leopard in a tree in chobe national park

Day 2 – Botswana Safari in Chobe

I’ve been slow with posting about Africa because I’ve been struggling with how to present so much and make it interesting rather than just saying we saw lions again, which we basically saw every day!  For now, I’m going to go day by day.  In the end, I may adjust to each stay, as we spent a few days at three different places, the first being Chobe.

So, I will start with day 2 in the Chobe National Park.  We arose at 5, went to breakfast at 5:30, and left for the park by 6 am. We donned parkas, wool hats, gloves, and a fleeced poncho that was provided by the lodge.  The poncho was super nice, and it is the first time in my four safaris that we used something more than a blanket.

cub yawning in chobe

Day 1 – Botswana Safari in Chobe

After our three nights in Victoria Falls, we took our scheduled transfer with Wild Horizons to Chobe Bakwena Lodge located next to Chobe National Park in Botswana. We had a great driver with all kinds of stories which made the hour drive to the border go quickly.

At the border, we were met by Max, our safari guide from Bakwena Lodge for the next two days.  He walked us to the immigration window where they checked our passport and vaccine cards.  As a US citizen, we did not need a Visa, but they did want a vaccination card or for the unvaccinated, a COVID-19 PCR test within a 72-hour timeframe.

sunset over the zambezi river

Things to Do in Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, a resort town which reached city status in 2020, is located in the province of Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe.  Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, the city is best known for the massive waterfall for which Victoria Falls is named.

The waterfall, called Mosi-oa-Tunya in the local Lozi language meaning the smoke that thunders, is one of the seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As a result of this spectacular, natural attraction, the City of Victoria Falls relies heavily on tourism and offers many activities around the falls.

leopard in south luangwa national park

Kenya vs. Zambia

Many people ask me, “What’s my favorite trip?”

To a degree, that is hard to answer, but in the end, I prefer trips with wildlife.  As a result, I have now been on three safaris. My first was to Tanzania over ten years ago. 

At the time, as much as I wanted to go to Africa, I was frozen like a deer in headlights.  I asked everyone I knew that had been on safari about their experience and where they went.  Each said, “It was the best!  You have to go to ____.”  Fill in the blank: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa.  I couldn’t pick, and I was so afraid I’d be disappointed with my high expectations and wish to see a kill.


South Luangwa National Park

For my third safari, I scheduled a trip with friends to Zambia.  We spent a week in South Luangwa National Park.

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa Natioinal Park is located in Eastern Zambia, with the closest airport being in Mfuwe.  Known to locals as “the South Park” it was established in 1904 as Luangwa Game Park.  It was converted to a game reserve in 1938 and declared a national park in 1972.

South Luangwa National Park is approximately 9,000 square kilometers, and its natural borders include the Luangwa River and the Muchinga Escarpment.  Inside the park, the topography varies from grassy plains to mature woodlands.



Some of my readers may be wondering what the heck is a flatdog?  A squished mutt? Others that have been Zambia, however, may know that it is the local nickname for crocodiles.  Both the protective dogs and crocodiles in Zambia can be aggressive, and of course, crocodiles are relatively flat, thus the name.


Getting to Africa During COVID!

To my readers, I’m making this post about international travel to Africa because I found myself anxious and reluctant to travel based on all the chaos the politicians and media create around COVID.  If it weren’t for my friend Ruth who organized the trip and was bound to go, I wouldn’t have ended up on a fantastic safari in 2021.  Anyone who is on the fence about international travel with connecting flights and long distances because they don’t know what to expect, this post if for you. I hope I can provide some clarity.

sunset cruise on the zambezi

Things to Do in Livingstone, Zambia

History of Zambia

Zambia was once known as Northern Rhodesia and was an English Colony.  It gained its independence in 1964 and struggled through single-party rule for many years.  After 20 years of unrest, a new constitution was written, multiple parties were established, and elections were held.

While Zambia now operates more democratically, its economy still struggles.  A new president was elected while we visited in August of 2021 and celebrations could be heard nightly for a week!  It will be interesting to see what the future holds in Zambia.

While in Zambia, we spent a few days in Livingstone and then went on safari in South Luangwa National Park.  While in Livingstone, though slightly unorganized, we found a variety of activities.

victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Victoria Falls National Park and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  Listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is a site to see.

The falls were discovered by Scottish missionary and explore, David Livingstone, who named them after Queen Victoria. It’s local name from the Sotho Language is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the smoke that thunders.  The World Heritage List recognizes both names.


Safari in the Masai Mara – Day 3

Morning Game Drive

On our third day in the Masai Mara National Reserve, we arose for another sunrise game drive with breakfast scheduled upon our return.  Always in need of food, I grabbed a hard-boiled egg for the 2-hour ride which could be longer if we stumbled across something cool.