Bat Migration

The Friday after thanksgiving we were up and on the road by 5 am so we could get to Kasanka National park for the  bat migration. I love a good road trip and the ten hour drive North hasn’t let me down yet. The time seems to go by quickly.

On this trip we went with Ty, Francis and TianTian. We got to camp, set up and we were off to the first bat sighting of the trip. right before sunset the bats start to wake up and spread there wings. We go to the look out tower that has been built in the trees looking just over the forest. On a good day I wouldn’t want to climb up the 15 meter  ladder made of cut branches with 10  people but what the hell, its safe right? Once on top my first sight of the bats was amazing and they were barely any in comparison till 45 minutes later. There are around ten to twelve million bats and they have been migrating to this area for hundreds of years. It is a dense rain forest that provides them protection from predators when they are sleeping during the day. It was quite the sight to see them all waking up and heading out to feed. The fact that they do not run into each other is amazing.

The next morning we are up at 4 am heading to another area to watch the bats come in from feeding. This was my favorite part, minus the 345 wake up time. It sure looks like a lot more bats when they are coming in! The sky was just covered as the sun rose. What an amazing site.We even had a hippo visit us right behind the camp site.

Bat Migration

A drive around Ng’ombe compound

 

I have had some people ask me what the compounds are like. Here is 12 minutes of video total (No sound) and shows a small glimpse into the living conditions of most people in the capital of Zambia.

This is Ng’ombe compound where Chikumbuso is located. On Todays trip to the business section of Ng’ombe, Gertrud and I did a little Christmas shopping for the 500+ kids, widows and grandmas that Chikumbuso sponsors. Thanks to Julie, Ann and Dennis for sending some money to help make all of these peoples Christmas a little bit better. The dollar goes A LOT further here than in the states. When possible I try to shop within the community and support the small businesses.

Christmas is different here. You don’t hear kids saying I want this or I need that, what they want is some food for the family, shoes and warm cloths. They will be so grateful for anything that is received. Today we bought 500Kg (1100 lbs.) of rice and some solar powered lights. Before we are done everyone will take home rice, a bag of sugar, a bag of salt, and a bottle of cooking oil. Some get the solar lights others get clothes, shoes, umbrellas and school supplies

 

 

 

A drive around Ng’ombe compound

Melissa’s Supermarket 

It is a sad day in lusaka. Melissa’s super market in Kabulonga is a total loss due to fire.

There never is a good time to lose your means of income but so close to the holidays is awful. Melissa’s employed a large number of people who will now struggle even more this season. The economy is in not good right now. Melissa’s is a local store that provided good quality food and produce at affordable prices. I would go out if my way to just buy their bread! It was the best in lusaka! I wish all the best to their staff. 

Melissa’s Supermarket 

Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we went to our friends Ty and Francis. Francis and I decided to split the work and we shared the joys of hosting an American holiday in Zambia. We had 16 people and the dinner went off without a hitch. We even had a Zambian enjoy our gluttonous overeating on his first Thanksgiving. I think next year he will be thankful for not being invited. He was stuffed but loved all the traditional foods. The French man couldn’t get enough of the pie. It was a great holiday with great friends and beautiful weather. We were home by 9:30 so we could be up and on the road to the Bat migration at 5am.

On a trip home. Those of you who know me well, know I never leave the house once. I always have to go back for something. This is an everyday event and the guards just laugh at me. Thursday was no different as I forgot serving spoons of all things. I was driving down the dirt road after a night of rain, all the sudden I see a bicycle upside down next to my passenger window! Holy s#%*. I stop the car look over and see a young boy looking up at me from the ditch. My first thought is “crap I just hit a kid” As I get out of the car a guard from what turns out to be an old Vice Presidents house walks out and tells me that the boy tried to overtake me and he has no brakes on his bicycle. I’m glad it happened in front of someone like that. When the boy figured out he wasn’t going to make it because of the potholes and pools of water he ended up hitting a deep hole and flipped over flying him and his buddy into the ditch. His buddy saw it coming so he landed well. UGH, I still felt awful. The boy speaks no English so the guard translated for me and ultimately I took him to a nearby clinic gave him a few bucks to cover the bill and was on my way.I just wanted to make sure he would be fine and he would have never been able to go and cover the cost on his own. Just a reminder how fast things in life can change.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

A dry Victoria Falls

Sorry that I have fallen behind again so I will keep it short. 🙂

This Veterans day we celebrated by going back to Victoria Falls, so I could see it in dry season. WOW! You should defiantly go back and look at the first post during wet season. You won’t believe it. This was my third time and I still love it. This time we spent a day on the Zambia side and then went and spent a day on the Zimbabwe side. Both sides have their perks but I think I like Zimbabwe a little better.

We opted to fly down this time to save ourselves the seven hour drive. I like the drive but we have seen it enough and I wanted to cram a lot in so when you come visit I will know Livingston pretty good. This is a must see. After our one hour flight we hit the ground running. We have found a great local driver with great rates and he is always ready to take us around. We check in to a new Bed and Breakfast drop our bags and we are off to the Falls. It was a HOT day so we just hung out on the Zambia side with plans on going into Zimbabwe the following day. We did get to walk all over the top of the falls because it is dry. Felt like the moon.

The Zimbabwe side was amazing! I would say it is better than the Zambia side. You can see the entire falls and really understand just how big it is. They even had a little water

 

 

 

 

img_7303img_7342img_7341img_7339img_7338img_7311img_7316img_7315This is the top of the only fall on Zambia side

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Felt like the moon
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Enjoying a dip before the rains
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Top of falls
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Oops, Say this after we went for a walk

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Looking towards Zimbabwe

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Need to stay here some day
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Zimbabwe feeder
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Zimbabwe side

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A dry Victoria Falls