Travelreport No. 47, Zimbabwe and Zambia, 1.7.2011 - 18.8.2011

Victora Falls - Harare - Kariba

Victoria Waterfalls ar an impressive natural spectacle thundering 107 meters into the depths of the Zambesi river. Cycling in Zimbabwe is fun, because the people are friendly and cheerful. "Hello, how are you " is the greeting of the children and adults and everybody is waving. As cyclists we are treated with respect.

In the capital, Harare, we try unsuccessfully to obtain a visa for Ethiopia. New rules are applying. So we will fly over this country.

On Lake Kariba we are allowed to use a bungalow from Yvette and Walter who already hosted us in Harare for a week. Grazing on the doorstep here at night are the hippos and elephants wander around. In Zimbabwe, we are over and over again invited and experience warm welcomes, like from Sarah in Kariba or from Paul and Sandy in Selous. Thank you to you all!

Lusaka - South Luangwa

The border-crossing is no problem and the visa for 30 days is issued within 5 minutes directly at the border for $ 50. The loveable, helpful and happy people make the country a wonderful cycling destination. Riding through a village is exciting, because as soon as one kid sees us, the call "Mazungu" (foreigner) is heard, then all the children ran to the street, waving and laughing and greeting us with a friendly "How are you". The capital Lusaka with the contrasts between the modern shopping centers and areas littered with garbage along the railway where the very poor people live,could not be bigger.

At South Luangwa National Park we rest 10 days. The camp is situated on the river opposite the NP, and here we meet many interesting travelers and get invited for a very nice braai from the lovely Marina and Tobias. Watching the crocodiles, hippos, birds and antelopes, etc. is great. Only the pretty velvet monkeys are a nuisance. Not only do they steal anything edible, but they also tear up our tent in order to reach an apple lying in it. At night the air vibrates of animal sounds, and the hippos munch next to the tent. But the highlights are the nine elephants visiting the camp one night. One hears only the rustle of leaves when they walk, the snapping of twigs and the growl of their stomach when they come so close to the tent that one could touch them.

On a game drive we are very lucky to see two young lion males wandering directly to the safari car and passing just a few meters away. To see these majestic animals so close is very impressive.