Run the equator: Another national park - South Luangwa, Zambia

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Another national park - South Luangwa, Zambia

King of the jungle, or what?
Click on pic to see slideshow
or here to access the set

The South Luangwa National Park lies off the beaten track in a remote region of Zambia, and I think the authorities have no intention to make it more accessible. The access road linking the park with the provincial capital Chipata is a dirt track riddled with pot holes, which challenges even the toughest all-terrain vehicles. Our truck had a flat tire, which delayed us by about one hour. Things were bouncing up and down and sideways, bags falling off the seats and luggage compartments. It wasn't very wise to stand, without holding onto something with both hands.

A hippo in its element

But once you are at the "Flatdogs" camp - the gate to the reserved area - none of those troubles matter anymore. The elephants chew their favorite low-lying branches from the trees around the showers. The giraffes walk around your tent and gently pick their lunch ignoring you. The bar is stacked. There is even Internet access for the addicted - but even the incurable will shudder at the frightening $6 per hour charged by the camp management...

The things I could do
if I had a trunk!

We spent a total of 8 hours in the park, cruising on specially-equipped 4-by-4s with our local guides, looking for animals on land, in the river and in the trees. They aren't hard to spot. Elephants, hippos, baboons, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, warthogs and antelopes of all kinds, they all look at you condescending and just move away. The highlight of the day was no doubt the lion who, having eaten a whole water buck, was lying under a tree taking his siesta, looking at us annoyed, as if he were fighting a serious case of indigestion. Nevertheless, he was still the king of the jungle, so he posed for some good shots.

Posted from Nungwi beach village, Zanzibar

4 comments:

Wilbert said...

Hi Fritz & Angela,

I just watched the Lion King with my kids yesterday. It seems all so familiar, specifically the hyena's. They sing as well? Anyway, from your pictures Africa looks amazing. Good luck!

Rebeca said...

Wow, I've just come across your blog. I'm amazed that you've achieved to live this great aventure. I thought of myself as a traveller, and I've been to many countries indeed, but when I read your adventures I've realized there's so much out there, ten times more exciting than what I've done so far! What gave you the inspiration to design such an ambitious itinerary? How did you get organized to spend more than half a year abroad? What about your usual job at home? How do you manage in financial terms? What about health issues? How do you manage to post from Africa? I'd love to learn about all that because your lifestyle appears to be the lifestyle I'd like to lead, but I'm still light years away from it!! ;-) Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Zambia...oh LORD!!!

You guys must be loving it in Africa. The animals, heat, what's the food like? Tell me about the people, the culture, history, etc. I miss you guys. I just got back grom NYC and Maine for two weeks. Maine was lame, but NYC is NYC! I loved it, I want to move to NYC....we'll see....we'll see. I'm still with my latin lover, going strong, especially after our time in NYC.

Incredibly jealous Michelle

Big Fat Rat said...

Rebecca

I'm glad you like the blog. Most of the answers to your querstions are burried in past posts, but I will try to summarize them for you:

1) Traveling for an extended period was my wife's idea; she always wanted to travel and she's a natural born trip planner - she devours travel guides and plans itinerries if she's bored.

2)Organization - we quit our jobs, put everything in storage, booked the essential things in advance (like the Inca trail trekking and the Galapagos islands cruise) bought a few plane tickets and we jumped on.

3)Financial - we have both worked for a few years and saved money, but unlike most of the people we decided not to use that money as a down payment for a house and blow it on travel instead.

3)Health - We got vaccinated for most tropical diseases and we have malaria pills with us. Other than that healts is just about being careful with the water we drink

4)Posting from Africa - there's internet about anywhere now. But in Africa it's still more expensive and less widespread than elsewhere but available nonetheless. Now I post from a hostel in Nairobi, Kenya.

If you'd like more precise information you can contact me at the private address displayed on the blog page.

Cheers
Fritz