Zambia (2): Day Seventeen : Return Home

The following morning we were again driven back to the airport for our early morning flight back to Heathrow. The flight was delayed for a couple of hours, and we were given vouchers to obtain refreshments in the airport lounge bar area. One passenger was taken to task for choosing more than his voucher entitled him to. He went absolutely ballistic, shouting at the top of his voice, until they backed down. It then became clear that this was totally an act he had put on to get his own way, since he immediately switched back to his previous unstressed, genial self.

I've read since that this was a stratagem employed by Winston Churchill when he needed to get his own way. Must try it some time!

In Summary

There seems no point in once again cataloguing each and every species that we saw during this trip: again we saw virtually everything that there is to see. The Zambia (1) itinerary was a much more conventional one, based around game viewing and walking safaris, although hugely successful in its own right. Zambia (2), on the other hand, based on the River Zambezi – the Lower Zambezi to begin with, followed by the point at which the Upper Zambezi dramatically turns into the Lower – proved to be at least as good an experience.

Although the Lower Zambezi is centred around river-based activities, we got some good walking in, and saw plenty of wildlife as well. And what can you say about the Livingstone/Victoria Falls part of the trip? This had everything and more. Interacting with the local population, walking with lions and cheetah, riding elephants, and experiencing the drama of the Falls themselves, just can’t be exceeded, and confirms our view that Zambia is, by far, the very best safari destination in Africa (‘safari’ is a Swahili word, meaning ‘journey’, and doesn’t just refer to the somewhat artificial world of the game lodge).

Conventional game viewing safaris are not cheap by any means, but this trip demonstrated that, if you are very much on a budget, then a week or so spent in Livingstone could give you excellent value for money. The hotel costs are nowhere near as high as they are in traditional bush-based safari lodges, and with all the above activities available, including game drives and walking safaris, and so much more, together with the opportunity to round off your stay in Chaminuka, with its own game drives and walks, you can enjoy ‘the holiday of a lifetime’ at a fraction of its usual cost. Contact us for further information!

In the Zambia (1) Diary we included a series of 'Campfire Tales', all of which were true. But none more so than the following, which might be entitled ‘A Psychic Safari’.

On my first ever trip to Zambia, accompanied by a colleague, we travelled down to Gatwick Airport from the Midlands on one of these stopping trains, rather than an intercity. Several rows away from me, on the opposite side of the carriage, but facing my way, was an attractive lady of similar age to myself. Watching her, I very soon became convinced that she was heading out to Zambia too, and indeed would be staying at the same small, remote bush camp as ourselves.  

There is no explanation for this: she was quite conventionally dressed, not carrying a rucksack, and could easily have been a housewife returning from a shopping trip one stop up the line. Needless to say, my friend thought I was mad.

However she stayed on the train all the way to Gatwick, and about 45 minutes later we saw her in the airport itself, now accompanied by what was probably her daughter. I was totally unsurprised to find that they did then actually catch the same flight as us. It stopped off in Zimbabwe first, and she could have got off there, but, no, they continued on to Lusaka. However they passed through immigration before us, and then disappeared.

We took our connecting flight to our remote camp in South Luangwa, where we were the only guests, although a couple more were expected later in the day. Relaxing after lunch, my colleague commented on how close to being 100% accurate my premonition had been. I refrained from commenting, and sure enough, later in the afternoon, a game viewing vehicle drew up, and deposited the lady and her daughter! I wasn’t at all surprised, casually observing ‘Here they are’, although my friend was totally gobsmacked.

We spent four days there together, sharing the same activities, game drives and so on, and my (much younger) colleague became quite friendly with the daughter, as did I with the mother. No, it didn’t end up as you’re thinking it might, with some modification to the sleeping arrangements: she was married and on holiday with her daughter, after all. But I suspect things might have been different if we’d been travelling singly.

But then blokes do conjure up weird fantasies about women, which have no probability of coming true, don’t they?

Back to previous page (Day 16)