17 May 2011

Lower Zambezi: Canoe Safari

Date: 30 April 2011

Location: Royal Zambezi Lodge, in the Lower Zambezi Valley, Zambia

Walkers: Helen, Dorothy, Dom, the rest of the gang, plus our guides

More Zambia: the lodge, fishing trips, game drives and walking safari.

Another group expedition from the lodge: a canoe trip down the river. Our route was 7km along the Zambezi and then another 7km along a quiet channel around an island in the river. Sounds far, but it was all with the current, so the paddling was very easy. And no paddling back upstream was necessary either as we'd be picked up by a motor boat at the end of the route. That's the way to do it.

We were meant to keep in single file, but there was a certain amount of competitiveness between the canoes and some overtaking!

It was a beautiful afternoon. Such pretty clouds.

Can you see the little plane?

This view of the hills of the National Park was becoming very familiar now... I found the shapes and shadows in the late afternoon sunshine particularly pleasing.

And the lovely trees!

We turned left into the channel. It was narrow and shallow, but also very quiet, pretty and peaceful.

Ooh, animals! Impala coming down to drink, and waterbuck on the ridge.

And birds too, including many colourful bee-eaters...

... and a jacana in the grass.

We saw several buffalo too. At one point we had one on either bank, so we paddled very quietly in the middle of the channel. One ol' buff stood up and stared at us very intensely and I was relieved once we'd passed him.

Further on the channel seemed even more lovely and peaceful that before. Canoeing is a really fun way to explore a wilderness area.

So much to see. Here: a warthog, an impala, a monkey and a fish eagle.

There were plenty of baboons and vervet monkeys.

Also a multitude of bee-eaters, making their homes in the mud banks.

On the way back a flock of enormous storks soared overhead.



Reggie said...

Canoeing on such a beautiful river looks so appealing. Were your arms tired and sore afterwards from paddling? Does one need to be quite fit?

Helen said...

Hi Reggie. So glad you're enjoying the Zambia pics!
We were taken by guides who did most of the paddling work. You can see Dorothy paddling away as she is a keen kayaker so knows what she's doing. Most of us just sat back and enjoyed the views and the wildlife. Ah, I loved it! This canoe trip was a definitely a highlight of the trip!