We took the 90 minute flight from Johannesburg and landed in the Livingstone International Airport. Frankly, one can hardly call it that. It’s a very small airport, manned by a minimum of airport crew who looked like a cast from some ongoing movie shoot. For a while, I suspected the X-ray machine would damage my camera and iPad. Don’t ask me why. The thought crossed my mind. Though I never expressed my fears.

 

 

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This is Africa!

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ZAMBIA

 

This is hardcore Africa. From the time we stepped out of the airport, fetched by a hotel van driving past dusty Livingstone with locals in colorful outfits, I sensed AFRICA. Soon enough, we were in our hotel touted as the nearest hotel to the majestic Victoria Falls. Not exactly in the same rank as its sister-hotel — the Royal Livingstone Hotel — but I like its ambience. Less colonial in architecture. Definitely more African.

 

 

 

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Honestly….I passed only 2 roads in Livingstone, Zambia. And yes, those are the blue taxis of Zambia!

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Not that old. But this is typical in the whole of Livingstone’s “CBD”.

 

The stark contrast between this small dusty town’s character and the grandness of the hotels by the Falls couldn’t be more pronounced. Zambezi Sun Hotel is a beautiful hotel with a very African theme. It is also a nature reserve where giraffes, baboons, crocodiles and zebras freely roam the grounds. It was tempting to leave some nuts just outside our room’s sliding doors. Or by the swinging bench by the river where a sign “Beware of Crocodiles” promptly got me off the bench to retreat back to my air conditioned room.

 

 

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This is my breakfast view during my stay in Zambezi Sun Hotel.

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Pleasantly surprised to find superb food quality and service here in Zambia. My favorite serving lady is named Nganda.

 

 

Once, the hotel van we were riding had to stop to let this towering giraffe pass. Another time, we got all excited when a good looking zebra roamed around the hotel front, unmindful of hotel guests snapping photos and following him around. My, we don’t even have to go to a wildlife park to see these safari animals. They’re everywhere. Sitting by the pool with a Mosi beer and a plateful of fries, I waited to check the rates for a foot massage by the pool. (Forget it. It’s way too much) From the corner of my eye, I saw a monkey and a tiny animal I couldn’t make out snooping from behind a tree. Not sure if they like French Fries or a beer, but really, I didn’t need company then. ๐Ÿ˜„

 

 

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Zebra right by the hotel entrance!

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Taken while inside the hotel van. The van stopped to let this regal safari animal pass. Giraffes in Zambezi Sun Hotel!

 

A bit of trivia: You can tell an alligator from a crocodile judging by the shape of their snouts. crocs have narrower, V shaped snouts while alligators have wider U shaped snouts. Alligators are also generally darker, almost black in color. As for the Lacoste reptile, it’s meant to be a crocodile. A green crocodile. Only in Lacoste. ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

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Typical buildings in Livingstone’s CBD.

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And yes, this is a Catholic Church in Livingstone, Zambia.

 

 

Ah, I’ve been wrong so many times but I was never this sooooo wrong about one country. As we left Livingstone, Zambia I took one last look at the Saint Theresa Church along the Airport Road. Frankly? I didn’t expect to find Catholics in Zambia. It seems I was simply too engrossed over the country’s natural wonders that I was an epic failure in the other departments. To find almost every Zambian speaking fluent English came as a total surprise. And don’t tell me I should have known this country was once under British rule. There were many other ex-British colony countries I’ve visited where language was a problem. Not here. I totally enjoyed talking to the locals. Zambians are among the friendliest I’ve met. They can be quite chatty too. How delightful to find new friends!

 

 

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LOO WITH A VIEW? We found this tented toiled just a few meters from the cliff edge by the Victoria Falls.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)