Zambia…We have arrived!…The tours begin tomorrow…Laid back evening tonight…

Around 2:00 pm on Friday, we arrived at the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, Zambia. It was much larger than the Nelspruit Mpumalanga Kruger International Airport.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We couldn’t resist posting this photo we took last night of Wart Face and his new girlfriend. She’s a mom with two babies who still hang around with her, but it’s mating season, and Wart Face has been courting her for weeks. We laughed out loud to see them taking a rest together last night at dusk. Note the two oxpeckers on her, the first time we’ve seen oxpeckers on warthogs. Over this next week, while we’re in Zambia, we’ll be adding photos we’ve taken outside of South Africa for this feature, “Sighting of the Day in the Bush,” since it is undoubtedly bush-like here as well.

It took a total seven hours from the time we left the house in Marloth Park this morning to arrive at our hotel in Livingstone, Zambia, at 3:00 pm this afternoon. The drive to Nelspruit was less than an hour and a half, and the flight was less than two hours. 

As we drove away from the airport in Zambia, the surroundings could have been any city in any part of the world.

The remainder is all the typical monkeying around on travel days, check-in; luggage (no fees required); immigration, all of which included long periods of waiting in line. There were only 84 passengers on the entire flight, but it could have been four times the amount based on its time to process all the travelers.

But, somehow, even with the delays, we were okay.  In actuality, everything went well. There were no surprises which we like. We’ve found that the longer we travel, the less annoyed we are by typical inconveniences one can expect at the airport or other means of transportation.

Buses and charter vehicles provided transportation for many tourists, many of whom we could determine were from North America.

One of the longest delays of the day was at immigration in Zambia. An extensive tour group was given priority over the rest of us at both airports, resulting in hour-long delays. There was nothing we could do but wait.

As we drove through outlying areas, we were reminded of driving through Kenya, where we’ll be again in nine months.

Once we made it through immigration in Zambia, we paid a ZAR 1223 (US $100) entry fee for the two of us (by credit card), which included both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Finally, we were on our way to baggage claim to easily find our bags and be on our way. 

A walker sheltered from the hot sun carrying an umbrella.

Alec, our driver for the week, was waiting for us at the airport entrance holding a sign with our name. We got into the somewhat rickety van to make our way to our hotel, a short distance away. We drove through the town of Livingstone, where many travelers come from all over the world to visit the renowned Victoria Falls.

Once we reached the city of Livingstone, we were surprised by many modern buildings and conveniences.

From this site: “Livingstone 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 centre for Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of 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.”

The city is clean and well organized.

“Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia until October 1964, and bordering Zimbabwe was Rhodesia. “The territory of what is now Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911. It was renamed Zambia at independence in 1964. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river (Zambezi may mean “River of God”).”

Shops, businesses, and restaurants line the streets.
There’s a vast amount of fascinating history we’ll explore in part over this week while we visit some of the sights in these three bordering countries; Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

Now that we’re settled into our comfortable hotel room at the Protea Hotel by Marriot Livingstone with good AC, Wi-Fi, and a comfortable bed, we’re content and happy to be here. 

We have a few days on our own, during which we’ll check out downtown Livingstone on foot.

For ease, tonight we’ll dine at the hotel’s restaurant, and we’ll check out recommendations from TripAdvisor for the remaining evening’s meal. Breakfast is included each morning, beginning at 6:30 am, which will work well for our busy schedule of various tours we’ve already arranged.

Tomorrow, at 7:45 am, we’re off to see Victoria Falls. We decided we’d do the full tour of both sides of the falls, from Zambia and Zimbabwe. It will be a full day. Once we return to our hotel in the late afternoon, we’ll prepare the post with many photos of Victoria Falls.

Back at you soon, dear readers! Enjoy the evening and the weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, May 11, 2017:

The beach on a tropical island as we began to wind down the cruise. In three days, we were back in North America, preparing for the Alaskan cruise. For more details, please click here.