It was a lovely sunny day as I arrived at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge for the Elephant Café activity. After signing the indemnity and being helped into a very bulky safety jacket I joined the other guests on the boat. And, off we went …
The ‘smoke that thunders’
As we left the David Livingstone Safari Lodge we could see, downstream, the spray from the Victoria Falls, known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that Thunders.
The trip upriver was fun because the river was very high. Many of the small islands had disappeared under the water; the river running over them in a series of angry-looking waves. We saw a few hippo taking refuge in a backwater to keep away from the fast-moving water but the highlight was seeing hundreds of ducks and geese on the remaining islands.
Egyptian geese, white-faced whistling ducks, grey heron and more …
On arrival at the Elephant Boma four of the elephants were waiting for their treats. Guests were given a pouch of elephant pellets and went off to feed the elephants. The elephants pick up the pellets with their trunk and then transfer them into their mouths. Some of the guests took a short-cut and put the pellets straight into the mouths.
As you can see from the photographs these elephants are big friendly giants and they really enjoy the interaction with their visitors.
After a while, as the guests had finished feeding the favoured four elephants, the remaining elephants were allowed to join them from the stables. They ran over to see if there were any scraps left over. As the Elephant Café can entertain guests several times in the day, only a few of the elephants are brought over from their stables each time.
It is worth mentioning that these elephants are orphans (or their offspring) and have been brought up by humans. Together they form a family although most of them have no DNA which links them. It is unlikely that they could survive in the wild as another herd would probably not accept them and they are also untrained for predators.
During the day, when they are not entertaining guests they are free to wander wherever they wish all around the National Park and onto the islands nearby.
As the elephants were gathered up by their handlers we all went onto the deck for our meal. I have no idea what we ate because most of the ingredients were strange to me. I know that the menu will change throughout the year as different ingredients are available at different times of the year. It is a celebration of Zambian food with a modern twist. It was all delicious.
Musika Ice Cream
All the guests were not keen to end their meal and were enjoying sitting on the deck with their coffee but it was time to return. Donning our safety jackets, we all got back on the boat to return to the David Livingstone Safari Lodge.
The experience of Elephant Café takes about 4 hours and is fast becoming one of Livingstone’s must-do activities. The day after my trip I was sent a series of photographs, free of charge, through a dropbox on the computer.