After setting up our tent beneath some ominous looking clouds we headed down towards town to find something for dinner. We made it about 500 meters before the torrential rain hit, soaking us through (despite our $400 Gortex jackets) within minutes.
Heading back to the hostel we met Jacqui and Ed, two Brits who were 3 months in to a 7 month Africa trip. After a beer and a few games of cards in the leaky bar area we settled for a peanut butter toast dinner and an early night.
The next day we all headed out to Mfwuwe village, the gateway to South Luangwa National Park - apparently one of the best in all of Africa.
The 120km took over 4 bone crunching hours due to the shocking road conditions that seemed more suited to a 4x4 than the Toyota Camry we we're in.
Arriving at Croc Valley Camp, we set up our tent with a view of hippos wading in the river, before jumping in an open top jeep for a night game drive. This really didn't disappoint, with elephants only meters from our truck within minutes of entering the park. Hippos were plentiful as we're the elephants and zebras and after sunset we were lucky enough to have a lioness stroll casually across our path. Getting mock-charged by a bull elephant was also a highlight, a trumpeting sending us on our way.
Returning to camp for an exorbitantly priced meal from the lodge we then hit the sack (or fluro pink pool lilo as it may be) to fall asleep to the sound of hippos snorting and eating all around our tent.
The drive out the next morning saw our path blocked by a huge group of elephants that we could've touched from the car as we drove past. Quite a nice way to finish the experience (unlike the rest of the drive home).
Heading to Lilongwe in Malawi tonight, can't believe this will be country number 6!