This was featured on the Late rooms Near and Far writting competition.
It’s that time of the year in London when you look outside your window and wonder why summer has decided to take a vacation when you could really use a bit of sunlight. It’s moments like these my memories of Zambia come to the rescue. Even our winter temperatures seem higher than the British summer. So let me take you on a little journey to my home country.
The word summer for me conjures up memories of trips to the market on sunny bright days, where the road leading up to it would have stalls lined up with summer fruits in all their colourful galore. Little round mangos in various shades of yellow to red, soft and ripe that a small bite releases the sweet nectar juice nothing like you have tasted before, and so filling you won’t want for nothing more.
A walk through Lusaka’s Kabwata Cultural Village reveals Zambia’s craftsmanship inspired by the many wild life that grace the game parks around this landlocked country. The people who live and work here produce some of the most beautiful carvings, baskets, drums, jewellery and fabrics and all handmade. If you are lucky you may even catch some of the local performers doing the traditional dances.
In Zambia we are so laid back, if you want an easy life you are in the right place.
If you are after adventure then you don’t have to go too far from the capital. Victoria Falls; one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, with the largest sheet of falling water in the world. It’s also part of the UNESCO world heritage site. Found in Livingstone; a city named after Glaswegian’s David Livingstone. If you are brave enough you may also venture into its natural rock pool, sometimes referred to as the Devil’s Pool. This is quite an experience! You are right on the edges of the falls. Zambezi and Victoria falls also ranks as one of the best places in the world for white water rafting while the thunders that roars(another name for Victoria Falls) offers a scenic backdrop. Most of my travels I try to incorporate an element of adventure, so trips back home offer so much choice that it’s hard for me to choose an activity.
You also cannot come to Zambia without experiencing the safaris around the country. You will come in close contact with elephants, giraffes, lions, endangered cheetahs and other wild life. These animals are nothing like the ones you see in the zoo so approach with caution. Make no mistake our animals have right of way in traffic when driving through country side roads. You can spot the beautiful elephants or giraffes gracefully and leisurely crossing the road a mile away.
From a young age my family would go on family trips to the lakes. Now that I am living in London and 5000 miles away I wish I could visit the beautiful lakes as much as I could. It’s a little unknown but Lake Kariba is our little hidden secret. It’s like a Riviera. It’s usually sunny most of the year with perfect spots for watching the sun rise and set. Perfect for relaxing and watching the time pass by as you enjoy water sports or just lounge back and relax with a cold drink.
I supposed our country is landlocked for a reason; so all that rich wild life, beautiful gorges, water falls, valleys, lakes, national heritage does not sip out into another territories. So make sure you close the gates after your visit!