My friends and I had ten days for spring break. Of all the cool places to go, we made the big decision to go to Livingstone, Zambia. That is over 1,500 miles away! We knew it would take a long time to get there but that it would be worth it.
Zambia is country on the African continent and it is home to over 12 million people. We were excited to go to Livingstone because we wanted to see Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world!
Local Time: 1:00pm
Time Zone: EAT East African Time
How far did we travel this week? Livingstone Zambia was over 1,500 miles away!
How far have we traveled on our journey so far? Including all of my trips I would guess that I have traveled around 2,000 miles so far.
How did we get around this week?
In order to reach Livingstone, Zambia we had to take three buses from Dar Es Salaam. It took us over 52 hours! Could you imagine being on a bus that long?
Traveling this far was the hardest part of the trip. It was hard because buses don’t usually have bathrooms. Even though the bus would stop so we could use a restroom, you had to go fast or it might leave without you! It was also really hot on the buses. We were happy once we got to Zambia, where it was cooler.
What was the most interesting place we visited this week?
The most interesting place we visited was Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It stretches over 5,600 feet between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is considered one of the world’s natural wonders.
This Week’s Travel News: (short story about what happened this week)
I was really anxious to see Victoria Falls. I knew it would be incredible. The night before we went I almost couldn’t sleep! When we got to the falls, we were welcomed with big ponchos to keep us dry. There is a lot of spray that will get you wet!
When I began walking over the first bridge to see the center of the falls I started laughing because we were all getting soaked! I didn’t think there would be as much spray as there was. It was pouring water and wind was blowing hard!
When we finally made it to the center I was speechless. Even though I couldn’t see all of the falls because of the spray, it was truly beautiful. Seeing thousands of tons of water flow over the top of the waterfall was a powerful sight I will never forget. Because it was so wet, I was not able to take photos but I’ll include a picture of the falls that I found online!
Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):
Sunny: 4 Cloudy: 0 Partly cloudy: 2 Rainy: 1 Snowy: 0 Windy: 1
What is the air temperature right now?
The temperature all week was around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. We were really happy about the cooler weather in Zambia because it is very hot in Dar es Salaam. Zambia is cooler because it is farther from the equator and at a higher elevation.
How was the weather this week?
The weather this week was awesome! Almost every day the sky was clear and blue. It was wonderful to be somewhere not as humid as Dar Es Salaam. Do you know what humidity is? It’s when there is moisture in the air. This moisture can make you feel sticky and sweaty. You might feel this at home in North Carolina during the summer.
I was really happy the sky was so clear because that meant I was able to watch a beautiful sunset almost every night. Do you like sunsets? One night we were able to go boating on the Zambezi River to watch the sunset. The pink and purple colors before the sun went down were like none I have seen before.
What animals did we see this week?
I saw a lot of animals this week! Like I talked about in my Nature Note, I was lucky to walk with baby lion cubs. I even got to pet one! The organization that led us on the walk taught us a lot about lions that I didn’t know before.
I also saw a lot of monkeys and baboons. I had to be really careful walking along roads because baboons like to come and take your things. Monkeys can be thieves, too!
One day, my friend Dorsa was walking on a bridge with a carrot and a monkey came onto the railing and was about to jump on her! He must have wanted the carrot. Luckily, Dorsa threw the carrot before the monkey could take it. We learned quickly we shouldn’t walk around outside with food!
What was the coolest thing we saw in nature this week?
Even though Victoria Falls was definitely the coolest thing in nature that I saw this week, I also really enjoyed seeing the gorge before the falls. The gorge is a huge canyon that Zambezi River flows through.
One day I went to go abseil into the gorge. Abseiling is when you are strapped onto the side of the gorge with a rope and harness. You use your feet you go down the side until you reach the bottom. Seeing the gorge from this high was scary, but so beautiful.
This Week’s Nature News: (short story about what happened this week)
This story is a little embarrassing to tell, but I want you to hear it because it’s really funny! While eating breakfast with my friends one day, I felt something fall into my lap. When I looked down, I saw that a monkey had taken a poop on me! It must have fallen from the tree above us! My friends and I started laughing so hard, we almost couldn’t believe it happened!
What languages are spoken here?
Most Zambians know how to speak English. This was helpful to us because we had never been there before and it is easier to ask for help and directions in English. Some Zambians also speak their local tribal languages. With over 70 tribes in Zambia, that’s a lot of languages!
What type of money is used here?
Zambia uses the Zambian Kwacha. I thought that this money looked beautiful because the paper has a lot of colors on it. This is really different from American money, which is only green. About 5,000 Zambian Kwacha equal 1 U.S. dollar.
How much does a bottle of water cost?
A bottle of water costs around 5,000 Zambian Kwacha. This is about 1 U.S. dollar. We pay almost the same thing in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
What was the best meal this week?
The best meal I had this week was dinner from a local Zambian restaurant. The pilau there was incredible! Pilau is just a mix of rice with spices. This pilau was really good because it had a combination of spices I had not tasted before.
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love dessert. One of my favorite things about Zambia is their crème donuts! These donuts are shaped like a cucumber with a cut down the center that is filled with crème. They tasted so rich and sugary I was in love!
What music did we listen to this week?
This week we listened to a lot of Celine Dion. Do you know who that is? She is an American singer who was popular during the 1980s. We are not really sure why, but Tanzanians and Zambians seem to love her! Her CD’s played everywhere we went from restaurants to grocery stores and even on buses.
What activity was the most fun this week?
I had so many fun experiences this week that it is hard to choose. However, one of my favorite that I didn’t mention yet is bungee jumping! Bungee jumping is when you jump off a bridge or cliff with just a rope tied to your feet! It’s so scary but a lot of fun, too! I bungee jumped off a bridge that was over Victoria Falls. Make sure you look at the pictures!
What did I read this week?
Because we were so busy this week, I didn’t really have time to read!
What games or sports did I play?
I didn’t really get to play any sports or games this week either but we did notice that Zambia loves soccer, too! In Africa, they call soccer football and everyone loves it! So many of the restaurants we went to had soccer games playing on TV.
This Week’s News: (short story about what happened this week)
Standing at the ledge of the bridge getting ready to bungee jump, my heart was beating so fast! I was worried I couldn’t do it. Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes, “Do the things you are afraid to do.” I really like this phrase because it reminds me that sometimes by doing things that we are afraid of, we can learn a lot.
After I jumped, everything went really fast. I got that funny feeling that you get when you are on a roller coaster or go over a big hill in a car. Do you know that feeling? I didn’t fall for very long. Before I knew it I was hanging in the air with the most beautiful view of the falls and the Zambezi River below me. I was so proud, happy, and in awe of everything around me.