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Johannesburg to Livingstone

semi-overcast 65 °F
View Africa Trip 2010 on pmonahan's travel map.

We arrived in Livingstone, Zambia this morning after a relatively short flight from Johannesburg. At the airport, we were surprised to find that we got a 50% discount on the visa fee because we had a ticket a World Cup game. Who knew?

Livingstone is a bit like stepping back in time about 50-60 years. Most of the old town center has stayed the same since the mid-1950s. They also have not paved many of the roads. It is the first place that we have felt is truly different from any place we have been.

Our hotel is right next to Victoria Falls, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We were able to walk to the nearest viewing platform in about five minutes and we can hear the falls from our room.

Our driver suggested that a good evening activity would be a river safari, so we quickly tossed our stuff into the room and headed out again. The river safari was very cool. After plying us with gin and tonics, they took us along the river's edge to see hippos, crocodiles, birds, etc. Because the hippos are so dangerous, we never got very close to them, and the only part you can see out of the water is the top of their heads. By far the coolest thing was when an elephant swam across the river right in front of us to one of the small islands. We were having a snack stop on the island when our guide hustled us back onto the boat because he knew the elephant was headed our way. Surprisingly, elephants are very strong swimmers, and they use their trunks like a snorkel.

Now, we are just hanging out in the hotel enjoying the atmosphere. It has a great outdoor bar area with a band playing American classics, which seems a bit out of place. One neat thing is that they brought out little metal baskets of coals to place near each table for warmth. No gas heaters here. They are very warm but occasionally shoot out sparks that can sting if they hit unprotected skin.

All in all, another great day in Africa!

Tomorrow...elephant safari!

Posted by pmonahan 11:08 Archived in Zambia Tagged family_travel

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