My trip to Africa – Most people who have gone on safari say it was the best trip of their lives. Hearing good comments about Africa and the safari in question, I was curious to do it, but for several years I never took the step, for two important reasons: price and preference, my top 10 trips always include paradisiacal beaches and my beloved Asia. Safari was always last on the list.
2018 has been a positive year because my career has taken me to places that I did not even imagine possible, but at the same time it has been the hardest professional year of my life, full of stress, challenges, uncertainty and all this ends up taking its toll on you. physical and mental level. In December my friend told me that she was having a wedding in Zambia and she suggested that I go with her, she was having such a bad time that my exploratory streak ignited and the safari went from being the last on the list, to the first. Sometimes to get out of a complicated situation or when you feel stuck, the best option is to get moving and in my case, do things that I never dare to do. Carrying out this trip meant personal development and a greater ability to adapt to future situations. I had to do it.
Well, without much thought, the first thing I do to make my 2019 a different year, in addition to breaking with 2018, is to buy a plane ticket to Zambia and embark on an adventure.
My trip to Africa
Our trip consisted of two parts: first, the wedding in Lusaka (Zambia) and, secondly, the safari together with the visit to Victoria Falls, which are located between the border of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The wedding was by the Hindu rite and lasted for three days. We stayed at the same hotel that the wedding took place. It was a unique experience, not only for the type of wedding, but for all the attendees. A multicultural experience, where I was lucky enough to meet people from different places such as Kuala Lumpur, China, Texas, Ireland, Holland, Kenya, London, etc.
After the wedding, we took an internal flight to Livingstone (Zambia). Once there, we stayed in a huge hotel complex in the jungle, a 10-minute walk from Victoria Falls, literally in the middle of nowhere, just nature. The complex has two hotels: Avani (****) and Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara (*****). We initially paid for the Avani, but when we got there the agency had given us an upgrade and we stayed for the same price at the Royal. How lucky right? The hotel is impressive, located on the slope of the Zambezi river, impressive views, being able to see the falls from your room, from the pool, etc. Animals enter and leave the hotel as they please. As you walk through the hotel you can see deer, giraffes, zebras, and even from the pool we could see a hippo in the river. The hotel is the best place to disconnect, live a unique experience with nature, but without giving up the best comforts.
The first day we went to see the sunrise in Victoria Falls, you have to leave the hotel at 5:30 so as not to miss it. We made the tour about half its length. It is amazing to see something so wild and wonderful. Its great flow and strength leave you breathless, and even more so, accompanied by a beautiful rainbow. We returned around 9:30 to enjoy breakfast at the hotel and around 3:00 p.m. we returned to Victoria Falls but took another path that plunged you into the interior of the jungle. Getting to the bottom of the falls is a short way, about 25 minutes walking, the ascent is usually longer due to the slope to climb. Along the way you can enjoy a jungle experience and see different animals such as baboons, lizards, deer, etc. When you get to the bottom there is a security checkpoint that you have to sign in and out. I was very surprised to see so much control and security for tourists. By the way, the entrance to Victoria Falls is free if you are staying in the complex, you only need to show the key and the room number.
Interesting points about Victoria Falls: The falls are located between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You can do the tour from Zambia (the one I did) or from Zimbabwe. If you want to do it from Zimbabwe, the hotel organizes transport (it is essential to bring a passport and visa), having to pay the entrance. There is also a path from the hotel that takes you to a bridge that you can walk across the border into Zimbabwe and see the falls from another perspective.
The next day we did the safari in the Chobe National Park located between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is approximately one hour from the hotel. You have to do a journey by car and another by boat. You have to pass the visa control at the three borders.
Chobe National Park has two types of safari, one by jeep (the classic one) and the other by boat along the slopes of the Chobe River. Being a park with a smaller extension, you only need one day to see almost all the animals that inhabit it. The jeep safari was amazing, we were very lucky because we saw almost all the animals that we had in mind to see: buffalo, hyenas, lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, etc. This national park has the largest number of elephants in the world. It is so wonderful to see the animals in their natural habitat, free, wild, how much beauty…
We did the boat safari in the afternoon, the animals go down to the river to bathe, drink water, and we could also see large crocodiles and lizards. The ship is very close, they look even closer than when you go by jeep. You can observe the animals from another perspective that, if you are motorized, for my taste it was very special.
The rest of the days, we take them free, to take walks through the national park where the hotel was, return to the falls, pool, relax, spa, etc. Having this free time off was a medicine for my chaotic life.
I have been positively surprised by these countries, the inhabitants are very friendly and always ready to help. I have definitely returned from this trip amazed, charged with energy and most importantly, I feel calm and with clear ideas, to face everything that comes this year in the best way. A trip that I recommend 100%.
Information of interest if you are planning to make this trip:
- We got the visa when we got to the airport, as we were going to visit three different countries we had to get a special one called “kaza univisa”, the price was $ 50. We pay by card, but they also accept cash (dollars or local currency).
- We exchange money at the airport.
- The trip was organized by the local agency called Voyagers Zambia LTD. She took care of the internal flights, transfers, hotels and safari. The total price for these 6 days of the trip was $ 890. Breakfast was included in the hotel.
- For the return you do not need to return to Lusaka (the capital), you can make international flights directly from Livingstone airport. We did not know it and we bought roundtrip from Lusaka, we could have saved the expense of the internal flight Livingstone – Lusaka.
- The falls come off like a drizzle, which depending on the time of day can end up quite wet. I recommend you go in swimwear, a raincoat and a waterproof case for your mobile. If you are not going to cross the border, your passport, wallet, etc. you can leave it at the hotel.
- We went in February, which is their summer, where the highest temperatures are reached, the average is 34 degrees. At the same time, it is when it rains the most, but on the contrary, the landscape is much greener, and the animals are better seen. Being a tropical country, the rains last a few minutes and do not prevent you from enjoying the trip.
I hope that all this will help you if you plan a similar trip. Any questions I will be happy to help you. You can contact me on my Instagram @belyllamas.