Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Livingstone, Zambia and Kasane, Botswana


I am back from vacation! I have yet to step into my house but after a full day of traveling on public transport tomorrow, I will be in my home, sweet home.

After what seemed like a long Mid Service Training, Sarah, Liz, Eden and I prepared for our trip to Zambia. We travelled north to Kazungula and took the ferry that took us across the river to Zambia. It was really exciting for me because I had been waiting for vacation for such a long time. Customs was interesting and after we paid for our visas, we took a taxi to Livingstone to Jollyboys Backpackers. This place is so chill! I loved the vibe and the people we met here were so fun and interesting. I talked to people from Australia, England, Scotland, Germany, Columbia, Ireland, American, and the list goes on. I even conversed with other Peace Corps Volunteers from Namibia who were also on vacation. What I like about packbackers in different countries is the easygoing, relaxed vibe that most of them bring. Comfy pillows sprawled around on the floor, a lookout where one can read, couches that line the floor, books and board games to check out, it's great. Most people are on a budget and are easy to talk to. It is really easy to make friends at a backpackers. 

The host with the most! Stopped in Francistown to stay with Octavius before
heading up north to Kazungula the next day. Best cook ever.

The guys are serious when it comes to Battle of the Sexes.

After a long 2 days of traveling we made it to Jollyboys! And what do we do? Word puzzle it up!

We planned to go to Victoria Falls the next morning and see Devil's Pool. Victoria Falls is one of the largest and highest waterfalls in the world and is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Devil's Pool is a small pool right at the edge of the falls where daring people can swim to and hang over the edge. So what do you think I did? Helllllll yeah. It was one of the most amazing things I have experienced being so close to the edge of the waterfall and looking down to see a beautiful rainbow between the gorge, between the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides. Amazing. Afterwards, we swam back across the top of the waterfall, dried off, and had a wonderful breakfast with amazing views. Loved everything about that trip.
On our way to the falls.

At the edge of Devil's Pool.
I was right on the edge of this waterfall!

The next day we decided to go white water rafting on the Zambezi River. The Zambezi River is a Level 5 river with Level 5 and 6 rapids which are the highest levels kayakers dare to go through. You're probably thinking, "Uhh, they let anyone do that?" The answer is YES! I was so scared but my friends convinced me that all would be well. On our way up to the lodge where they would be telling us the directions and what to do not to die, I was shaking. I was seriously going to pee my pants. haha The video is priceless. (I'll bring that home with me.) We were told what to do when the boat cap-sized (completely flips over), when we were thrown from the boat, and if we felt like we were drowning. Most terrifying thing of my life. I loved every second of it. Plus, the hike down to the gorge was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. I felt as if we were walking through this tropical rainforest and it was very serene. One of the best highlights of my trip. I wish everyone could experience how beautiful it was and how beautiful I viewed life at that moment.

This is my scared smile.

Chest bumping the fear right out of me.
Steve is the man!

So cool.

We look legit
Bad asses

Oh shoot...
Watching Steve, our guide, ride out the level 6 rapids! Like a pro.


We survived!

This trip was so amazing. I can't believe I white water rafted on the Zambezi River, one of the most intimidating and crazy rivers. I definitely feel like I have become a sort of adrenaline junkie. I can't wait for another adventure!

The next day was Sarah's birthday and we celebrated with friends we met at the backpackers by going to the local Curio market and having dinner at a Chinese/Indian restaurant.

When we crossed back over to Botswana we stayed in Kasane which is northern Botswana. Kasane reminded me a lot like Zambia with its wet weather and green trees. It was my first time in Kasane and although the rain dampened the vacation at times, literally and figuratively, it was definitely beautiful and I would visit again in the drier season if I have a chance. We went on another safari and Sarah and I went on a boat cruise. I don't have many pictures because I was lazy and the battery to my camera died but here are a few from Kasane.