Zeb the Duck Remembers Africa

I, Zeb the Duck, really loved my summer in Southern Africa.   I wanted to show you some of my favorite memories, but there were so many.   Remember this trip started with us volunteering for a couple weeks with Ripple Africa in Malawi.

Ripple Africa

Ripple Africa

The students were so friendly and eager to learn.

Students

Students

We saw this all over Southern Africa.   Living on the shore of Lake Malawi, we appreciated the sunny days and the evenings watching the moon rise over the lake.

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

We saw people everywhere carrying items on their heads.

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

The humans walk so gracefully and have beautiful posture.   These changu changu moto stoves save so much wood and requires so much less work to use.

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

They are a huge improvement over the traditional three stone stove.   Men stack wood on frames on their bicycles.

Loading firewood on bicycle

Loading firewood on bicycle

Seeing them ride with all the wood was fascinating.   We smiled at this sign, but it was true.

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys will pick up most items and the items may be gone forever.   Victoria Falls is so big and so powerful.   It really is a sight for all to see.

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

This is Rainbow Falls on the Zambian side.   The rainbow seems to be there almost all the time. Male dancers and singers in the Kingdom of Swaziland entertained us.

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Many humans think of large animals and safaris whenever Africa is mentioned.   We loved our safaris and the animals are so majestic, and in many cases, they were playful and entertaining. Impalas are so plentiful and also so delicate and graceful.

Impala

Impala

We never tired of seeing them.   We love the zebras.

Zebra

Zebra

The stripes are so exotic to me.   And the massive elephants, especially in groups always take your breath. And there is nothing like a baby elephant to soften your heart.

Elephants

Elephants

Cape Buffalo always make us smile.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

The Swazi candles were some of our favorite souvenirs.   Packing them was a challenge!

Candle from Swazi Candles.

Candle from Swazi Candles.

This monkey candle is bigger than I am.   I loved seeing the Indian Ocean from Bonnie, our horse.  p1000388The money in Africa was very colorful.   We like each denomination a different color.    Makes things easier for humans.   Each country used a different currency, but US dollars were accepted most places.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Zimbabwe did not print their own paper money.   The official currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar.  We did bring a little local currency home, but most of the left over money is donated at airports to help the local people.   If everybody gives a little, that equals a lot of money and a lot of local help.   We did purchase many Visas, each time we entered a country, and flights between countries in Southern Africa were expensive and not always convenient.   But the experience was unforgettable.   The people–so friendly and helpful.   The land and animals are beautiful.  We were able to visit Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kingdom of Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique.    We hope you visit these countries soon.   You will never forget the experience.

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Last Minute Shopping in Zimbabwe with Zeb the Duck

Well, this is our last morning in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.   We love this town and, of course, we love the waterfalls.   Our hotel was near an indoor craft market and an outdoor craft or curio market.

Elephant's Walk Shopping Village next to our hotel

Elephant’s Walk Shopping Village next to our hotel

This sign is for the indoor market.   But, look what else humans can do here.

Crocodile Cage Diving??

Crocodile Cage Diving??

I am glad mom did not try this.   I don’t think this is the crocodile that would be a diving partner.

I like this crocodile

I like this crocodile

I do like this crocodile though.   Isn’t this the most colorful rhino you have ever seen?

New kind of rhino

New kind of rhino

It is a first for me, but in the middle of National Parks and game preserves, this rhino seems right at home.   I even made a new friend here.

I always find new friends

I always find new friends

I have seen so many hippos in the water, but now I can sit on this one.

Friendly hippos

Friendly hippos

Inside this market there are many nice craft stores and there is even a Fed Ex office here if you want to purchase items too large for you suitcase.   We did not.   Also inside there are various small market areas and individual stands.   The cloth is for Chitenges.

Chitenges

Chitenges and more

Chitenges are the cloth women buy and then wrap to make skirts.   We think the material is very pretty, but we did not purchase any.   We are waiting for our taxi to the airport, so we go outside.   This vendor was very nice.

My friend, the vendor

My friend, the vendor

He even asked mom to put me on some items for photos.    Our taxi is here so the suitcase goes in and so do we.  We are back at the Zimbabwe airport in Victoria Falls.

Back to the Zimbabwe airport in the city of Victoria Falls

Back to the Zimbabwe airport in the city of Victoria Falls

Inside this aerial view of Victoria Falls is nice.

Aerial view of Victoria Falls. Nice picture

Aerial view of Victoria Falls. Nice picture

We have plenty of time until our flight leaves.   We do a little more shopping.   Mom likes the shops here and we purchase more souvenirs.    Then we enter the small restaurant in the airport.   Even the chairs have African wild animals.

Small restaurant in this small airport

Small restaurant in this small airport

Look at this menu.

There it is. Crocodile Burger

There it is. Crocodile Burger

Crocodile burger?   We ask the waitress about it and she says it is good.   And, of course, it tastes like chicken.   We have never had a crocodile burger; never have seen it on a menu either.   Mom has eaten crocodile nuggets in South Africa and crocodile appetizers, almost like shoe string potatoes in Denver, but never a burger.   So, we order the crocodile burger.

Crocodile burger

Crocodile burger

It is very good, and it does taste like chicken.   However it is much more dense or heavy than chicken.   We liked it, but we may never see it again on a menu.   And for the curious, the official currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar, so yes, we did pay $15 for a crocodile burger.   Our flight is called now, so next time we will be in Mozambique.   More adventures to come.

Victoria Falls from Zambia with Zeb the Duck

Our time at Victoria Falls is almost over, so today we will walk to Zambia to see the falls from that side of the river.      We passed Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park and walked to Zambia.

Into Zambia

Going Into Zambia

Since we were exiting one country and entering another, we stopped for immigration in each country and paid a fee to visit the destination country.  We stop often to view Victoria Falls from Victoria Falls bridge.

Victoria Falls from Victoria Falls Bridge

Victoria Falls from Victoria Falls Bridge

Isn’t it beautiful?  Victoria Falls Bridge is famous.

Victoria Falls Bridge

Victoria Falls Bridge

The span of the arch is 158 meters.   The bridge is 128 meters above the Zambezi River at low water.   And, this Victoria Falls Bridge is one of only a few bridges in the world that carries road, rail and pedestrian traffic.   And has great views of Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls from Victoria Falls Bridge

Victoria Falls from Victoria Falls Bridge

Just inside Zambia, we see this statue of Dr. David Livingstone.

150th anniversary of first European to see Victoria Falls, Dr. David Livingstone

150th anniversary of first European to see Victoria Falls, Dr. David Livingstone

This statue, dedicated November 16, 2005, commemorates the 150th anniversary  of the first sighting of Victoria Falls by a European.   Dr. Livingstone reached Victoria Falls November 16, 1855.   We enter Zambia’s National Heritage Conservation Commission area.

Zambia's National Heritage Conservation Commission

Zambia’s National Heritage Conservation Commission

We purchase our ticket and rent another raincoat.   This is a view of the Victoria Falls bridge from inside the park area.

Victoria Falls bridge from Zambia

Victoria Falls bridge from Zambia

We follow the path along the falls, delighting in each view of Victoria Falls.   We will cross this foot bridge, but see how wet it is.

Walk over this bridge. Spray from falls keeps everything and everybody wet.

Walk over this bridge. Spray from falls keeps everything and everybody wet.

The mist and spray from Victoria Falls is very strong.    This is Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Isn’t it spectacular?   We love rainbows and water, so this is perfect for us.   These waterfalls are beautiful and we are captivated by them.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Leaving the park, we like this sign.

Reminder that malaria is a real threat

Reminder that malaria is a real threat

Malaria kills many people.   We take our daily pills and use mosquito netting.   We hope all people in Africa use the mosquito netting also.   We bought a couple t-shirts and are carrying them in a bag.   As we cross Victoria Falls bridge to return to Zimbabwe, we see this baboon on the bridge.

Our baboon

Our baboon

He is coming to us.   What???  He runs to mom, jumps up and grabs the t-shirt bag.   He rips the bag, but then leaves the bag and us because there is no food in the bag.   No one is hurt, but we are certainly surprised.   Is this an almost baboon attack?   These baboons are really friendly.   That was a new experience and a great story to tell our friends at home.   Looking at the waterfalls, we recognize the foot bridge we crossed in the park.

Our foot bridge from Victoria Falls Bridge

Our foot bridge from Victoria Falls Bridge

While we walk across the bridge, a train, Pride of Africa, is also crossing the bridge.

Train, Pride of Africa, going over Victoria Falls Bridge

Train, Pride of Africa, going over Victoria Falls Bridge

This is our last full day at Victoria Falls.   We really wish we had more time, but we have plane reservations and hotel reservations in Mozambique.   If you visit Victoria Falls, we know you will love it.

Zeb Experiences a Botswana Game Drive and Dinner at Mama Africa Eating House

We are still in Botswana at Chobe Safari Lodge.   The river safari and lunch were fantastic.   We loved eating by the pool and the Chobe River.   On this safari, the humans agreed that they had seen enough birds, impalas and warthogs.   They were looking for zebras, giraffes and lions.   But they did want to stop to admire other large animals.   An early stop was to gaze at these rocks.

Large rocks? Not at all!

Large rocks? Not at all!

Oh, they are not rocks, they are resting hippos.   Hippos are so big, but they can run really fast. Remember the elephants we saw on the boat safari?   Well, here they are again.

Elephants, adult and young

Elephants, adult and young

Those two babies are so cute.    Mom was having a little problem getting them to move quickly enough, so mom’s tusks bumped into the youngster’s rumps if they got too slow.   That seemed very effective.   Cape buffalo are also very big.

Cape Buffalo at rest

Cape Buffalo at rest

The humans did say they wanted to stop for big animals.   Alright, this is a new animal for me, Zeb the Duck.

Zeb's first zebra

Zeb’s first zebra

This is my first wild zebra.   We saw a small herd of them, and what are these animals near them?

Giraffes.

Giraffes.

Wow.   These tall guys are giraffe.   My first wild giraffe also.   Oh look.

Giraffes with young on the right

Giraffes with young on the right

To the right, near the center of the photo, there is a young giraffe.   Shorter, but certainly not short.   I don’t believe I have seen this one before, either.

Kudu. See those horns?

Kudu. See those horns?

This is a kudu.   Very impressive twisted horns.   Well, our game drive in Chobe National Park in Botswana has ended.   It was great, but we did not see the big cats.   No lions, no cheetahs, and no leopards.   But we did see so many magnificent animals.   I love safaris.   This was my first time in Africa, so my first safaris, but mom has been here a couple times and experienced safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.   We both loved these safaris.   I have to tell you something amazing.   The other humans on our game drive were from Colorado and one couples lives less than 10 miles from our home in Colorado.   And we met on a safari in Botswana!   Mom and I are now in the car, entering Zimbabwe.    The other humans are staying in Zambia, so we are in separate cars.

Returning to Zimbabwe

Returning to Zimbabwe

Remember that the road from Botswana into Zimbabwe and then to Victoria Falls goes through a National Park.   These baboons are really wild and ran away.

Wild baboons along the road

Wild baboons along the road

Another day I will tell you about our encounter with another baboon; one that was not afraid of humans.   We are back in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and it is dinner time.   The gentleman in our hotel office recommended a restaurant.   Here we are at Mama Africa Eating House.

Mama Africa Eating House

Mama Africa Eating House

At our table we loved the colorful placemats.

Great placemat. And peanuts and popcorn

Great placemat. And peanuts and popcorn

The peanuts and popcorn were delicious for snacking while our food was being prepared.   We ordered Nuku Nedovil.   That is a Shona dish of chicken and peanut butter with rice.  Yum!  I love chicken and I love peanut butter.   When we arrived we admired the paintings on what we thought was a storage area.

Great door decoration

Great door decoration

We soon learned that the doors come off and this is the area for the band.

Preparing for live entertainment

Preparing for live entertainment

Live music is great during and after dinner.   The food was delicious and the people were so nice.   I really liked Mama Africa.   When we returned to our hotel we certainly thanked the gentleman for his wonderful recommendation.

River Safari in Botswana’s Chobe Park with Zeb the Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, am going on a safari in Botswana.   This is a one day trip from Victoria Falls, so we will be back with more about Victoria Falls in a few days.  We are going to Chobe National Park and first we will cruise on the Chobe River.   George picks us up early in the morning and we drive about 70 kilometers to the Botswana border.   We get passports stamped because we are leaving Zimbabwe; go to the Botswana immigration station, get passports stamped to enter Botswana.   Driving into Botswana, we drive slowly through water in the road.   This is to wash our ties.   We get out of the vehicle and walk through water to wash our shoes.   Then Leonardo meets us and we go to Chobe Safari Lodge.

Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge

The lodge is beautiful.   I was so happy to wash my feathers here.   Look at the birds in the sinks.

Decorative sink in ladies room

Decorative sink in ladies room

I love this place!  Of course, we love the pool.

Nice pool

Nice pool

We will return here for a lunch buffet.   Yum!  I am on the boat and ready to go.

Ready for boat safari

Ready for boat safari

There are some very nice ladies from Sydney, Australia on our boat safari also.    This colorful bird must be our mascot.

Mascot for our boat?

Mascot for our boat?

He stays with us, leaves for a few minutes, then returns to our boat.   He is small and beautiful.   These mongoose seem to like us.

Mongoose

Mongoose

I like warthogs.   We saw many of them in Liwonde National Park in Malawi also.

Warthog

Warthog

Isn’t he wonderful?   There are many birds here also.   We admire the gray heron.

Gray Heron

Gray Heron

And, we recognize the fish eagles.

Fish Eagle

Fish Eagle

This is a Nile crocodile.

Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile

He is big and more green than gray.   I love his color.   This cape buffalo looks like he combed and parted his hair, but those are his horns.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

They can be vicious, if they feel threatened.   I, Zeb the Duck, would never threaten them.   We are visitors in his territory.   We are on the Chobe River and in this portion of the river, one side is Botswana and the other side is Namibia.   This island was claimed by each country.   Eventually Botswana got the island and this flag of Botswana, on Sedudu Island shows everyone that this island is Botswana.

Flag of Botswana on Sedudu Island

Flag of Botswana on Sedudu Island

In Namibia, the island is known as Kasikili Island.   Elephants are so big and so magnificent.   Here are elephants and a small baby elephant.

Elephants of all sizes

Elephants of all sizes

I, Zeb the Duck, and the humans loved these elephants.   Don’t you?  This beautiful bird is the Lilac-Breasted Roller, the unofficial national bird of Botswana.

Botswana's Lilac-Breasted Roller

Botswana’s Lilac-Breasted Roller

Just as a reminder, I am on this boat, but like before, it is difficult to get me in photos with the animals.    I might fall into the river.   But here I am, in front of an elephant.

I see the elephant

I see the elephant and maybe he sees me.

The country of Namibia has a huge desert, but this small part of Namibia has these same animals.   This is a safari lodge in Namibia.

Namibia Safari Lodge

Namibia Safari Lodge

Love the chalets on stilts.   Maybe next time…?  Time to go back to the Chobe Safari Lodge for lunch.   Next time I will show you what I saw on the afternoon game drive.

Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls with Zeb the Duck

Today, I, Zeb the Duck, will visit Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park.   Victoria Falls is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and we can walk to the national park and waterfalls from our hotel.   Walking to the falls, we cross a bridge and railroad track.   Some men show us the animals under the bridge.

Bush Bok near center of town

Bush Bok near center of town

Isn’t this great.   Less that a kilometer from the center of town, and wild animals are here.   They said this was a bush bok.   The train is coming now.

Train through Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Between town and waterfalls

Train through Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  Between town and waterfalls

A little further down the road and we see the entrance to Victoria Falls National Park.

Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe.   That is not our water bottle!

We rent a raincoat, pay our park entrance fee and go inside.

Let's buy a ticket and go inside.

Let’s buy a ticket and go inside.

There is a restaurant and a few gift shops near the entrance.   Also several displays with maps and other information about Victoria Falls.   We liked this one.

Information about rain forest and water falls

Information about rain forest and water falls

Raincoats are recommended because the falls are so powerful that the spray is everywhere. Even with a raincoat, we were soaked, but the raincoat did help, so rent or bring one when you visit.   This is one of our early views of Victoria Falls.

Our first sight of Victoria Falls

Our first sight of Victoria Falls and green raincoat of a tourist.

As we walk further, we see more of the waterfalls.

Victoria Falls has such force of falling water

Victoria Falls has such force of falling water

The Zambezi River is about one mile wide at the waterfalls.   Walking through the rainforest, we only see sections of the falls at one time.

This is called Main Falls. Beautiful, wet and loud

This is called Main Falls. Beautiful, wet and loud

This is still further down the path.   The path through the rain forest is very nice and easy to follow.

Path through Victoria Falls National Park near the waterfalls.

Path through Victoria Falls National Park near the waterfalls.

Much of the time we cannot see the falls, but we can hear the roar and see clouds of mist rising over the river.   Victoria Falls was called the “smoke that thunders” by the native people.   This is horseshoe falls.

Horseshoe Falls. Spray on camera lens

Horseshoe Falls. Spray on camera lens

Each view of the waterfalls is breathtakingly powerful.   On this photo, you can see that we are still rather far from the falling water, but the mist and spray are so powerful, there is water on the camera lens.   And we have been cleaning it every few minutes.   The guidebooks say that this is a place you must see, and I, Zeb the Duck, agree.   Being there, at Victoria Falls, you can see it, hear it, feel and taste it (the spray is everywhere).   The Zambezi River and Victoria Falls dominate this part of the world.   Reaching the end of the path, you will have a great view of Victoria Falls Bridge.

Victoria Falls Bridge from Zimbabwe side

Victoria Falls Bridge from Zimbabwe side

At Victoria Falls, one million liters of water drops every second!   That is a lot of water.   Those one million liters that fall every second, fall 107 meters, or 351 feet.   When we visited, the rainy season had ended a month before, so there was a lot of water in the river.    We love all waterfalls and we really love Victoria Falls.   Next week we will show you what we saw from the Zambia of Victoria Falls.

A Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River with Zeb the Duck

Mom and I are traveling alone now.   Leaving Malawi, we had an overnight stop in Johannesburg, South Africa and then we went on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.   Welcome to Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe airport

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe airport

Our taxi from the airport took us to a travel agency on the way to our hotel.   We made reservations for a river cruise and a one day safari in Botswana.    Our  hotel is located near a craft mall and anther outdoor craft market.

Outdoor craft market is huge

Outdoor craft market is huge

More time will be needed here.   After checking into our hotel, it was time for our first adventure.    I, Zeb the Duck, love boat rides.   We went on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.   This river separates Zambia and Zimbabwe.   We are staying in the city of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side of the river.   The bus picked us up at our hotel and then picked up more humans.   At one resort, we saw these warthogs in the lawn.

Warthogs on the resort lawn

Warthogs on the resort lawn

Isn’t that great?  Animals as soon as we arrived in Victoria Falls.   Here we are, ready to hop on this river boat.

Getting on the river boat

Getting on the river boat

We were only on the boat a few minutes when we saw this elephant, on the Zambia side.

Our first Zambian elephant

Our first Zambian elephant

This is our first Zambian elephant.   There are lots of birds here also.   We recognized the fish eagle.

Fish eagle

Fish eagle

We really like them, and we have seen them many places.   Still on the Zambia side of the river we saw this mother elephant with a young elephant.

Mom and baby heading back to the woods

Mom and baby heading back to the woods

They did not pose for photos; they tuned and walked away from us and the river.   The hippos here seemed to be playing with us.

Hippo

Hippo

They would look at us and then go under the water.   Soon come up again, but only for about 8-10 seconds.   It was cute, but frustrating also.   Here is another elephant, drinking from the Zambezi River.

Elephant drinking from the Zambezi River

Elephant drinking from the Zambezi River

We did see one small crocodile sunning on the sandy river bank.   It did not show  up well in photos.   We are in the Zambezi National Park.   They often name national parks after the river. Here is the sunset we came to see.

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

And a beautiful sunset we did see.   I, Zeb the Duck, love sunsets with the water.   You know that I was on this boat, but there were many humans and mom couldn’t get good photos of me with animals behind me, so I am not in boat photos.   We met so many interesting tourist on this cruise.   One, couple, from South Africa, will be at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   He will be an official in the rowing competition.   We think that is exciting.   We hope they had a wonderful time.   I, Zeb the Duck, have not been to Brazil, but mom says Rio is one of the prettiest cities she has ever seen.  But, we think Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is exciting and pretty also.   After the cruise, the bus brought us back to our hotel.   We walked to the craft market, closed now,

Elephant Walk Shopping. Many beautiful craft stores inside.

Elephant Walk Shopping.  Many beautiful craft stores inside.

but upstairs there is an Asian restaurant.   So up the stairs we went.

Let's go up to the restaurant

Let’s go up to the restaurant

The menu featured several pages of Thai dishes and a page of Chinese offerings.   Everything sounded good; we were hungry.   This is an attractive restaurant.

Namtook Restaurant

Namtook Restaurant

It is called Namtook.   We ordered from the Chinese page.   This is our chicken and vegetables with cashew nuts.

Looks great and tasted wonderful

Looks great and tasted wonderful

Do you see those chopsticks?   We used them to eat.   It was fun.   Everything was very tasty.   We are glad we chose this restaurant for dinner.   Our first evening in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe was a success.