We've had a great several days of vacation since we wrapped up our work at Zimba on Friday. There was no shortage of work before we left, though - we had our first late-night C-section of the month Thursday night (go figure). Everything turned out well, luckily. It was really a great month at Zimba. The experience reinforced in us that we want to work in that kind of setting, and that we are getting the training we need to do that.
On Friday, we headed for nearby Livingstone where we stayed for a couple of nights and explored Victoria Falls, the world's largest waterfall.
It was incredible, to say the least. We first visited the national park in Zambia, which has closer up views and allows you to get down to the water where all the water ends up - appropriately named the Boiling Pot. Unfortunately that day was wet (from the falls and from rain) so we didn't get a lot of photos. The next day, we crossed the border to Zimbabwe and visited their national park. It's across from the falls a bit further so you can see more of them, but again, there's so much spray that it's risky to pull out the big camera. From both sides, it was easy to see why it's called a wonder of the world.
After hanging out in Livingstone, we went on to Chobe National Park in Kasane, Botswana to spend a couple of nights. The national park is home to a ton of animals and was widely recommended to us. Though the town of Kasane is very expensive for us backpacker-types, the animals were definitely worth it!
On our first day we went on a sunset game cruise and got very lucky - a huge herd of more than 30 elephants were drinking at the riverside right in front of us. It was amazing.
We also saw lots of hippos, impalas, baboons, monkeys, Cape buffalo, and lots of unique bird species.
This guy appeared on the bank as we pulled close and stood up to catch a glimpse of some far-off giraffes.
The next day after some swimming and braai-ing (BBQing in Southern African speak) we headed out on another boat but didn't have nearly the luck as the previous day. We did chat with other visitors from around the world, though. That night we masqueraded as Lodge guests and ate an amazing buffet too!
This morning we got up early to do the 6am game drive. After dragging ourselves out of bed, we understood why they do them so early - lots of wildlife! It was incredible to drive through the park, alone with our guide, and happen upon so many animals. We saw more hippos, tons of impalas, waterbucks, hippos, buffalo, some giraffes right on the roadside, baboons, zebras, and the very elusive lions!
We've now returned from Botswana to our base in Livingstone. Tomorrow we fly to South Africa, and then Amsterdam. We'll spend the night there and meet up with our old friend Joe before returning home on Saturday.
Thanks for thinking of and praying for us while we're away. It has been an incredible month, from beginning to end, and we can't wait to come back... but first, home sounds pretty good.
Mariel & Ben