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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Zeb the Duck Continues Exploring South Africa’s Kruger National Park

Welcome back.   I am still showing you what I discovered in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.   Chris is our guide and driver in the part, and Samson is our guide and driver outside the park.   Samson got us at our hotel and will return us there tonight.   Rhinos are really huge.

Rhinos

Rhinos

Rhinos are endangered because they are poached, or killed illegally.   Chris says that if the current rate of rhino poaching continues, Kruger many not have any rhinos in 3-5 years.   That would be sad.   The rhinos are poached, or killed, for the horn on their nose.   These elephants are really close to us.

Elephants are really close

Elephants are really close

Mom let me sit on the vehicle to see them.   We are really close now.   Cape Buffalo are also in Kruger National Park.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

So big and their horns are against their head, rather than in the air like animals that live by me.   Always something different to see and learn.   I love to travel and learn.   Another fabulous zebra.

Love the zebra

Love the zebra

This rhino crossed the road right in front of our vehicle.

Rhino crossed in front of our safari vehicle.

Rhino crossed in front of our safari vehicle.

So big and so massive.   OK, this is what the humans have been looking for.

First lion sighting for Zeb the Duck

First lion sighting for Zeb the Duck

This lion just finished breakfast and is relaxing and enjoying the shade of this tree.   He is majestic!  This giraffe is resting also.

Giraffe at rest

Giraffe at rest

Even lounging on the ground, he is very tall.   The monkey also wanted a snack.

Monkey

Monkey

We saw many large elephants.

Elephant

Elephant

This one is also eating.   Elephants are vegetarians, so they eat most of the day.   Remember the kudu from Chobe Park in Botswana?

Kudu. Love those twisted horns

Kudu. Love those twisted horns

Here is another kudu.   The twisted horns are very distinctive.   We admire those horns.   OK, mom said I should put this photo in here.   I am not sure. This is droppings from a hyena.

From the hyena. Much calcium

From the hyena. Much calcium

The hyena eats many bones and his droppings are almost all calcium.   Chris told us that.   The giraffe also wanted a snack.

Giraffe enjoying a snack

Giraffe enjoying a snack

I love to see giraffes eating leaves.   The are so tall and regal.   We stopped at the lodge on the river and I enjoyed the view.

View of the river in Kruger National Park

View of the river in Kruger National Park

There are hippos in that river also.   We are heading to the exit of Kruger Park, but look at this.

Elephants by the river in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Elephants by the river in Kruger National Park, South Africa

These elephants by the river could be an advertisement for Kruger Park.  And about elephants.   You know they are very big and they can do what they want.

This elephant is king of the road

This elephant is king of the road

There were three large elephants in the middle of the road, stopping traffic from each direction.   They are close to us and so much in charge of the situation.   We loved watching them before we left the park to go back to our hotel in Maputo, Mozambique.   This was my last African safari for this trip, so I, Zeb the Duck, am very happy that we saw so many wonderful wild animals.   We hope you go on an African safari.   The animals are so majestic.   I love safaris.

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.

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.

A Land Safari in Liwonde National Park with Zeb the Duck

Yesterday we arrived at Liwonde National Park and enjoyed a boat safari on the Shire River.   This morning we get in a safari vehicle and begin looking for more animals.

Our safari vehicle in Liwonde National Park

Our safari vehicle in Liwonde National Park

Soon we see impalas.

Impalas. So graceful

Impalas. So graceful

Impalas are similar to the antelope we see in the western United States.   They are so delicate and graceful.   Several monkeys are seen in the trees and running through the forest.

Monkey

Monkey

The warthogs are so much fun to watch.

Warthog

Warthog

They are always scratching the ground, searching for food.   When they run, they make us laugh, or at least smile.   I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari, but the ride is fairly rough, so I stay in my travel bag most of the time.   But, here I am now.

I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari also

I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari also

This sausage trees has these long, hanging pods that are very hard and look like sausages.

Sausage tree

Sausage tree

Many creatures live in Liwonde National Park.   These ants are very large and very busy.

Busy ants

Busy ants

Here are more nests of the weaver birds.

Nests of Weaver Birds

Nests of Weaver Birds

We saw some similar weaver bird nests on our first outing in Lilongwe, Malawi.   The hippos spend much of the day in the Shire River.

Hippos are always watching

Hippos are always watching

They are such large animals, but in the water you notice the large eyes watching.   Remember this is a premier bird watching destination.   Over 400 species have been seen in this park.   I love the white birds sitting in the tree.

White birds

White birds

Perhaps not rare birds, but a great scene with the white birds, green tree and beautiful blue sky.   There are elephants near the river this morning.

Elephants by Shire River

Elephants by Shire River

Again, large animals that are so comfortable here.   I, Zeb the Duck, like the elephants.   This bird has a beautiful blue tummy.

Pretty bird

Pretty bird

Of course, as a duck, I like birds.   It is time to head back across the Shire River to meet our driver, guides and chef.

Time to cross the Shire River and leave the part

Time to cross the Shire River and leave the part

I like this bridge.

Nice bridge

Nice bridge

We will cross the bridge and leave Liwonde National Park, but we will have another adventure soon.