October 19th – Day Twenty Five
Four subsequent early starts of before 5am takes the energy out of a person and we actually left the camp ten minutes later than the planned time of 6am. Helen and Stephen stayed behind, Helen staying to visit a school her parents had an association with and Stephen going along for a visit and something different to do. They were to be picked up a few hours after we left and would find their own way to Livingstone in the next couple of days. The majority of the day was much like the previous with driving taking up the bulk. We arrived in Livingstone at around 2.30pm and had a quick shop while Jacques and Joe bought supplies. Done it was on to the Waterfront campsite to set up for the next seven nights.
It was a nice site with a large camping area, a number of permanent tents set on raised platforms and also chalet accommodation. The restaurant area housed a bar and was adjacent to a jetty with a couple of large boats docked. There were also a couple of swimming pools on site, one next to the bar and the other between the camping area and the chalet area. The best sites for the truck were taken so it was a shady point at the back of the camping area where Charles eventually stopped. It was OK for Joe’s cooking requirements and kept the truck in a little bit of shade throughout the day but meant we had to set up tents a distance away. Tents were erected and a very late lunch taken.
The evening was taken up with watching a video on all the available activities in the Livingstone/Victoria Falls area and discussing all the options. Once we’d done that we headed back to the truck, stopping to look at some of the monkeys that had appeared while we were inside. I was taking a shot of a very young baby monkey when the mother saw me and raced in to gather up her child. I was still taking shots when the monkey disappeared out of my view and there were warning shouts from those around me. The mother was charging me baring teeth and hissing. I took a few steps back and eventually the mother calmed down and took her child away into a nearby tree. We were then shortly back in the truck and heading to the Royal Livingstone Hotel for drinks while watching the sunrise over the Zambezi river.
The baby monkey looking innocent shortly before mum attacked
The Royal Livingstone is a very posh hotel, I was quite surprised at how nicely they treated us given we weren’t residents. We were given a table of a platform overlooking the river and ordered drinks as the sun started setting over the horizon. The monkeys nearby were as common as usual, the person employed to keep them away somewhat overstretched the guests weren’t helping the situation by letting the monkeys take nuts from their tables. We had nice cold drinks and chatted as the sun set before us. Off to the right we could see the spray from the falls and in the water before us were a number of hippos surfacing and occasionally yawning in their own enthusiastic way. It was a pleasant evening as and we left we made use of the very posh toilets, one person even using the basin to clean their feet. As we left it was dark and we got back in time for Joe to treat us to one more great meal. It was then off to bed and for the first time in a while we knew we had a sleep in with tomorrows breakfast not being until 8am, a luxury in recent times.
Sunset from the Royal Livingstone