Despite a very long night of entertainment, we awoke early for our canoe trip on the Zambezi. Kari, Paul, Carrie, Jörg, Kevin, Merilee, Deon, and I traded tips for hangover recovery strategies as we ate egg sandwich breakfasts on the banks of the river. By the time we reached our put in spot, everyone was feeling much better and excited for our river adventure.
We paried off in twos and pushed off in our inflatable canoes with guide Titus and helper Phillip. The Zambezi River is an amazing site – beginning in northwest Zambia and flowing 2700km through six countries until it empties into the Indian Ocean. We began our canoe trip upriver of Victoria Falls and then paddled 15km downstream with Zambia on our left and Zimbabwe on our right. It felt glorious to move the arms again after months of spinning only the legs. Titus continually reminded us that this was a relaxing float, and after an hour we settled into a calm pattern of paddle-paddle-float.
The floating times gave us plenty of time to see an incredible number of bird species, two hippopotomus, and elephants! Hippos sulked under the surface of the water in calm cut outs and the immense, ambling elephants drank at the water´s edge. It was the most amount of animals we had seen since Arusha. The canoe trip ended at another riverside lodge where we swam in the warm sun and drank coke´s on submerged bar stools.
The transfer van picked us up and whisked us out to Bushbuck River House, a riverside lodge owned by Oriel and her husband and protected by George the dog. If you are ever in this area, come stay here! We were transported into an enviornment of peace and tranquilty, listening to the sounds of the rushing river and 263 various birds. The food is amazing and plentiful – the first place where the proprieter has outsupplied our ravenous appetites! I am off to enjoy a riverside nature walk, a dip in the pool. Life is GREAT!