Week in Zambia continues with many surprises…Dinner at a popular local pub…The local culture…

The Victoria Falls Bridge crossing the Zambezi River from Zambia to Zimbabwe.  We drove across this bridge and was mesmerized by its beauty.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Many baboons surrounded the immigration area in Zambia.  They didn’t hesitate to approach visitors for food.

Today’s photos are a collection of various places we’ve seen in the past three days since we arrived in Zambia on May 11th.  As we perused them, we’re amazed as to how the culture in these countries we’re visiting has remained etched in many years of history.

When Tom reached the end of the trail on the Zimbabwe side of the falls. He shot a few photos of this platform for use as a means strapping people into a harness and suspending them for a photo op for kwanha 100 (US $10) a customer.

The people are friendly and accommodating.  After all, we’re in a tourist business area where most of the working locals are involved in the tourism business in one way or another. 

As expected at many tourist destinations throughout the world, there are vendors hawking their wares, approaching cars and pleading for a sale.

We’re amazed by the hard working people who continue after many years and possibly generations, continue to serve visitors with such grace, kindness and dignity.  Sure, there’s a high crime rate but its certainly not as high as in many other African nations or other nations throughout the world.  See this chart for details.

Upon entering Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe, a vendor was selling handmade wooden masks, a popular tourist purchase.

For logical safety concerns we don’t walk the streets after dark in any city and with reasonable taxi fares at about kwacha 100 (US $10) roundtrip we can go just about anywhere in the town of Livingstone, Zambia, population under 140,000.

A variety of statues were for sale near the railroad tracks in the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Africa has a wide array of colorful jewelry and clothing they sell in tourists areas.

We feel safe here but never take that feeling for granted wherever we may travel. And Saturday night, when we entered the most unusual restaurant we’ve visited in a long time, Zest Bar & Restaurant, rated #10 out of 25 and well reviewed at TripAdvisor at this link, we were a little stunned. 

With only 1% of the population of Zambia as caucasian, it wasn’t surprising to find the entire clientele at Zest Bar & Restaurant last night filled with black customers.

The restaurant is primarily outdoors. One must walk through a modest entry area which is unappealing for dining.  We walked around the back of the entry are to the general grounds of the property which is covered in loose rock.  The bar area appears to be a platform placed atop the rocks and is partially indoors.  But, there are no doors, no windows.  Its hard to explain. 

US dollars are almost exactly 10% of kwacha in Zambia.  Thus, my glass of red wine was US $2 and Tom’s mixed cocktail was US $1.35!
We considered ordering a bun-less croc burger but decided against it.  We were both hungry and preferred to order something we thought we’d like.  Note the Kudu Burger…there’s no way we’ll eat kudu.  We love kudus and have no plans to eat them.

We could have chosen to eat at picnic tables and chairs placed on the rocks or dine at a table in an area in the bar.  We opted for the bar which was packed with locals, drinking, watching sports and having a generally great time.  When we arrived at about 6:30 pm, I was the only female in the entire establishment.

My Tom, smiling as usual. 

Was I worried?  Not at all.  As a matter of fact, we felt right at home.  The lively atmosphere was friendly, the service welcoming, the food smelled great and the prices on the menu were outrageously reasonable. 

Tom was especially happy when he traded his salad and veg for my chips to enjoy with his beef tenderloin  espatada.

As shown in the photos, we were served plenty of hot, fresh, made to order food we both thoroughly enjoyed.  I had two small glasses of red wine and Tom had a few cocktails.  The bill for everything including tax and tip was under kwacha 290 (US $29). 

The lighting was poor but this was my boneless chicken thigh espitada.  It was delicious with lots of peppers and onions between the perfectly cooked pieces of chicken.

We’d return one more time to Zest but with many other great restaurants on TripAdvisor’s top ten list, and only four more nights to dine out (possibly five nights) we’d prefer to work our way toward the top of the list if possible.  (We aren’t sure yet about the food served on Wednesday’s Zambezi River sunset cruise but we’ll find out soon).

My plate of spinach and aubergine was flavorful.

Last night, we dined at another popular local restaurant, Café Zambezi, rated #4 on TripAdvisor’s list.  In the next few days, we’ll post photos along with comments as to dining at this establishment as well.  There’s so much more to share in these few days.

Today’s tour beginning at 7:00 am, will certainly match the excitement of our visit to Victoria Falls on both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides.  We’re looking forward to sharing photos and the details of today’s adventures with all of you in tomorrow’s post.

Have a fabulous day and evening!


Photo from one year ago today, May 14, 2017:

Tom’s photo of this unreal scene of sailboats in Seattle.  Wow!  From Seattle we took a private shuttle to Vancouver to board the ship to Alaska.  For more details, please click here.

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