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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Zambia and Victoria Falls (Cheetah Bait)




I had the pleasure of taking a train across all of Tanzania and into Zambia with a lovely couple that I met while being over here. This is the tale of our adventures…get ready for a wild ride.

The train was supposed to leave on Friday afternoon at 2pm…that did not happen. We showed up at the train depot to be told that our train was still in Zambia and should be in Dar by the following day at 3pm and we will leave at 10pm So we go back home and try again. The next day we get there at 9pm to be ready to leave at 10pm, the train is there, but it is not leaving now until 3am!!! Why, I have no idea..its Africa.  We were in “first class” so we got to go in the “VIP” waiting area…I put that in quotes because please take a look at the lounge..

This does not have air-conditioning, and it is nasty hot night in Dar…with in hours my entire body was soaking wet including my hair from sweat (nasty I know…but get over it, I live in Africa). By 3am, we are heading to our “first class” cabin on the train. Again…just look at the picture…it explains it all.
Sleeping in the train station, waiting to leave.
Its now close to 4am, but we load the train and set off on our long journey. Sleep was not that common on these trains.  I woke up about every hour due to stops we made along the way and I’m pretty sure the Brakeman was still in training, or he needs to go back to brake school because WOW was it rough!


But all in all, it was a delightful trip. We went through part of a Game park and saw animals, we rode the entire length of Tanzania, and Zambia is beautiful! The food was not bad on the train, and it was pretty cheap too! We had our fill of Chicken and rice…that’s all there was to eat. Good thing my favorite food is rice!! 


By day three on this train ride I was SO ready to get off, but our travels did not stop with this train ride…oh no, it continued on for two more days on African public transit. And I can honestly say, I don’t ever want to do it again! (see below the "first class" toilets and the hallway..you dont even want to see the shower...which yes..I did shower on the train. It was, well...interesting! ha.


We had a “3” hour bus ride to Lusaka, that turned into a 6 hour bus ride…they do not have a storage compartment on these buses so we had to hold all of our luggage in our laps the entire way….I’m surprised no one got blood clots from ridding like this for 6 hours!


After we spent the night in Lusaka, we got on ANOTHER bus that was to take “5” hours to get to Livingstone...so of course, it turns in to a 8 hour bus ride. Shocking. I was not a happy camper by the time I got off the bus….but we were finally to our destination, Victoria Falls!! It had only taken us 5 days to get there, no biggie ;)


Victoria Falls is one of the 7 wonders of the world, and I can see why!! Since it is raining season right now, the falls were in full swing. The amount of water that came from the mist of the falls was incredible. I dont have any pictures of us soaking wet standing in the mist, so take my word for it..it was pretty cool. 
It was such an amazing sight and feeling to be standing at something so massive and awe-inspiring. It made me appreciate the greatness of Gods beautiful handy work. God is SO good!


The one thing I was told to do while being at Victoria Falls was to take a Micro flight. This “flight” is basically a hang glider with an engine on the back of it. Talk about adventure! 
After getting over my slight fear of heights...I was able to enjoy the Falls in all of their glory.  This flight  quickly became the MOST incredible thing I have ever done. The pictures do not do this justice.






 One of the days I was in Zambia, me and my friend took a day safari to Botswana! This was my first safari and I loved it!! We say elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles and impala! It was a pretty successful day I would say..plus I got to make another country off my list J




The last day we were there we decided to do the cheetah and lion encounter at the local conservatory. We actually got to walk with the lions, pet them, as well as the cheetahs! I’m not kidding when I say…it was AMAZING!! I mean how cool to be able to say that I walked with lions and cheetahs! These animals were massive; I could not believe their size. It made you have mad respect for them because at any moment they could rip your face off. I would say I had a healthy fear of these large cats.







While having this healthy fear, I still would get down with them, pet them and interact with them…. but my fears soon came true. As I was sitting next two three cheetahs (I had been with them for a good solid hour by this point btw) and everything as going great…but then in a split second the cheetah whipped his head around and bit my face!! YES PEOPLE…..I WAS BIT IN THE FACE BY A CHEETAH!


It scared the ever-loving crap out of me and it hurt like the devil! He hit me with such force that knocked me over, and I immediately thought “oh crap my face is gone”. I held my hand over my face and started to cry. It felt like someone had punched me right in the face…well, a cheetah did..with his face! The first thing the handlers said to me was “no worries mam, they have had their shots”, haha I just found this funny, its like oh, this happens often or something!


Well, I have you know, that my face was not ripped open or off, but there was a clear tooth mark and swelling. If the cheetah wanted to kill me, it could have…we think that he was just trying to play with me, it must have thought I was fun…he has a good judge of character ;) All in all, everything was fine…and now I have the coolest story ever…I got bit in the face by a cheetah…and lived. BOOM! I have been given a new nickname by my traveling companions…Cheetah Bait.


This trip was fantastic. I am really happy I went and I met incredible people along the way. Zambia and Botswana were beautiful, all of the food was fantastic, the locals were delightful. Not the mention the accommodations were awesome! I can honestly say that was a trip of a lifetime! (besides the African public transit..that I will not do again)

Enjoy some more pictures from the adventure!
Siku Njemia (have a good day)
These awesome people are traveling the World for a year!! Such a fun couple :)  Check out their website at www.peanutbutternomads.com
The wonderful people who let me travel with them for 10 days!! Such a fun couple and its crazy how many connections we have! Love yall ;)
Had to do laundry by hand. Man I love washing machines.
I love rainbows...they are a God's reminder of His promise.

This is the place where we stayed in Zambia! It was a backpackers place called Jollyboys!
The sweet lounge area

Yup...this is the ONLY fast food place I have seen in Africa...they don't even have a  McDonalds, tragic..I know.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog...I appreciate it very much! I hope that I have entertained you and inspired you to travel and live life with no regrets. I know I have ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!!

~emily~






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