Zambia - Bovu Island
The journey to Livingstone takes 45mins so I was a bit confused when my lift arrived to find we would take 1½ hours. I sat in the back of a pick-up truck and watched the Zambian bush beginning to glow in the softening light. We headed towards Livingstone on good - and soon to be resurfaced – road for about 30mins. However we found the turn-off for the camp had been excavated with the road works and we had to find a digger to come and fill it in again before we could continue. The sandy track went on for a good while and eventually came out on the banks of the wide, fast flowing Zambezi; it looked spectacular. Christopher the driver introduced me to Godfrey who was waiting at the water’s edge, with his dugout canoe, to take me to the island.
After a welcome drink I was led "across" the island on a guided tour to see the library, dining room, toilets (flush), showers (open to the sky) and eventually to my hut, beautifully situated near the water but with enough twisted tree trunks and boughs to divert hippos!
Wed 24 Sep
Slept soundly but given the "air conditioned" nature of my hut was aware of the dawn chorus and first light. Found some cornflakes and milk so helped myself to breakfast. Put my name down for two excursions: swimming and sunset "cruise".
Due to crocodiles and strong currents it was worth the boat ride to a "safe" beach on another island. I was dropped at 1100 and the boatman promised to return at 1400 (or was it 1500??) Yes of course I didn’t really need to swim for that long; I thought it would be a good chance to catch up with my diary. To keep me fed and watered I brought a cool box with Fanta orange, bottled water, a bottle of beer, some peanuts and crisps. By the time the boatman returned I’d consumed everything except the beer, been for three swims, written-up my diary, written my long overdue report for the Zanzibar Film festival and had even taken to watching the birds of the Zambezi through my binoculars!
The second excursion left at 1700 – billed as a "sunset cruise" it basically meant getting back into the same dugout canoe, with the same boatman and cool box, and heading once again up the river. When he stopped at the same beach where I’d enjoyed my solitary confinement earlier in the day I rather ungratefully insisted that we went to another "best place" to watch the sun go down – this time the beer was consumed.
Zambia - Bovu Island