Trip Diary - Africa

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Zambia

Accompanied by my sister, Coral, we camped at one of her favourite places, Mutinondo. It is a wilderness area. Andrew, my brother-in-law joined us on the first night and both he and Coral went back to their farm in Mkushi the following morning. We stayed a further 4 days. We filled the time with walks along the river and over kopjes. The children attempted horse riding and Graham took them down the river in a canoe, they loved it all. One evening we had sundowners on Charlies Rock with the owners, Mike and Lari and another family. We watched the African sun melt into the horizon and darkness descend. In the twilight, we peered through a telescope at the planet Saturn. We could make out its rings, fascinating.

We spent the rest of the month in Zambia visiting friends and relatives.
We saw Coral and Andrew again on their farm for 10 days. It’s always a pleasure being there. I love being with my family and the children enjoy the farm life.

We drove across to Ndola and stayed with Nigel and Vanessa Gerrans, friends from the UK but who now live in Zambia. Whilst there, we visited Chimfunshi, an orphanage for chimps. It is a fascinating set up with many chimps rescued from around the world and now being looked after here. These chimps will not be released back into the wild in Central Africa, as they are still heavily poached there. The orphanage is also home to a ‘domesticated’ hippo known to all as Billy. This was Seamus’s highlight.

Further south we stayed with friends, Dave, Fee, Gary and Nicole Jackman, who live on a farm in Chisamba. It was lovely to see them and how the children are growing up. If anyone is reading this and could help out, Gary (10 years old) has organized a football team of farm labourer’s children, to play football against the other farms. Their team is in need of matching football jerseys as they are playing in their own clothing. If anyone could donate matching (used is fine) football jerseys (ages 8-12), please let me know and I’ll organize the rest.

We caught up with Bill and Mavis Jackman in Lusaka, for us they are a home from home.

In Mazabuka, we stayed with friends Seamus and Carrol Fleming. Whilst there, I had the privilege of attending a group art class with them. The artist/teacher is Rory MacDougal. He has built himself a lovely art studio and paints wildlife. He has also managed to very successfully produce budding artists out of Zambian farmers!!!!! (See our website for his link).

To finish off, we visited Livingstone and the Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River was pumping over the Falls. With that we got ourselves unavoidably soaked walking through the ‘rain forest’.

We also paid a visit to the Zambezi Sawmill’s museum, where Graham’s great grandfather had previously been the first General Manager, and had overseen this company which produced all of the timber for railway sleepers (now sought after as high quality furniture).

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