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For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Thursday, September 21, 1995

Africa Journal - Canoeing the Zambezi

Thursday, September 21, 1995

Canoeing the Zambezi
Up at 5:00 AM to meet Mark for a early morning game walk. The night watchman saw lion at the waterhole earlier this morning. Mark finds their tracks and we follow them for quite a distance but never spot them. Little other game this morning, but a very enjoyable hike.

Then into town where we meet at the Shearwater Rafting office for an all day canoe trip on the upper (above the falls) Zambezi river. We had originally planned to go whitewater rafting on the lower Zambezi as stated in the itinerary, but when we looked at the travel vouchers, we found that we had been mistakenly booked on the canoe trip. We took this as an omen from the travel gods, and decide to forgo the whitewater. This decision made easier after we hearing a horror story about a recent drowning (not the outfit we had been booked with, which has an excellent safety record). The water is very low due to the drought, and the additional rock exposure may be creating additional risk for the class 4 and 5 rapids.

Our tamer canoe trip begins with a game drive through the Zambezi National Park where it parallels the banks of the Zambezi river. We pass a portion of the park that is fenced off with barbed wire and posted with signs warning of mines. This was near a shallow portion of the river that could be easily crossed. The Rhodesian Security Forces mined the area during the war. Over the years, most, if not all, of the mines have been detonated by wildlife. We stop to talk to another guide, who displays a dent in the fender of his tour vehicle caused by a charging elephant. "The clients found it exciting." He says.

Elephant Damage
The canoes are an inflatable type, which are very stable but too much work in the wind. Our group consists of three other canoes with British, German, and Australian couples, and Brian, our guide, in a kayak.

We go through a few class 1 and class 2 rapids which put a little stress on our marriage. The river is beautiful, and when we aren’t fighting the wind, it is a very relaxing trip. Highlights include: a seven foot crocodile splashing into the water as we round a bend of the river, and watching a herd of 20 to 30 elephants (including several babies) come down to river bank to drink.

Over dinner at the Masuwe Lodge, we trade stories with the other guests. We learn that on the morning game drive, Clever spotted a fresh kill. Hyenas were ripping apart a cape buffalo. Vivid descriptions of Hyenas with blood soaked heads and the sounds of crunching bones does not seem to affect anyone’s appetite. I drink too much wine and to the astonishment of all present, announce that I am intending to bungee jump off of the Victoria Falls Bridge the next day.

After dinner, Sigrid and I go on a night game drive with Mark. This consists of Mark driving the property while I sweep the area with a million candlepower spotlight, looking for the reflecting eyes of animals. I spot an antelope, a water buck, and 12 to 15 wolf spiders, which, interestingly enough, throw back a bright yellow/green reflection when hit with the light. Mark captures one of the spiders for detailed identification later, and promises to name it after me if it turns out to be a new species. I magnanimously offer a hyphenation since he did the capture.


 This is a back-post / cross-post from my first on-line journal/blogging effort - a journal of our Southern Africa Tour in 1995. Originally posted to an abandoned domain (, the term "blog" had not yet entered the parlance. I am migrating the original posts to this blog. Links to the original journal Date Index or Africa Tour Home Page will likely eventually disappear. The images from the original post were graphics and screen caps from video which I am leaving in it's low-rez glory for historical integrity. My intent is to also add some of Sigrid's higher quality scanned photos to these blog back-posts.  The difference in images should be obvious.

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