Arriving we could see impala legs hanging from the branches and hear the crunch of teeth on bone. Focusing our cameras a drama unfolded. Another leopard appeared and sat beneath the tree hoping for scraps. Tiring of waiting it headed for the tree trunk and began to climb. Then the law of the jungle ensued as these two cats snarled and bared teeth. Eventually the interloper retreated. So much for my walking safari. Zambezi reflections of the four days at Chiawa are a glorious kaleidoscope. We returned to the tree with the leopard kill and eventually saw five leopard.
Each with unique markings, each National Geographic cover-worthy. The leap of leopoards was a highlight. We had great food and wonderful camaraderie at candlelit dinners overlooking the river. All very Out of Africa. My Zambezi reflections have a golden glow. About Angela. Latest Stories.
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Angela's Blog. Caves and Hills Travelog. Leopard resting in a mahogany tree after feeding on an impala. This was one of the five I saw at Chiawa Camp, Zambia Zambezi Reflections The noctural snorting hippo chorus, spellbinding pastel pink sunrises and awesome wildlife are among my most vivid Zambezi reflections. Hippo in the Zambezi. Lion cubs from one of the prides at Chiawa. The Lower Zambezi is rich in wildlife.
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Safari vehicles are restricted, 2 or max of 3 per animal sighting is less stressful for wildlife. Into the Bush This was a prelude to morning bush-drives. Afternoon on the River Exploring the river and the sandbanks by pontoon or canoe was another option. Crocodile slipping into the waters of the Zambezi River. I was too nervous to explore the river in a canoe.
On the first drive we did in the afternoon we encountered elephants including a startling encounter with a young male that tried to intimidate us. He would raise his feet as if he was going to charge and even trumpeted at us from 10 feet away. Everyone in the vehicle, except our guide Khule, were properly intimidated but Khule explained that this was basically a teenage male acting out.
Elephants are matriarchal so only if the lead female elephant looks uncomfortable do you need to worry. We also saw giraffes, kudu, waterbuck, impala, warthogs, zebra and many many different species of birds. We learned that ants will launch attacks on nearby termite mounds. We learned that warthogs often kneel to eat.
We learned that giraffes move their left feet at the same time and then their right when they run.
The afternoon game drive ends with a traditional sundowner drink. Our stop was at the top of a hill by a baobab tree. We did not get a chance to do a game walk as we were only at the camp for 2 nights and there were too many things to do. While we were on the morning game drive we did not see as many of the big animals like elephants, giraffes or zebras, but Khule who did the guided walk that day said his group saw all of them. That morning they kept themselves further in the bush away from the tracks that the vehicles were taking.
We took the sunset cruise the second night we were at the camp. This is a popular activity along the river.
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We cruised towards the falls but they boats stay at least 2 kilometers away from the edge. There are 3 main channels and a number of islands in the river between Zimbabwe and Zambia in this stretch here of the Zambezi. The river is wide and is filled with hippos. Our sharp-eyed guide Levi spotted two baby crocodiles along the banks of the river and one 1 meter 3 feet long young croc. The crocodiles in the area can grow to as long as 5 meters 18 feet.
We saw elephants and other wildlife coming down to drink from the river. We did all this while sipping our wine or other drinks that were available on the boat. The cruise ended with a spectacular sunset. While the river was full of boats at sunset, we were one of a very small number of boats that went out on the mist covered river to see the sunrise and to look again for what wildlife would come down to the banks of the river.
The Zambezi Explorer | Experience Zimbabwe
We saw a water monitor lizard and a number of hippos that had returned to the river after foraging for grass all night on land. Mornings in Zimbabwe in winter can be cold so we were dressed with layers. The lodge also provided blankets and a hot water bottle for us to hold on our laps. The boat was stocked with hot coffee, tea, other libations, and cookies. We did not take the Victoria Falls excursion, simply because we had already visited the falls by the time we came to the lodge. A visit to the falls is pretty much mandatory. The falls are usually the reason that people are in this part of Zimbabwe.
So not surprisingly the lodge will take people the 20 minutes back to Victoria Falls to experience this awesome display.
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Some other guests were also getting rides back to town to shop, take high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel or just explore the town. At breakfast, there is an good breakfast buffet set out as well as items that you can order from the menu like an English breakfast, omelets, and pancakes.
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This was not my first African safari lodge experience so I had a better idea what to expect when we arrived. They brought us fresh wet cloths to freshen up from the trip as they did each time we returned from a game drive or boat trip. They introduced themselves throughout our stay and were extremely attentive. In short, they treated us in the fashion to which we would like to become accustomed.
We enjoyed meeting the other guests on our various game drives or boat cruises. On our first game drive we were having so much fun talking that our guide was concerned we would scare away the game. We visited in Winter in early June. The weather was perfect as the rainy season was over.
It was not as hot as it was during my visit to the area the previous December. The mornings were chilly but that also meant, that in 2 weeks in Africa I think I only saw one mosquito. During the day the temperature would climb up to shirt sleeve weather. The Old Drift Lodge is not a budget experience.
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It is a luxury experience and it is a great experience. The lodge had only been opened for a year when we visited, but I will be willing to bet you that they will have guests return to visit them again and again and again. This brings back memories! Name must be a real name required. Mail will not be published required. Tags: article , hotel , luxury travel , safari , safari lodge , wildlife , zimbabwe. Amateur Traveler Award Winning Travel Blog and Podcast helping real travelers plan real trips to their own backyard or around the world.
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