River cruise into the Lower Zambezi National Park

sunrise-on the way to the park

We left at sunrise for our river safari into the Lower Zambezi National Park…

Just after paying our park fees we saw lions, 2 lionesses – it was Joshua’s first sighting of lions and what a treat we had! We then slowly made our way down stream, marveling at the large number of birds on the islands and trying to remember the names of the islands as Justin, our guide named them.

lioness-sighting on the bank

The sun got a bit higher and my men-folk’s tummy’s started rumbling so we stopped on an island for a cup of tea and a muffin! I must interrupt the safari at this point to mentions the ISLAND RULES!

The Zambezi River is a wonderful river with the deep-water channel being the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Tourists are asked to remain on the correct side of mutual islands, but only to alight on islands that fall within the country’s boundary – so, its best you take a river safari with a licensed guide that knows which islands belong to which country and then which islands are safe to venture out on as some have large herds of buffalo and I’m told but did not witness that there is even an island on which lion live….

zambezi islands

Tummy’s satisfied we continued down the Zambezi River, watching elephant along the shoreline and marveling at bee-eater colonies and the ever changing vegetation!! I think that’s what makes a river safari so different – it’s a smooth relaxing ride, with no/few tse-tse flies and great sightings of wildlife!

hippo pod

ground hornbills

buffalo sighting 100+

Time flew and then we stopped for a picnic lunch before heading out to a spot to try our hand at catching Chessa…

Pieter, Justin and Joshua did very well, whereas I only caught 1! You’ll see from the pictures the delight in Joshua’s face and excitement at catching his first fish in the Zambezi! We now look forward to try Tiger fishing these same waters…

fishing for chessa

Joshua catches a Chessa

Our day came to an end, but before we reached camp, our good-bye present from the Lower Zambezi National Park was another sighting of Lions – this time a male and female, there they were on the shore of the Zambezi River lion and lioness and I just had marvel at the exceptional day we had all had. What a blessing!

Pieter fishing the Zambezi waters

Lion and lioness