When Travel is Life Changing
Going to Africa had been on our bucket list for years. It was always our hope to take our two sons (now adults) with us and enjoy the wildlife and culture this truly foreign land promised to offer. We finally got our chance this past August, when we visited the amazing country of Zimbabwe.
Kris Nosworthy from Pique Travel helped us every step of the way. While we were looking forward to the journey, we were a little apprehensive. We’ve traveled before, but nothing this “exotic.” He reassured us as we asked many questions about what it would be like getting from place to place, how the animals would react to us in the bush and what the food would be like. I was a little nervous, but felt prepared.
We started our journey to Zimbabwe by flying into Victoria Falls and then right on to Linkwasha Camp. This is where our safari experience began. The wildlife sightings were unimaginable. We saw Cecil’s surviving pride on the first game drive. It was bitter sweet to know he’s gone, but was interesting to see firsthand how the circle of life pushes his offspring to continue on and how other male lions fight for the pride.
A unique experience we were able to have at Linkwasha was going out to “the hide.” This bunker set within the ground next to a watering hole allowed us to be hidden by the wildlife around us. Within minutes 70+ elephants came into the area mere yards from where we sat. We were at ground level so the perspective was incredible!
One of our favorite things about Linkwasha was the relationship we built with Livingstone and Avias, two of the people who run the camp. They took amazing care of us, shared stories of what life is like for their families and how much taking care of visitors means to them. Even now as we reflect on the entire trip, spending time with the two of them is one of the highest of highlights.
After a few days at Linkwasha we flew back to Victoria Falls where we were able to enjoy the falls and the Zambezi River. In fact, our first night there we enjoyed a surreal cruise out on the river where birdlife, hippos, crocs and other wildlife were plentiful. The following day we went with a guide along the actual falls. The sheer size of the waterfall was awe-inspiring. It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with the largest curtain of falling water in the world. In my book, a must-see when traveling to Southern Africa.
After a few days in Victoria Falls, we traveled to Botswana to stay in the Chobe National Park area. The water-based camp we stayed at (located on the floodplains of the Chobe River) provided a completely different type of safari experience. We saw herds of zebra and elephant cross the river. And, having the water right out our windows allowed us to see many different species of animals around this natural “watering hole” all at once. It was fascinating to watch. We often felt like we had the reserve all to ourselves.
We loved having the diversity in our experiences, and just like Zimbabwe, Botswana kept us in awe. The close proximity to the animals, the peacefulness of the bush in the morning and the kindness of the people we met along the way kept us engaged every minute of every day.
To say this was an emotional experience for all four of us would be an understatement. It was life changing. Every day was thought provoking and we constantly found ourselves pausing and reflecting on what we were experiencing together. We weren’t ready to leave Africa and come home at the end of our journey. But one thing is for sure – we brought home with us the love, authenticity and wonder this amazing place gave to us.
Want to learn more about going on safari and experiencing some of the best Africa has to offer? Email Kris Nosworthy at email@example.com.