June 7th – 13th, 2016
June 7, 2016
We started our journey from Florida to Zambia. After an 18 hour flight, we finally arrived in Johannesburg for one night our flight to Zambia is tomorrow morning. The Hilton Standton Hotel in Johannesburg (Joburg) was very nice we only spent one night there.
June 8, 2016
Today we woke up and got a taxi ride to the airport to officially start our Zambia Zambezi River adventure. We arrived in Zambia and took an unbelievable helicopter ride to my friend Tina’s river lodge. We flew into the gorge which was incredible it was an experience you couldn’t have had anywhere else. We flew over Victoria falls the view was breathtaking about twenty minutes later we arrived at Royal Chundu River Lodge. Upon our arrival to our river lodge we were greeted by Aggie & Hessah after a brief orientation we then boarded a boat for a short trip to our island lodge where Tina had set up our five days four-night stay and our chalet number four. We had lunch upon arrival and about two hours later we had a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. After the cruise, we went back to our room to freshen up before going to dinner. When we got to our room we had a wonderful surprise at our room the tub on the deck was full of warm water waiting for us it was an unbelievable experience to be in the jungle and while bathing you hear the grunts of hippos is something city folk aren’t used to. After our amazing and relaxing soak in the tub we headed to the main area for our dinner we were very tired from jet lag.
June 9, 2016
The next morning we had a rough time with waking up at 5 AM to go on our first adventure, but we managed. We took the boat back to the River Lodge to meet up with our driver for the day. It was so cold on the boat that we nearly froze to death. It’s cold in the morning and by the afternoon it heats up and it’s much warmer. We drove about an hour away tomorrow to Mukuni Big 5. The first part was an elephant ride for 45 minutes which was fun. We saw what they normally do when they are in their natural habitat. Almost every step they took they would eat from the trees in the pathway.
After the elephant ride, we were introduced to two seven-year-old female cheetahs. Suzanne and Lulu were their names. At first, John and I were both nervous because even though they were raised from babies with humans, they are animals who belong in the wild and have natural instincts to hunt and kill for survival. One cool thing is that cheetahs are the only large cat that purrs so hearing the cat purr made us comfortable because you knew they were ok with you around them. After about half an hour we took them for a stroll in the bush.
After we were done walking the cheetah, it was time for them to get exercise. There was a lure attached to a pulley that the cheetahs chased while being timed and afterwards they got a chunk of meat as a treat.
The next adventure was the king of the jungle a 22-month-old female and male lion siblings. The lion’s name was Milo, and the lioness’ name was Dina. This experience was very different than the cheetahs because they don’t purr they are very quiet. The way we knew they were ok with us was by their body language. After about 40 minutes petting and walking with the two lions we were taken to meet two seven week old cubs
They were so cute and playful. We even got to feed the cubs milk from a baby bottle. Overall we had an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime experience at Mikuni Big 5.
Our next stop on today’s day of harrowing adventure was to see one of the seven wonders of the world Victoria Falls. The first part was an incredibly wet walk around the falls which was pretty amazing. The sheer force of the water flowing down and shooting back up was like a monsoon rainstorm even though we had ponchos on our bathing suits were soaked.
John decided to be daring and swim in part of the falls which is called Angel’s pool. It’s pretty close to the edge which is crazy. After swimming in the falls, we took a picture while sitting on a rock right at the edge. One false move and we were going over. Luckily the guide told us they hadn’t lost anybody.
We then started our one hour journey back to Royal Chundu, and once we arrived, we had a lovely early dinner and then went to our chalet for our nightly soak tub and right to bed.
June 10, 2016
We woke up at 5:30 AM and took the same cold boat ride to the River Lodge to meet up with our driver for our safari guide to walk with the white rhino. The beginning of the excursion was cold but as the day went on the sun warmed us up while walking through Mosi-O-Tunya Park looking for the Rhino. We finally found the rhino and her baby.
This was the only thing we were doing today, so we drove back to Royal Chundu on the way there we saw a herd of elephants crossing the street. They were the biggest elephants we ever saw and there was a baby with them as well. We arrived at the lodge just in time for the daily sunset cruise which we looked forward to every day. After the cruise, we went back to our chalet to soak in the tub and get ready for dinner.
One thing I found comforting about the lodge was every night after dinner we had a guard walk us back to our chalet with a flashlight and a taser because in the evening hippos come out of the water and onto the island to eat. They are known to kill more people than any other animal in Africa.
June 11, 2016
Today we decided to relax and hang out at the lodge after travelling so far and doing the excursions the past two days we needed to relax and unwind. After lunch we decided to participate in a four-hour private river safari it was quiet and very peaceful.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see much we saw some birds, a lot of baboons, two crocodiles and a family of hippos. After the River Safari, we relaxed on the deck of our chalet once again and read our books. We took some time out of our relaxation to take part in the sunset cruise luckily we enjoyed a private cruise, and after that, we decided to have dinner and then went back to our chalet and enjoy our warm bathe before going to bed.
June 12, 2016
We had such a great time on the river safari yesterday that we decided to participate in one early this morning.
The only thing that was an issue if you were doing anything early in the morning it was freezing for the first two hours, but as the sun came up, it became warmer which is pleasant. We followed our river safari with lunch and the sunset cruise, soak in the tub and dinner.
June 13, 2016
Today we woke up completely relaxed and ready to travel to the airport to catch a flight to Madagascar after a final drive down the unpaved road as the driver called it a free African massage we boarded our plane for our flight.