We were up for a 6:30 AM breakfast so we could go for a morning game-viewing safari before heading for Addis. Loading up two open-air Jeep Safari vehicles, we were off to the Zambezi Game Park. The drivers gave each of us a large blanket to shield ourselves from the cold biting wind. We were most thankful as we headed down the tarmac at 50 miles/hour.
After a few miles, we turned on to a dirt road entrance to the park. We spent the next two hours on dirt roads exploring miles and miles of park. Along the way we saw warthogs, guinea-fowl, and a large Kudu antelope that raced across the pathway in front of us. Later we saw a herd of Impala antelopes grazing and partly hidden in the bush about a hundred yards away. The highlight of the morning was siting a herd of cape buffalo heading for their water-hole not far off the roadway. About 50 animals of all sizes grazed and milled around a bit as they approached the pond. An old sentinel bull off to one side kept an eye on us as long as we parked to watch his herd. Despite their massive horns, they sounded like a herd of cows mooing to one another.
Our final stop was on the banks of the Zambezi river where it rushed toward the falls a few miles downstream. Beyond this impressive mile-wide river, we could see the rooftops of Livingstone, the town on the Zambia side of the falls. Then we headed back to the lodge to load our luggage on vans waiting to take us to the airport. After getting our boarding passes and clearing security, we boarded an Ethiopian Airlines jet bound to Botswana for a quick stop before flying on to Addis. This five-hour flight got us into Addis about 9:30 PM. By the time we cleared customs and bought our visitor visas, it was almost 11 PM. Our hotel shuttle vans were waiting for us and whisked us to the hotel. A tired bunch of travelers was happy to tumble into bed after getting our room assignments. We’ll explore Addis Ababa in the morning.