Between the Okavango Delta, Botswana and Livingstone, Zambia – One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about travelling is getting the opportunity to see so many sunrises and sunsets. For a large part of the year, during my working days in London, I was in the office during those magical hours. Admittedly, I haven’t enjoyed the sunrises as much! This is one of the differences between travelling and holidaying. On a holiday, you lie in and have a leisurely breakfast. When travelling, you’re up at dawn and on the road early, in our case usually by 7am, to make sure you get to the next destination in time, for this tour, usually for sunset. And the sunsets in Africa are magical.
Two recent sunset experiences involved boat cruises. One was a sunset boat safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana. The other, more of a booze cruise with open bar on the Zambezi River in Zambia.
The sunset safari is up there in my top travelling experiences. Whilst our encounters were limited to impala, crocodiles, hippos and elephants, seeing them from the water was a special experience. The elephants were everywhere! Most wading in the water. A few taking their evening bath, fully submerging themselves. Quite a sight to see such a large animal disappear under water to emerge a minute later. The hippos included! We saw lots of those too and it was much more enjoyable to observe them from the safety of a bigger, motorised boat this time. Just as the sun was about to set, we came upon a herd of elephant with a few babies in tow. There is something about seeing the elephants as a family unit that I find the most magical of all. And then there was the sunset with its orangey hue, dipping beneath the horizon in mere seconds. All agreed, one of our favourite sunsets during our trip so far.
The Zambezi booze cruise was entirely different. Provide an open bar to a group of twenty something’s and you’ll easily get the picture. I think the sunset was entirely missed by most. Drinks continued at the bar afterwards, and one young English girl passed out on the floor and had to be carried to her tent. It was only 7.30pm. I later found her face down in the grass, vomiting. Very unattractive. The chaos in the bar continued to mount and not wanting to be a part of it, quietly sneaked off to my tent before 8pm. Seriously sometimes feel like I’m on a school trip with middle school children with this lot, but the sunrises and sunsets make up for their annoying pranks and drunken disruptiveness. Sometimes.