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Elephants and hippos by the Zambezi

date of entry 17/03/1989
mileage 15,416

capital Lusaka

area 752.614 km²

population 13.460.305

GDP 11.156 M. US-Dollar

official language English

The former Northern Rhodesia, once a British colony, still boasts an impressive abundance of wildlife. The Holtorfs encountered countless elephants as well as groups of hippos on the Zambezi. Many of the paths they used were almost too overgrown. Especially impressive were the visits to the world-famous Victoria Falls and the new South Luangwe National Park.
  • The children watched with curiosity as the Holtorfs cooked every evening
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  • "Welcome to Zambia" – majestic pachyderms and breathtaking nature
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  • The sign did not exaggerate: Zambia is a land of elephants
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  • In the early 1990s they would suddenly appear on the road in front of Otto time and again
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  • Adult bulls can weigh up to seven tonnes and could have been dangerous even to Otto
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  • With the then still youthful Otto – on their first visit he had just 15,000 kilometres on the clock – Gunther ventured even into rough terrain
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  • And onto completely overgrown tracks, ...
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  • ... which no-one had obviously used for a long time.
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  • Deep in the jungle Gunther and Otto found this hidden waterfall
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  • A group of shy impala
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  • But even Otto was able to help every now and again: here he pulled a Toyota four-wheel-drive vehicle out of the water
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  • Thankfully, before one of the many crocodiles showed an interest
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  • Major rivers like the Zambezi were crossable – even for Otto – only by ferry
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  • Hippopotami may appear to be placid herboivores, but are among Africa’s most dangerous animals
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  • Even the elephants steer clear of the group
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  • Hippos are known for running down everything that blocks their way to the water.
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  • The elephants did not approach the water until the hippopotami had disappeared.
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  • Then, though, the large herd moved in. On one occasion the Holtorfs saw a herd of over 100 animals.
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  • An impala antelope ...
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  • ... can be easily identified by its light belly and dark back
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  • The Holtorfs saw many unusual creatures in Africa. The red-billed hornbill was one of them. It can be recognised from afar by its bright red beak and the likewise red skin around its eyes.
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  • Many tracks that Ottos used were in a poor state
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  • Close to major towns the roads are better, but also a lot dirtier by the roadside
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  • Almost as soon as Otto had stopped anywhere, the local children gathered
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  • Even close to towns many people live in traditional dwellings
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  • From the small corrugated-iron huts, whose roofs are held down with stones and branches, the inhabitants sell foodstuffs
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  • Video: Zambia – the elephant’s visit