I got the eye of the tiger!!!

Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Where I stayed
Nina's fishing lodge

Flag of Zambia  , Western,
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

   One stop that I can't forget to mention in my blog, was my stay at Nina's fishing lodge.  Nina's is owned and operated by my original host's Dalenes' husband, Nicky.  Nina's is located in a part of Zambia known as Barotse land.   To get there, we literally had to go off the beaten path.  Barotse land has its own king which is seperate from the rest of Zambia, and even has it's own laws and regulations.   Our drive in was a rather slow one.  It took us over an hour just to travel 20 kms, passing many small villages.  We passed countless mud huts, with children coming running along side the car to either wave or ask for sweets.  You could wave at anyone and get a smile and a wave in return.  Very happy people, considering the harsh conditions that many of them survive in every single day.  Some days, only a hand full of cars would travel this road, so everyone would always be watching to see who was passing through.      When we arrived at the camp, it was a beautiful setting right on the Zambezi river, at the Lusu rapids.   I was escorted to my room, that was literally a cabin that hung over the river.  It was amazing.  I settled in after our long drive and that first evening, we went for a boat ride on the river to do some fishing and get a view of the area.  Because of the time of the year, the water levels were low.  This meant that Nicky had 10 kms of the river all to himself to share with us.  Other boats would not be able to navigate the rocks to reach the lodge.  On our first night however, our fishing luck was none existant.   After having a few drinks on the sandy banks and trolling up and down the river, we decided to call it a night.  The sand on the banks of the river were pure white, and so fine that when you walked on it, it made a squeeking noise.      The next day though, our fishing luck picked up.  We were on the water early that morning, cooler and lunch packed.  We spent the whole day on the water, which was just dandy by me.  We spoted all kinds of wild life in and around the river.  Hippos were swimming and doing there thing as we trolled around.  You could see a baboon going crazy off in the distance as we approached an island he was stuck on due to the water.  I think we were the only form of entertainment he had had in a while.  There was a fish eagle too that Nicky enjoyed giving the occasional offering to following us up and down the river.  Finally in the afternoon, the fish started biting.  Our first catch of the day though, was not for us.  It was for our loyal follower, the fish eagle.  Nicky put the fish on a stick and threw it into the water.  I thought we might have to wait a while for this beautiful bird to realize the gift we had left him.  Nope!   Within seconds of us tossing the fish back in the water, this bird came swooping down and grabbed the fish, right in front of us.  We were lucky enough to capture the whole event on camera.  It felt like something right out of a national geographic tv show.    Around hour 6 of being on the water, we were starting to feel that perhaps that one and only fish may have been it for the day, so we started making our way back.  That is when they started biting like crazy.   The fish in the water are tiger fish, and have one mean looking jaw on them.  After we caught the 3 we needed for Dalene to make some tiger fish cakes, we decided to throw the extra to the local Zambians on the rivers edge.  They were rather greatful to get a meal for the evening, without even having to lift a finger.  It was funny, everytime we caught a fish, someone just happened to be standing on the shore looking at us like "are you doing anything with that??"    I didn't want to leave this place out of my blog because of the amazing setting it was, and also because Nicky was such a great host and showed me a great time while I was there.  Thank you again Nicky for everything, and your help at the border entering into Namibia.
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