I stayed with my friend, a retired school teacher, in Choma for 2 weeks. She had a nice two bedroom brick house. When one lives with a Zambian for two weeks, it is a good idea to give the hostess enough money to buy good food for both of us, as I couldn’t exist on what she eats normally. Her pension is only $10 – $15 a month. I felt I had to pay for all her expenses incurred for my visit, plus some gifts.
One of her friends drove us to Livingstone. We stayed at Maramba Chalet, about 4 km from the falls. Most of the other places to stay were either so cheap as to be scary or way too expensive for me. Maramba Chalet is decent and at a reasonable price. The food is good.
My hostess and I walked from Maramba to a large hotel adjacent to the falls. There was almost no automobile traffic on the 2 lane paved road, although it was in good condition. However, we saw a lot of elephant droppings that got fresher the closer we got to the falls.
I was very glad to get to the hotel and relative safety. We ate lunch there and then went to see the falls. I’m glad I saw the falls.
You sure need to rent the rain coats they have because of the spray. But the falls weren’t as spectacular as I thought they’d be. Maybe that’s because it is difficult to get a good view so one can appreciate its breadth and depth. There was very little to buy for postcards or souvenirs. We took a taxi back to Maramba.
The next day we went on a mini safari to a nearby game park. The guide pointed out an elephant he said tends to run around rather crazily. I assume he was the elephant whose droppings we had seen the previous day. The safari was nice. We got to see many animals.
The falls and the animals were nice. But what I enjoyed the most was meeting the local people, eating in their homes, and going to my hostess’s church. And being exposed to a few things in their lives.
Such as this: our driver to Livingstone didn’t tell me he didn’t have a place to stay or any food or money to buy food. So I had to get him a place to stay and buy him some meals. Also, his truck started having problems, so I paid to get it fixed. I thought it better to get it fixed than to get stranded on the road between the tiny towns on the road back to Choma. I especially didn’t want to spend the night in the truck not knowing what wild animals or bandits would be around. I can’t imagine a college educated man going to a work seminar in Livingstone and not having any provisions for food or lodging, except begging it from me. It is hard to imagine the poverty of the people who are “middle class”.
Overall it was a very nice trip and I’m glad I went.
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