Random thoughts from our long weekend in Livingstone
After our pizza and burger lunch, we wanted to have some authentic Zambian dishes for dinner. Our cab driver recommended Armadillos, so Armadillos is where we headed. The joke was on us. They had Indian, Mexican, Jewish, and American food, but there was no sign of Nshima on the menu. Clearly, Armadillos has an identity problem. Was it double as a nightclub? We’re still not sure, although a bored DJ cranked soft rock tunes mixed with techno beats from his laptop, still not drawing any dancers to the floor.
Wakeup came early the next morning. We sought out exotic animals in a Botswana safari. The first part was on the Chobe River and our boat included a second level for those interested in a different view. Crocodiles, hippos and elephants were the stars of the show. Most promising, all of us left with our limbs intact. It was fabulous seeing these animals in their natural habitat and not in zoo. While the animals fed off their environment, we snacked on cookies.
After the boat ride was complete, we had lunch on the deck that overlooked the water. Positively or negatively, depending on your point of view, lunch included some of the very animals we would be viewing on the land part of the safari . Warthog was included in the buffet lunch, and jokes were flying about eating Pumba from Disney’s The Lion King.
Our stomachs full, we climbed on a jeep for the safari’s second stage. We got even better views of what seemed like dozens of elephants. We parked next to a couple of giraffes that were either fighting or flirting. There were also herds of zebra, impalas, and water buffalo. Of course, lions are the main draw. They remained hidden from view entire time as our guide explained there are only 14 in the pride that roams the territory. Despite the lack of lions, everybody agreed the safari was a phenomenal experience.
Giving up on our question for genuine Zambian food, we decided to eat at Olga’s, an Italian restaurant run by a non-profit that provides culinary and other vocational opportunities for Zambian vulnerable youth. After dinner, we bought Olga’s handbags, a perfect complement to the pizza, calzone, and pasta we feasted on.
On our final day of holiday, we took off for Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Mosi-O-Tunya, the local name for Victoria Falls, means the water that thunders. The experience is for you if you enjoy unrivaled scenery, magnificent views, and breathtaking nature. Imagine the world largest urinal, multiply it by a million, and add rainbows, gorges, and bubbling streams. There you have it.
We walked along the rim of the falls and snapped dozens of photos. Then, we hiked to the bottom and watched bungee jumpers leap off the bridge and white water rafters try and negotiate the rapids. We all got our cardio workout for the week on the hike to the top again.
Lunch was meat and vegetable pies at Food Palace. Before our bus departed, we also had time for some shopping and haggling at the craft market.
One of the charms and challenges of Zambia is that things that things don’t always go as planned. Shortly after the bus back to Kafue departed, the driver stopped because the door securing all the luggage hadn’t been closed.