Zambezi Blogger

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Lion Walking

The Lion Shuffle

Walking with lion cubs is like taking the kids out for a walk.
They are just not that enthusiastic.

Who wants to walk when you can laze around in the shade.

So cubs need some coaxing when it comes to a "lion walk".
Once they get the general idea they walk a few steps - or bound - before collapsing into a furry heap.

And just like children they need discipline.
This is where the NO stick comes in very handy - especially when a lion cub thinks he can nibble away at your trouser leg.

But its the touching, feeling, stroking and even holding a lion cub that makes a lion walk an incredible experience.

video

Did You Know ?


Puku were first hunted in 1857 by non other than the legendary explorer himself David Livingstone.

A Bird Calender

feathered that is - click on this
http://www.afrizim.com/products/calenders.asp
to download a beautiful printable calender. Its FREE.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gorgeous Gorges

the collective name for the series of gorges is known as the Batoka gorge. Here's some details on them.
1st Gorge: the one the Zambezi falls into now
2d Gorge: (spanned by the Victoria Falls Bridge) is 250 m south of falls and 2.15 km long
3rd Gorge: 600 m south and 1.95 km long
4th Gorge:
1.15 km south and 2.25 km long
5th
Gorge: 2.55 km south and 3.2 km long
Songwe Gorge: 5.3 km south and 3.3 km long (named after the small Songwe River coming from the north-east, and the deepest at 140 m at the end of the dry season)
Batoka Gorge: below the Songwe - approx. 120 kms long and takes the river through the basalt plateau to the valley in which Lake Kariba now lies.

Sherlock Holmes on Camping

Holmes and Dr. Watson are on a camping trip. They set up their tent and fall asleep. Hours later Holmes wakes up his faithful friend and asks him to look at the sky and tell him what he sees.
Watson replies: I see millions of stars.
Holmes: What does that tell you?
Watson: that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically speaking it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Timewise, it appears to be approx. a quarter past three. Meterologically it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

Exasperated Holmes again asks: What does that tell you? Watson is silent.
Holmes then speaks - Watson, you idiot, it means someone has stolen our tent.

Camping Capers

enjoy all the fun and freedom of a camping safari and still have a tent over your head. Mobile safaris are an exciting and very affordable way of seeing Botswana. Tours also take you across borders into Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe with choices from budget to luxury.


Stargazing

can you imagine there being a sky without stars - a dark and forboding landscape of nothingness. Impossible to imagine but makes you think, doesn't it? Actually if you are a serious star gazer there are a number of ideal places in South Africa including Kruger National Park, the Karoo region and the Waterberg.

au revoir & bon voyage
Zambezi Blogger

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

David Livingstone Falls


Excerpt from Livingstone's second visit to the Falls: We landed at the head of Garden Island (now Livingstone Island) situated in the middle of the river and on the lip of the falls. On reaching that lip and peering over the giddy height, the wondrous and unique character of the magnificent cascade at once burst upon us. It is a hopeless task to endeavour to convey an idea of it in words, since an accomplished painter could but impart a faint impression of the glorious scene.

See 2 Believe

If David Livingstone could not describe Victoria Falls, how do we tell you about this awesome natural wonder. It really does have to be seen to be believed and only then will you understand what Livingstone saw.

Golfing with the Giants

listen to the Falls and enjoy a round on a Gary Player designed golf course. The usual obstacles are all there to be encountered: bunkers, water hazards etc. Its the unusual obstacles that present a far more different challenge as elephants, waterbuck and impala can also be found enjoying the greens with you.

With the economy being what it is in Zim, at golf courses, golfers pay for their drinks before they set off on their round, because the price will have gone up by the time they have finished the 18th hole.

Stay & Play

Victoria Falls is the catalyst for many of the areas adventure activities and rightly has the reputation as Africa's adventure capital with over 50 activities and safaris to enjoy.

Dumela Botswana

Botswana's Chobe national park is approx. 80 kms from Victoria Falls - another one of those MUST SEEDO. Why? Because Chobe is home to the largest herd of elephants in Africa and with some 120 - 150 000 of the gentle giants on the move this is an AWESOME sight much as Vic Falls is.

au revoir & bon voyage
Zambezi Blogger

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Monday, June 25, 2007

African Adrenaline

sounds like a cocktail or is it a rock group?

As the adventure capital of Africa, Victoria Falls pumps
adventure and adrenaline 365 days a year. But there's a whole lot more
going on in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls.

Numbering Days
there is talk that the power that be - may well not be (in power
that is). Signs on the ground indicate that there will be a
"Vacant" sign on his office door by the end of the year.

Commentators are predicting an inflation rate of 1.5 million
percent, by year-end. Observers are observing that the chances of
the government surviving the imminent collapse of the economy are slim.

The Good News
Zimbabwe is on the threshold of change and donor countries including
its former colonial power have already drawn up a list of Zimbabwe's
needs (about US$3 billion over 5 years) to stabilise the country's economy.

Falls in Tourism
tourism figures have been affected over the past few years. Fears
of safety and shortage of fuel supplies had tourists looking across
the bridge at a different option, although perhaps a more costly option.

At present Victoria Falls is a cheap budget holiday destination -
but next year when the dust has settled on the economy - prices will
rise. Visit NOW while it is still affordable.

Yet Victoria Falls (the one that offers the 70% view of the Falls)
continues to be a MUST SEEDO for travelers.

Mind Blowing Victoria Falls
choose from a wide variety of tour packages and special offers
available throughout the year

You should know
it is a safe and inexpensive destination enjoy over 50 activities and safaris
1 hour and 30 minute flights from Johannesburg and you are in Vic Falls
stay at elegant hotels quality bed and breakfasts - romantic safari lodges
dine out in fine restaurants - pizzas - bistros - food courts and steakhouses
witness some of the world's greatest elephant herds

au revoir & bon voyage
Zambezi Blogger

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Fab 4


Day 1 of 4
Four days of fun and adventure await in the adrenaline capital of the world.

A short 1.5 hours flip from O R Tambo/Johannesburg International airport and we have landed at Victoria Falls airport.

Customs is a relatively easy and painless experience and then onwards to the Rainbow Hotel where we will park ourselves and luggage

Victoria Falls is a small town - very easy to get around and dominating the town is the awesome spectacle of the Victoria Falls themselves.
Use this map to help get your bearings.

It must be lunchtime as there are deep and troubling noises coming from the area of my stomach.
The Pizza Bistro in the Shoppers Arcade (Parkway) would be a good choice, or the Crock and Paddle serve good wholesome pub meals.

Victoria's Views

You never get tired of seeing the Victoria Falls - no matter what time of year - no matter how wet you get from the spray - its one of those experiences which is MUST DO.
DYK: you will see 70% of the Falls from the Zimbabwe side.

Try and give the correct denomination for the entrance fee as you might not get change. As you stroll along the pathways the Falls present different aspects and views - from the Devils Cataract to the Main Falls - this thundering mass of water is just awesome.

Recently introduced is the Victoria Falls Bridge Tours - a fantastic new activity on and around the Bridge.

After we had absorbed as much as we could of the Falls and Rainforest, we headed for the Victoria Falls Hotel.

Colonial Croquet ?

The Victoria Falls Hotel was built in 1904 and about that time the clock stopped (at least for the hotel).
Every picture, every room and hallway of this beautiful hotel exudes the colonial era ambience of elegance and charm.
Did I hear someone ask "Is it time for high tea"

A bounty at the Boma

The evening's entertainment is a night out at The Boma. Another MUST DO.
Why? Well to begin with the cuisine is varied from traditional Zimbabwean dishes as well as a selection of fish and game meats. Vegetarians are not forgotten.
Warm traditional greetings followed by the hand washing ceremony then we were offered traditional beer and snacks.
The stomach said "thank you".

Background to all the dining and wining was the pulsating rhythm of Ndebele and Shangaan dancers. Need your fortune told - the resident witchdoctor will throw the bones and tell you what's in store.
Be entralled as the Sangoma relates African folk tales and if you have hair - have it braided in true African style.

Tip: make sure you book in advance - its very popular. The Boma is a very inter-active experience, the more you put in the more enjoyment you will get out.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bush Whacking with Elephants

Horses and Elephants

A horse mad friend recently asked me how do you ride an elephant? At first I thought said friend might have had too much Christmas bubbly, but the question intrigues so here goes.

Firstly its easier than riding a horse – at least an elephant will not go careening off into the bush at the speed of light, hurtling itself and you over life threatening obstacles – all the time you hanging on for dear life and praying like you never prayed before.

So relax an elephant back safari is a much more sedate affair. In fact it is a wonderful experience and a never to be forgotten memory of being so close to the gentle giants.

Elephant Riding Lessons

There are some logistical problems which first need to be negotiated. No. 1 logistical problem – how do you climb aboard a 3 m high (about 10 ft) 6000 kg animal?

Quite easy really – you climb up a few steps to a wooden scaffold. The elephant is then led over to the scaffold allowing you to “mount”. There are even stirrups if you wish to use them. The elephant’s handler (mahout) is the first on the elephant.

Once everyone feels comfortable then off you go on the experience of a lifetime.

Do the elephant walk

The elephant ride is a slow rhythmic sway with frequent stops while the ellie eats at one end, and delivers at the other end.

These elephants are not circus trained but they are trained from about 2 years of age. It is only when they are about 8 or 9 years that they are allowed to take people on safari.

Cool Reception

On arrival at the elephant camp you are welcomed by the trainers and handlers and there is always a cold one of all descriptions ready for you. I like this civilized way of doing things.

While quenching the African thirst a brief safety talk is given. At all times you are requested to hold onto the strap in front of you. You can also hold on to the dishy Brad Pitt lookalike – if he happens to be on board.

The trek takes you through the African bush and whilst there are no raging waters to navigate, the elephant will have to negotiate some dongas. If the elephant is moving “uphill” then lean forward and if moving “downhill” then lean backwards.

These positions just help the elephant and keep the weight more evenly balanced.

Safety rules

There are a couple of things you should be aware of. Never try to jump or slide off the elephant. If you wish to get off at any time, just pass the message to the mahout. An armed guard accompanies the safari and there is also a first aid kit on the ride.

Birds Eye View

High atop the elephant you get a totally different view of the bush – bird watching just got better.

Actual time on the back of the ellie is about 40 minutes and at the end you dismount (roughly the same procedure as mounting). At the end of your bush trek its time to thank your elephant host and to interact with the giant.

Pelleting the elephant

A favourite treat for them are game cubes – these are small game pellets full of nutritional value and other good healthy things.

Of course the elephant has a never-ending appetite so he needs feeding like all the time.

You can feed the elephant from your hand – or drop them into his mouth. Make sure to disengage hand from elephant mouth after each mouthful. Stroke behind their ears and really interact with them. These are great moments for some photographic or video shots.

Let’s face it – you need the evidence to show your family and friends that you really did ride an African elephant in Victoria Falls.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happy New Year

Its January and time to wish all readers a happy new
year or happy January - well happies anyway for 2007.

Sun and Snow

For those readers living in lands where the snow lays all around and freezing certain parts of their anatomies off - let your imagination wander to tropical climes, of hot sunny days and sultry nights.

Cast aside doom and gloom - summer holidays are a mere click away.

What am I rambling about? We're talking exotic locations - of adventure safaris
in sunny Africa - of camping safaris in the African wilderness.

Forget your boy scout/girl guides camps. These mobile camping safaris range from luxury to full participation.

In plain English

a luxury safari means enjoying the African bush with all the creature comforts that you are used to. Full participation means that you get to do the dishes - it also means you get to cook the meal, and then do the dishes.

Cook Outs

Whichever you choose - its great fun and is truly the best way to explore and experience the wilderness at first hand.

I think I'll opt for the semi participation. This way I get to do the cooking - but no dish washing.

By the way: these camping safaris are also a very cost effective way of travelling through Botswana, the Caprivi and Zambia.

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