Recently I went on a trip to Zimbabwe and stayed at Imbambala Lodge. This beautiful safari lodge is situated overlooking the Zambezi River right near the Kazungula border. During our stay we went out on a sunrise cruise on the Zambezi. We were on a pontoon viewing boat which cruised slowly down the river to where a pod of Hippo was submerged near an island. There is something magical about the tranquillity of drifting down the river as the morning mist rises off it - the only sound the soft putter of our engine.
Along the way we went past a spot where several Buffalo had got stuck in the mud on the edge of the river and died. They were now food for several Vultures. We stopped the boat and spent some time watching them while we enjoyed tea, coffee and tasty rusks (dried Afrikaans style biscuits).
Our knowledgeable guide told us about the different Vulture species we saw and confidently answered any questions we had. He was most engaging and made the boat trip much more than it might have been.
It was at this point that the sun appeared over the horizon - a ball of molten red that turned gold as the landscape lightened. Slowly the birds left their roost and became more active and the morning's peace was broken by the haunting cry of a fish eagle heralding a new day. We passed a small herd of Bushbuck feeding under the protection of the trees on the green grass on the edge of the river. We then turned down river and went to the Kazungula border.
Kazungula border is special because it is one of the few places in the world where several borders meet. The borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia all meet at this one point in the middle of the river and while on a boat cruise, it is possible to enter a "no man's land," where you either in no country or are in four countries at the same moment.
It's quite a surreal feeling, drifting down the river and knowing that here is Botswana, over there is Namibia, Zambia is across the way and you have just been in Zimbabwe. We spent a few minutes watching the ferries taking cars and big trucks across the river. We then headed back down river to Imbambala where a delicious brunch awaited us.By Michael English