal Livingstone Hotel. It is fantastic, situated on the Zambezi River, right at the
lip of Victoria Falls.
After checking out the hotel, we took
a river cruise on the African Princess. We
laughed and the African Queen wasn’t being used. One couple asked if Gail and I were going to be Humphrey
Bogart and Katherine Hepburn and play the parts in the movie the African Queen
for the rest of the passengers! It
was rather cloudy and we had a bottle of champagne and sat in the bow with a
couple from Germany. We saw
hippopotamus and a few birds but nothing too spectacular.
Time for dinner and bed as tomorrow
would be busy visiting the falls! We
were hoping for better weather as everyone told us it had rained day and night
for three months and most hadn’t seen or down anything on his or her trips. We
wondered if we would have the same problem.
But we lucked out and had great weather the entire two weeks!
2006 – Friday: We woke to 80 degree weather,
25 C, and went to breakfast at the outside dining area. On the way one of the workers pointed at
us and took us behind the private quarters of the workers where a sign said –
Keep Out! We followed him
into the bush and came upon six zebra and two giraffe so we were happy, our
first wild animals besides monkeys!
Breakfast was great and then one of
the staff drove us to the falls and we donned yellow slickers to keep dry. The falls are fabulous! We were lucky, the rain filled the river
and the falls were at their peak. We
saw rainbows all over the falls as the photos show. We met two women from southern England, about 80 years
old, and they asked us to join them for dinner that night, so nice of them. We walked the entire length of the falls
and then went back to the hotel where we had cocktails on the deck over the
We had lunch and then decided to
lounge by the huge pool and have champagne cocktails. While we were lying by the pool, Gail
suddenly said her sun tan lotion was gone!
Excuse me! We saw it
laying on the ground a few feet away, a monkey tried to take it! We got another champagne cocktail and
suddenly Gail yelled again. Chuck,
that monkey is trying to steal my purse! Well
it was too heavy so the monkey gave up. We
were warned about monkeys and how they would try and get into the room.
We had trouble with the large glass
door in our room opening onto our patio and it took both of us to finally pull
the door open. Five minutes later I
was on one side of the room and Gail was on the bed and suddenly she yelled out,
Chuck, the monkey just opened the door! I
had shut it and a female monkey came by and with one hand, pulled the door open
and was ready to jump in the room. I
screamed and ran over to the door and slammed it shut. Gail laughed and said that was the
fastest I had moved in days!
I have to tell what happened at
dinner. We sat with Irene and
Sheila from south England and I saw a young woman with her mother from Germany
at the next table. They brought the
food with a huge metal lid over the plates.
The lids were silvery and looked up upside down bowls. The waiters, with a flourish, whipped off the lids and the
daughter just sat there with a stunned look on her face. Then the people at the other table did
the same thing, they just looked weird at the plates. I told Gail something was strange! Then Irene and Sheila ordered soup and the waiters with a
flourish, took off the lids. Well
Sheila scooped up the soup and suddenly looked in the bowl and there was only a
strange thing stuck in the bottom looking like a somewhat cooked ravioli. Figure that out. Irene just sat there and we all started to laugh about it. No wonder everyone looked stunned. Suddenly a waiter appeared with a large
bowl of the pumpkin soup and ladled out a few spoons of soup into the bowl. We had to go through all this drama just
for a little soup. I saw the German
couple later and we had a good laugh about the flourish and the empty plates. Go figure!
March 04th, 2006 – Saturday: This morning we again sneaked
into the off limits brush behind the workers building and came upon the giraffe,
only about 30 feet from us. Then
the zebra came by and suddenly they started to chase me. Gail said, Run Chuck! Thanks a lot! Then the giraffe and the zebra ran
around each other and then off into the jungle. I was not amused as they told us zebra are very nasty!
The very nice men working for a travel
agency picked us up again. As we
got back to the Rosebank Hotel, another huge storm hit. Thunder and lighting all over the town. So we were lucky we had the fabulous
clear and sunny day at the falls.
Royal Livingstone Hotel ~ An Overview:
will stay at the Royal Livingstone Hotel near the entrance of Victoria Falls, as
of December 29th, just heard from Gail, it is complementary!
A 5 Star Resort Hotel located
actually within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side of the
Zambezi River, enjoying prospects over the Zambezi River and the Falls
shared by no other hotel in the Victoria Falls region.
The bedrooms are two-story
clusters inspired by the grand estate houses of a bygone era. Each cluster
comprises 10 en-suite air conditioned rooms with private balconies and
terraces that offer spectacular views of the great river and beyond. Each
room offers a quiet retreat from the ruggedness of Africa, with large shaded
verandas and open spaces cooled by swirling fans and tall shutters.
The travelers' bar and lounge is a
place where guests can relax under thatched shade, decorated in harmonious
greens, creams and ebony. With its comfortable armchairs and low ottomans
the lounge is a place to enjoy an impeccably served high tea or to linger
longer over some fine port or cigar. The a la carte restaurant will serve
arrange of exquisite delicacies from around the world.
The Pool area reflects the
elegance of this classical 'colonial' style hotel. Opened in 2001, The Royal
Livingstone is a place to enjoy the majesties of Africa with all the
charms of a bygone era. It introduces an unparalleled level of luxury, service
and sophistication to the region.
A Brief History of Zambia:
100,000 years ago, on the ancient land we now call Zambia, mankind's
ancestors (the beginnings of the human race) lived. Economic and
cultural activity flourished in this resource rich environment for
centuries prior to the European exploitation.
Once known as Northern Rhodesia, (Zimbabwe, its neighbor to the
south, was called Southern Rodesia) Zambia was controlled by the South
Africa Company from 1891 until its takeover by the UK in 1923.
After many years of struggle with the British, independence was
secured in 1964, and the name was officially changed to Zambia.
In the early 20th century, lucrative copper mining opportunities (feeding
the Industrial Revolution in Europe) brought an onslaught of European
immigration, and the country subsequently became the world's 4th largest
producer of same.
Zambia is famous for the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls, the later
of which was named by David Livingstone, a Scottish explorer, and the
first European to see the falls.
In recent years an impressive (and much needed) collection of
national parks has developed in an effort to protect once decimated
species of wildlife, including elephants, leopards and lions.