BY PAMELA BOWMAN LIVINGSTONE ZAMBIA – We left Lusaka at 4 in the afternoon. We were told it was a 5 hour trip to Livingstone. Alec was the first to suggest before we even got out of town that we should stop to eat. So technically we left at 5. We arrived in Livingstone at midnight. Once again, Zambians have a different concept of time.
We managed to find the turn off to our hotel, The Taito Falcon lodge. We called the owners, who were waiting dinner, to inform them that we were almost there. At the turnoff the pavement ended and the ruts began. Individually we began to look out into the night and see the bush we were driving in. Our silence became nervous giggles as our bus load of film makers could see the possibilities of the Blair Witch Hunt African style. The road became narrower and steeper. We passed huts and African tents and tall tree houses. We kept driving and occasionally found a small sign indicating that we were on the right road. Cyndi said, “They said that there was only one fork that was unmarked.” Great we silently thought. We didn’t know how close we were or how far we had to go. We just knew we were lost in the African bush. Are there still cannibals in the world? Would we drive off and into the Zambezi River? Would we fly off the Victoria Falls? We started to write a story line for lost or survivor. We all knew who would be voted off and given to those cannibals!
After a moment of forever, 40 minutes, we arrived. We exited the bus and were greeted by a voice that could rattle your bones in fear and did! Raspy, deep, brawny South African accent accompanied by a demonic laugh. We clung to each other as we walked single file to where this man led. It was dark, It was quiet. It was after midnight. We followed the narrow path to our outside dining area. Waiting for us beside a campfire was an elegant table surrounded by real luminarias. The buffet serving table was built from small stones. The surrounding walls were constructed of hatch. We had finally arrived in Africa. Even though we were exhausted we wanted to explore, to capture, to feel the very essence of this place.
After an appetizing meal we were led to our rooms. I don’t think any of us could have been prepared for what we found. We slid the bamboo doors open to an open aired room. Inside were our beds covered with mosquito nets. Bamboo walls reached as high as my head. A rock wall divided the bathing area from the bed area. Our rock shower had a tree growing in the middle with hooks for towels! It was so cool! The best part was the soft comfortable beds. We were in Africa! Tomorrow we would discover more, but for now it was just enough of a promise of good things.