The Railway Museum in Livingstone, Zambia…Challenges of tours throughout the world…

This is train deluxe coach from the 1901 era

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Although his tusks were small, this was the largest elephant we spotted in Chobe National Park.

We’ve been so busy figuring out what our next move will be since we returned from Zambia last Thursday evening, we’ve had little time to return to some of our photos from our tours in Livingstone.

At the entrance to the Livingston Railway Museum in Zambia.

One of the tours of particular interest to Tom, as a retired railroad worker for 42½ years, was visiting the Railway Museum in Livingstone, Zambia on the day we toured the city of Livingstone.  

The interior walkway of the above coach where the sleepers were located.

Admittedly, Livingstone is a small city, formerly the capital, with few points of interest to most travelers.  Most travel to the area to see one or both sides of Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and also to safari in Chobe National Park, on game drives and river tours on the Chobe and Zambezi River.

Steam locomotive firebox.

To reach all of the above venues including visa/immigration processing along the way, within 2½ hours.  The tours themselves can run from two to six hours depending on the packages the tourists choose based on their budget and available time.

Passenger coach from the 1930 era.

A mention for those who may have a disability…if one has a serious medical condition, the bouncing on the game drives could be prohibitive.  If you’ve never been on a game drive, this is a serious consideration.  

This is a crane/”hook” used in derailments, Cowans Sheldon crane #109.

Also, visiting Victoria Falls has some terrain that could be challenging whether from the Zambia or Zimbabwe sides, each of which is different.  We found the Zimbabwe side slightly easier hike. 

Small steam engine (boiler).

We also saw some visitors in wheelchairs being managed by strong individuals who could navigate the varying elevations in the walking paths.  There are no rough hills to climb other than the gradations in the fairly level paths.  

This is the balance of the above photo, the tender and the cab.

As for today’s railway museum, it was easy to maneuver with level walking areas along the tracks where the trains are located.  However, getting up and onto some of those that allowed visitors to board, could be highly risky for those with any type of mobility and strength issues.

A steam engine, reminding us of “Thomas” trains, appropriately named, built in 1919.

Those railroad guys, like Tom, think nothing of the steep climb necessary to board a train after years of doing so.  Also, getting into a safari vehicle can be challenging with a steep climb up into the tall vehicle.  There are numerous occasions where a tourist will be getting on and off the truck.

This is a 15th class, 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 Garratt, circa 1950’s.

I mention these for those who may be considering traveling to this part of the world for some of the most exciting venues in the world such as Victoria Falls, as a World Heritage location and one of the Seven Wonders of the World as described here.

This is a 12th class, 4-8-2 #189, circa 1926.

Of course, there are a few tourist attractions worldwide that senior may hesitate to visit due to health, age, and disability.  There are even a few that give us pause (for me particularly with my bad spine) such a Machu Picchu and the mountain trek to see the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.  

This is a 16A class, 2-8-2 + 2-8-2 Garratt #623, from 1952.

But, these two are still on our list of desired spots to visit as we continue in our world travels.  We’ll see how it goes.  After feeling well for the first time in a few years after the resolution of my gastrointestinal issues in June, we consider such future plans gingerly.

A steam engine and tender, formerly part of the Rhodesian Railway (now Zambia).

Even driving through Marloth Park several times a week presents its own challenges which I handle easily, the outrageous bouncing on the uneven dirt roads with many potholes and often getting out of the little car to walk through the dense bush to get a better look and to take photos of sightings along the way.

A steam engine and tender.

As a matter of fact, we’ve been so busy since our return last Thursday, we’ve yet to take the time to make those wonderful drives through Marloth Park and/or return to Kruger National Park.

Perhaps, in the next few days, we’ll put aside our immigration issues and search for solutions to continue to enjoy the time we do have left in the bush.  In the interim, the beautiful animals have been coming to see us!  What a treat that has been, as always!

Steam engine boiler exposed to show interior, #91, built in 1912.

Enjoy today’s train photos with comments from Tom explaining a few details below each photo. 

Have a  fantastic day!


Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2017:

When this sweet and friendly butcher at the Farmers Market spotted me with the camera, he willingly posed!  The people of Costa Rica were approachable and warm.  For more photos, please click here.



A tour of the visually enticing and historic city of Livingstone, Zambia…Twenty years from now?…Is it possible?…

A craftsman at work encouraged us to take the photo.

“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”

Everywhere we travel in Africa and other parts of the world, we see women, not men, carrying heavy baskets atop their heads.

We prepared today’s post yesterday after uploading the post for August 19th.  With a plan to leave the hotel in Livingstone with Steve from Chris Tours picking us up at 7:00 am, we realized there would be no time to prepare a new post for today.

Our driver dropped us off at this outdoor arts and crafts market in the center of town.

Luckily, the editing site in blogger allows us to select a time and date we’d like a particular post to be automatically uploaded.  This has proven to be invaluable for our commitment to post a new story with photos each and every day.

We encountered some of the most “assertive” vendors we’ve seen anywhere in the world, comparable to those in the souks in Marrakesh, Morocco.

No doubt, this commitment we made to our worldwide readers many years ago has kept us on our toes when we have activities planned that impinge upon the hours of the day we reserve for doing our posts.

Only one vendor refuses to allow us to take photos. (Not necessarily this one).  We respected his wishes.

Yes, I know.  Some of our kindly readers have written saying, “No worries, miss a post or two from time to time.”  Thanks to all of you for your support!  However, if we miss one or two posts here and there, suddenly we may find ourselves missing four or five or ten or twelve.  

The items offered for sale consisted of inexpensive jewelry, Africa themed arts and crafts, fabrics, clothing, toys and such.

We all know how this goes.  Change a consistent habit or process and suddenly it gets away from us.  It’s kind of like being on a diet…only one piece of cake and then I’ll go back to my diet.  

Often tourists can’t resist buying items for their homes.

Well, we know what happens then…a leftover piece of cake beacons us sitting in the fridge in the morning calling our name and once again we re-commit to the diet after we’re done eating this “one last piece.”

With no intent of making purchases, we wandered through the busy area stopping to appreciate some of the items.

Writing these daily posts is one diet we want to stick to, as long as we continue to travel the world and perhaps even after when we can’t continue any longer due to health as we age.  As long as I still have my wits about me, I can’t imagine ever stopping.

Colorful dolls with handmade detail.

Imagine, we had to stop traveling due to health concerns or merely old age and we were thrown into the reality of staying put.  How we handled this may be of some interest to others for both retirees and working folks.  

It appeared many shoppers could easily be locals shopping for themselves and for gifts.

At this point, neither of us can conceive of living out our lives without this magical way we approach each day.  But, most likely, someday, it will happen.  When I think that in 20 years, God willing, I’ll be 90 years old, its hard to imagine doing what we’re doing today…riding on bumpy dirt roads on safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana.

There are numerous banks and financial business in town.

I’m sure some travelers out there have done this at 90 years of age.  Please point them out to me.  I’d love some inspiration that it’s indeed possible, if not likely.  Tom will be a measly 85 years ago…quite the youngster.

A typical day in the city of Livingstone.

When I think of how fast the past 20 years flew by, it makes me realize how quickly the next 20 will come.  So, missing a day’s post is not in my wheelhouse.  Each day counts.  Each moment counts and our intent is to continue to live each one to the fullest, sharing our story with all of you.

We waited for our driver to pick us up while people watching on the busy street.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with a short post since we’ll be on safari all day once again.  However, we’ll upload a few photos from today’s safari and a few snippets of this return experience to Botswana.

May each moment of your day be special.


Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2017:

Lavender bougainvillea on the grounds of La Perla, villa in Atenas, Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Artistry, talent and taboos…A cultural goldmine in Livingstone…WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery…

One wonders what would have precipitated this taboo.  It could go back thousands of years with the origination unknown.  This and the other taboo paintings were done by Agness, director of WayWayi Art Studio & Gallery,

“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”

Should I reconsider serving Tom three eggs and bacon, upping it to four or reducing it to two?

There were more Zambian taboos than we can possibly list here in one post.  Here’s a link we found with a few more taboos, commonly observed by both local people and hopefully, respected by visitors to this astounding culture.

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.

We’d hope to find a more comprehensive resource on Zambian taboos online with limited success.  These taboos are so ingrained in the culture their significance is carried on from generation to generation, more by word of mouth than posted online.

Agness had made many exquisites paintings of a wide variety of taboos in Zambian culture.
They are fascinating!

Visiting WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery as described in yesterday’s Part 1 gave us an opportunity to peek inside the gentle and loving nature of these special people who honor family, spirituality, and work at the foundation of their beliefs.  For yesterday’s post, in the event you missed it, please click here.

Shaking hands with in-laws in not appropriate.  More so, a humble bow would be more appropriate.

Today, we’re sharing the balance of our photos including some of the exquisite pieces Agness Buya had personally crafted with her fascination and knowledge of traditional Zambian taboos and customs. 

Gorgeous wall hangings.

As Agness escorted us from room to room in her large studio/residence we were continually in awe of her work, her husband Lawrence’s work and the works of students over the years.  

The meaning of this piece is that people often complain out loud, wanting the government to solve their problems rather than find solutions on their own.

Both trained as art teachers/instructors it’s evident their vast knowledge and expertise become an integral part of the education of students, young and old and various artists in residence.

Some of their services include (from their brochure):

  • Free WiFi
  • All major credit cards
  • Self-catering facilities
  • Check-in/out 24 hours
  • Artists workspace available
  • Electrical kiln, potters wheel, printing press, a small collection of art books for research
A busy workspace and storage area.
To contact WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery, call 260 977 325 799 or 260 966 559 101 or email:  
Their Facebook page is:
Many arts and art history books are available for the students to use while attending classes.
Now, continuing on with our itinerary over the next few days.  Tomorrow morning we’ll be picked up at 7:00 am at the Protea Hotel in Livingstone for a two day, one overnight, safari adventure, both in Chobe National Park and again on the Chobe River.
The power of the messages in each item is breathtaking.
Last time we were in Zambia we’d participated in these two types of safaris but for shorter periods. In this case, we’ll have two full days to see more of this wildlife-rich area on land in a safari vehicle and in a boat on the Chobe River.

The biggest draw for tourists to travel to Livingstone is Victoria Falls, seen from one or both sides of the Zambezi River.  When we were here three months ago, we spent an entire day seeing the falls from both countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  
We’ll always remember this special day with Agness at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery.
It was an extraordinary experience which we posted at this link and also Part 2 at this link.  The reality is there are only so many tourist attractions in this area, most of which we’ve already experienced.  
This artistic piece, made by Agness was made with hundreds of scratch-off tickets.

Based on the fact we needed to return to Zambia for another 90-day visa extension, we decided to return to Chobe after the exceptional previous experience.  Most likely the route we travel will be the same or similar to the previous route we traveled in Chobe National Park.  

However, like visiting Kruger as we often do once a week, each time it is unique and exciting even if we travel on the same exact roads on each occasion.
Could this be represented as cultural changes over the years, the woman in front as more modern, the woman behind here in more traditional roles?
Subsequently, we’ll be gone all day tomorrow and the following day which will result in two short posts for those two days with more photos from Zambia.  Once we’re back at the hotel, on Wednesday we’ll begin posting the Chobe National Park and Chobe River photos.
Children playing in the sand at the art school.
Again, thank you to the wonderful Agness Buya for making our trip to Zambia all the more important and exciting.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more!

Have a fantastic day!

 Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2017:
The mountains impeded our view of the sunset in Atenas, Costa Rice but got gorgeous colors in the process.  For more details, please click here.

Part 1…Artistry, talent and taboos…A cultural goldmine in Livingstone…WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery…

This is talented and dedicated Agness Buya, who has made art, apprenticeships, and education at the core of her very existence.  We were honored to have met her and for the time she took sharing this cultural center with the two of us.  Agness created this magnificent creation using tea bags!

“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”

Work and providing for one’s family is a part of the marriage commitment ceremony.  This statue and other’s similar to this, bear no arms and legs, indicating there’s no place for “lazy” individuals who refuse to work.

Today and tomorrow we’ll be sharing photos of a fabulous cultural experience from yesterday’s tour of the city of Livingstone, Zambia.  The highlight of our day was our private tour of WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.

The dirt road to the WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.

When one is on holiday in a tourist town with the intent of visiting an art gallery what visions come to mind?  The glass storefront, a pristine and impeccable decor allowing for highlighting the art as opposed to the facility itself?

The sign upon entry onto the grounds.

One envisions expensive art offering including paintings with a wide array of techniques and styles, sculptures, glassworks and a plethora of handmade creative wall, floor, and table pieces, each stunning, pricey and unique.

This building serves as both an art center and residence for owner/manager Agness and her artist husband Lawrence.  Sharing art with their community is truly the essence of their lives.

Well, dear readers, one may find such places in many tourist locations throughout the world, but not here in Livingstone, Zambia. Throughout our almost six years of non-stop world travel, homeless and unencumbered with stuff art only provides us with a finite appreciation of the work and craft of highly dedicated and talented individuals.  

The grounds near the art school and art classrooms.

We don’t own a wall, a floor or a table to hold or display such an artistic piece of the work of these creative talents.  Nor do we have a storage place to hold such works for future use should we ever stop traveling.

Display of children’s work in one of the classrooms in the adjacent building.

Although Livingstone with it’s World Heritage Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most desired tourist attractions, the culture is very different here than one might find in many other popular tourist destinations. 

Artist in residence honing his skills.

Subsequently, we were literally “over the moon” traveling over yet another bumpy dirt road (quite a familiar experience for us in rough-roaded Marloth Park)  and we approached the most quaint and charming WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery, located at Plot #2613/392 Kalukuluku Street (off Airport Road) in Livingstone, Zambia.  

Artist in residence working in one of the several workrooms with children learning from the experiences.

To reach Agness, contact her on their Facebook page here or she can be reached by email at this link.  No reservation to tour the center is required during normal business hours but since the property is also hers and her husband residence, it’s best to contact Agness outside any regular hours.

Opportunities for both youth and adults to enhance their skills.

Should any of our readers travel to this exceptional country to visit Victoria Falls, a stop at this culturally fascinating facility is an absolute must, especially if cultural experiences fit well into your travel plans.

Art supplies and storage area.

As soon as we exited the taxi, Agness immediately approached us, hand outstretched to warmly greet us, two strangers.  Little did she know we’d be writing a story with many photos about her outstanding artistic endeavors.  

A separate room dedicated to marriage rites and customs.  This pattern on the floor is for the engaged couple to walk on tiptoes together symbolizing their ability to work as a couple.

As far as she knew we were typical tourists/shoppers interested in purchasing a few items to bring “home” for ourselves, family members and friends as a reminder of a tour of Livingstone, Zambia.

Agness’ husband Lawrence painted this beautiful piece indicating the family’s unity and involvement in the marriage.

In only a matter of moments, Agness understood how committed we are to sharing “her” story in words and photos and possibly attracting the attention of art enthusiasts and future shoppers whose purchases help to support the continuation of such a fine educational and creative center for children and adults.

A collage of photos of the many stages of preparation for the upcoming marriage.

From the simple one-page brochure we’re sharing their words on services offered (as an important adjunct to our two-day story as follows):

1.  Produce, display and sell high-quality Zambian arts, crafts, and design.
2.  Organize workshops and art exhibition locally and nationwide.
3.  Provide apprenticeship opportunities for emerging artists.
4.  Empowering women’s groups and youth with skills-training in the visual arts.
5.  Offer hands-on arts and crafts to children aged one and a half to six-month and above.
6.  Showcase the Mbusa cultural traditions (pottery, wall paintings, and artifacts used in the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony).  For detail on these traditions, please click here).
7.  Face/body paintings for various function for all age groups.
8.  Resource Centre for the visual art in Zambia’s Southern province.
9.  Provide studio space and Residency opportunities for local and foreign artists, in all areas of art.
10. To stock and supply a variety of art and craft materials for use by local schools and community programs.

Music, wall hangings, artifacts, and pottery are an integral part of the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony and rituals.

We will say this today and then repeat it tomorrow:  “Thank you Agness Buya for adding such a rich texture to our ongoing experiences in your fine country and for all the care and support you provide for your artistic community.”

This wall mural contains many sections representing different aspects of life for the Zambian couple as they prepare for marriage, a lifetime commitment in this culture.

Tomorrow we’ll be back with Part 2 with a focus on many of the taboos commonly observed in Zambian culture.  Please stop back.

 Photo from one year ago today, August 18, 2017:
Our friend Louise, whom we met in Kauai Hawaii identified this bird as a Hoffmann’s Woodpecker.  Thanks, Louise, we appreciated the information.  I took this photo while seated on the sofa on the veranda while working on the day’s post while in Atenas, Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume”…Livingstone city tour……

Note:  Due to WiFi issues we’re experiencing spacing errors.
Tom was busy reading the extensive menu at Café Zambezi trying to decide what to order.

“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”

The dirt floor and bare feet in the restaurant, Cafe Zambezi, so far our favorite spot in Livingstone.

Last night was quite a pleasure.  We had happy hour at the hotel bar and at 1800 hours, (6:00 pm), the same taxi driver we used three months ago picked us up to go to our favorite restaurant in Livingstone, Cafe Zambezi.

We were shocked to see how many hotel employees remembered us from our visit three months ago.  We were warmly greeted as we wandered through the lobby, hallways, restaurant and bar areas.  That was rather impressive considering the popularity of this hotel.

It was getting dark shortly after we arrived its easy to see the festive environment at Cafe Zambezi.

Once again, we enjoyed another excellent meal at the popular hot spot for locals and tourists although no reservations were required.  We were seated outdoors at an open-air table on the dirt floor (commonly seen in Livingstone restaurants) and promptly and graciously served.

Way more chicken than I could eat but every bite I managed was delicious, including the side of vegetables and salad.

We weren’t in a hurry so we languished over the extensive menu, chatting all the while.  At one point, I was reminded of many books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen where the characters, often journalists, reminisced over memorable times spent in African cafes and restaurants in their myriad travels.  

I shared this with Tom and he also recalled reading about such circumstances.  And, here we are, doing exactly the same;  a dusty floor, the hum of conversation, the clinking of glasses and the pungent smells of local food wafting smoke from the smokey kitchen.

Tom ordered the t-bone steak which was cooked properly. Our total bill for dinner including meals, drinks, tax, and tip was kwacha 250 (Zambian currency), (US $24.40).

This morning we did a tour of Livingstone, with our taxi driver Matthew taking us to see some of the most popular venues in the small town.  From this site:
 was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism center for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer, and missionary who was the first European to explore the area.”

Today, we headed to the Livingstone Museum but when we were told no photos were allowed, we decided not to stay.  We were on a photo-taking mission and spending an hour of our three-hour tour without photos didn’t appeal to us.

Now, the capital of Zambia is Lusaka as described here from this site: Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 meters (4,196 ft). 

Vintage World War II military plane.

As of 2010, the city’s population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is 2.4 million. Lusaka is the center of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country’s four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, but Nyanja and Bemba are also common.


Statues outside the Livingstone Museum.

In 1935, due to its fairly central location, its situation on the railway and at the crossroads of the Great North Road and Great East Road, it was chosen to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia

Bust of the first president of the Republic of Zambia.
As we continued on the tour, we stopped at a few spectacular cultural venues.  After returning to the hotel and desperately needing a nap after a fitful night’s sleep, we’re saving those stories and photos beginning in tomorrow’s post.  
Traveler and explorer, Emil Holu
We’ll be back tomorrow with more we’re excited to share.

Colonial soldier statue.

Be well!


Photo from one year ago today, August 17, 2017:

In Atenas, Costa Rica one year ago, moment by moment, the clouds grew thicker and thicker as the weather changed.  Most days it was warm and sunny.  For more details, please click here.