Walking with Lions

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
Trip End May 28, 2009

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Where I stayed
Maramba River Lodge, Livingstone

Flag of Zambia  ,
Thursday, March 5, 2009

What an eventful few days.  I arrived at the Maramba River  Lodge and met up with a couple of the guys on the tour and a Kiwi couple (Ian and Marion).  We are all getting on really well.  The weather has been mainly sunny with a thunder storm most afternoons.  We went out to a restaurant on the first night Armadillo's and I had really good chicken biryani!!

We booked a trip on Tuesday morning (up at 6am) to go walking with Lions.  It was incredible. Check out www.lionalert.org we went to the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT).  We watched a DVD and got some H&S info and signed an indemnity form and then we were bused out into the National Park where we met the 3 lions; Kwandi, Toka and Keela who were 8/9 months old.  They are amazing.  We were all really aprehensive at first, keeping our distance but the guides were great just a few minutes later we are walking along-side them and they encourage you to hold their tails....yes really!  I have some great pictures which I'll upload at some stage.  We are able to sit down next to them and rub their backs.  You do have a stick and are told if they look at you with big eyes to step up and back very quickly.  You only need to be told once!
ALERT does an amazing job as they have a 4 step programme which means the lions will eventually be released into the wild, they are just at Stage One at the moment.  I never in my wildest dreams expected to get so close to a lion... it's already a lifetime highlight.
On the way back to the Lodge we also saw a few giraffe and an elephant.  How lucky were we!  We've been chilling out by the pool, which is where I get my REM at the moment as the first night in the tent was a little uncomfortable.  I'm sharing with a Dutch girl called Marty who has been working in Lusaka working in a compound completing an internship in tropical medicine.   She's good fun and likes white wine :-)

We have been out to dinner a few times and I've tried the traditional food N'Shima which is made of rice meal and you eat it with vegetables, a chilli sauce and chicken....with your hands!  It was good.  We went to Victoria Falls yesterday.  It was good to see it in the rainy season.  It was very wet.  As you walk along side it on the Zambia side it's like being in a power shower, we were soaking.  There was a sign that amused me "Please don't entertain the illegal guides".... so we sang and danced "I'm singing in the rain!!".  We walked/climed down to the Zambezi and watched the bungee jumpers (fools!).  It was a bit of a challenge to climb down to the "boiling pool" at the bottom of the falls, but worth it.  We had to wade through a few streams and there are few bruised toes as it was quite rocky.

Last night we did the Sunset Booze Cruise......it wasn't as messy as the last time I did it.  Quite sedate really.  We saw a few hippos, a crocodile and a warthog.  We went on to a few bars and I made some new friends... dancing with the local girls.  I actually got  round of applause and they asked where I learnt to dance...I didn't like to say in the depths of Basildon at Chicago Rock Cafe...well at least I'm keepin up with Wednesday night tradition!! LOL!!  Needless to say I was the last to leave with my tent roomie and our trip guide! 

One of the girls on the trip went to the shower one night when it was dark and shone her torch on something she thought was a table, which she was going to put her clothes on...she shone the torch a bit further and saw something white...which turned out to be tusks.  She then realised it was a warthog asleep and snoring in the shower... hillarious!  Thankfully it wasn't where we were staying.

I'm getting used to the shared shower arrangement and cleaning your teeth with an audience of bugs is quite normal now!  We are being picked up by the truck in a couple of hours and then heading across to Botswana and camping out in the Chobe National Park.  The border crossing could take some time, so that will be interesting if we have to put our tent up in the dark.  This is only day 3 of the overland trip and I feel really chilled already, it's great to be back in Africa.
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kathy1477 on

good times
Hi Becky,

Well it certainly sounds like this is a trip you will never forget - and it has only just started. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your adventures...

Becky, there may be a change to the date for our girls get-away. We were thinking of Friday 17th/Saturday 18th July. Do you think you would be able to do this?

Also, we are looking at going to a music festival on August 22nd. Thought it might be right up your street? What do you think.

Love kath

badams on

Re: good times

That all sounds good for me. Count me in. Having a great time. So much to look forward to!


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