Thursday, May 6, 2010

Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls

Saturday April 17th we drove to the border of Botswana and Zambia, which is formed by the confluence of of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers.  We were warned that the border crossing could take hours.  As we approached the border, there were trucks lined up on both sides of the road for at least a good mile or more.  Evidently it can take trucks up to two weeks to get across.  There are no bridges here, so everyone has to rely on the three ferries which can only accommodate one truck and trailer at a time.  It also sounds like a rarity to have all three ferries running at once.

We were fortunate enough to find two ferries running when we got there.  Our guides also used the assistance (bribed) of a local man to help us get to the front of the line.  It's amazing what a little cash will do and we were all thankful for that.  It was only about an hour from the time we pulled up to the border to when we drove away on the other side.
Here's our truck driving on to the ferry.

Here's a ferry unloading on the Zambian side.

Upon arriving at our accommodation in Livingstone, we decided to splurge and got a room right on the Zambezi River, rather than to camp for the two nights we were there.  It was nice to sleep in a bed after a week of camping.  After getting checked in, we went directly to Victoria Falls.  These falls are about a mile wide and as tall as a 30 story building, so it's a very impressive site.  Since we were there just after the rainy season, there was a huge amount of water flowing, which made it nearly impossible to see much of the falls.
Here's Kelly getting soaked by the spray of the falls.

During periods when the spray would die down we could get a glimpse of the falls.

This bridge, which crosses the gorge below the falls goes between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  People bungee jump from here, but no one from our group did it.

This small bridge crosses the gorge to give you a different view of the falls.  Unfortunately there was so much spray we didn't see much.  The good thing about the spray was that Dave couldn't see the bottom, so he was able to cross the bridge!

Yet another shot of these magnificent falls which are listed as one of the seven natural wonders of  the world.

Here we are above the falls.

The spray from the falls can rise from 1,300 to 2,600 feet and can be seen from up to 30 miles away.

Here's a view of the spray from our lodge up river.

High Court Building in Livingstone

Randy was looking for some flip flops at the market in town and it took five guys to help him out.

After visiting town we decided to spend the afternoon relaxing in the pool.

The pool and the bar at The Waterfront, the lodge where we stayed

There were allot of these Vervet Monkeys around the ground of the lodge

In the evening we did a three hour "Booze Cruise" on the Zambezi River.  It was all you could eat and drink and we all did our best to overindulge.  Here were are at the bar with Chan & Randy.

Daniel, Chan, Mark, Leah & Bryan at the bar.

Kelly, Dave, Bryan, Mark, Leah, Chan & Daniel with our first round of many gin & tonics.

Randy & Jane

Cian & Miriam

Bryan on the Booze Cruise

Dave, Sharon & Kelly

Kelly, Leah, Daniel, Mark & Cian

The whole Intrepid "Southern Explorer" group

Sunset on the Zambezi

We got this weird photo of us with Mark using the "Sunset" setting on our camera

Dave, Bryan, Cian, Mark (being kissed by Kelly) & Randy

Miriam, Jane, Leah, Laura & Sharon

Mark & Kelly had to get in on the action with the girls

This was the final night of the tour for Cian, Miriam and Jane, so after the booze cruise we all went to the bar at the lodge to celebrate our last night together as a group.  As you can tell we were going to miss Cian

Here we're celebrating our last night with Cian & Miriam.  They too were on their honeymoon on this trip.

As the night progressed it was decided we should have an arm wrestling competition.

Randy & Miriam....those Irish do really love their beer!

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