17 May 2011

Lower Zambezi: Walking Safari

Date: 30 April 2011

Location: the Lower Zambezi Valley, Zambia

Walkers: Helen, with six others, plus our guides

More from Zambia: the lodge, fishing trips and game drives

We were up early again for a guided walk in the nearby Lower Zambezi National Park, which we travelled to by boat.

It was a still, cloudy morning. The sky looked a little threatening.

At the checkpoint at the entrance to the park we picked up an armed park official who accompanied our group. Before we set off our guide gave us a briefing on what to do if we were to encounter any wild animals.

Throughout the walk I was very alert and aware of my surroundings. I preferred the open areas where I could see around me. When it was bushy I never knew what might be around the next tree. We didn't meet many animals (just antelope) but this suited me fine as I felt vulnerable on foot.

But it was wonderful to be in the bush. Our knowledgeable guide pointed out many things as we walked: trees and berries, animal dropping and tracks, birds and insects. I learnt a lot about the environment as well as the people and history of the area.

Sadly there are areas in the park that are badly eroded.

We wandered around here for a while. It began to drizzle.

What a strange landscape it is.

People used to live in this area and artefacts like pottery shards and grinding stones can still be seen here and there.

I love baobab trees.. they are truly impressive.

After a while the weather brightened up and the sun came out...

... just as we reached the Chongwe River. Beautiful reflections.

We continued meandering through the trees, the landscape so different to what I'm used to from the Cape!

Our walk ended at the park checkpoint, where our boat was waiting for us.


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