Honeymoon in Zambia is a blog post from the Zambia category.

Honeymoon in Zambia

Posted by Will on

Nat and I aren’t really ones for lying around on beaches, so we decided to go on safari for our honeymoon (yippee)! The day after our wedding we were on a plane to Zambia for two weeks of wildlife and relaxation. Obviously BeetleCam was not invited on this trip (although I did manage to sneak two camera bodies, 4 lenses, a couple of speedlite flashes and a tripod into our luggage)!

Our first stop was the spectacular Victoria Falls, also known by the indigenous Lozi people as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (literally, “the Smoke that Thunders”). We were there shortly after the wet season and the volume of water flowing over the falls was incredible. In numbers, Victoria Falls is 1.7km wide, with a maximum drop of 108m and, at that time of year, approximately 3,000 tonnes of Zambezi River water flows over the falls every second! Standing in front of the falls, you get drenched by a deluge of spray that rises up over 400m and is visible up to 50km away. On the ground there is so much spray that it is impossible to appreciate the scale of the Victoria Falls… it is only from the air that you get a true sense of its magnitude.

Victoria Falls as seen from the air. This is taken from the Zimbabwean side looking towards Zambia.
Victoria Falls at Sunset.

Possibly my favourite image from the whole trip is this one of Nat looking out over the falls at sunset:

Edge of the Earth: Nat looking out over the falls at sunset.

Our next stop was South Luangwa National Park. This is a beautiful park, teaming with animals. The Luangwa River runs through the heart of the park and provides a focal point around which the animals congregate. Below is a picture of the river at dusk and also a shot of some spoonbills feeding. The spoonbills were very comical to watch as they manically pursued small fish around the shallow pond.

The Luangwa River at dusk, South Luangwa National Park.
Spoonbills feeding in an area of flooded land, South Luangwa National Park.

A highlight of South Luangwa National Park is a trip to the enormous yellow-billed stork colony. This is the only colony of its size in the region and is an impressive spectacle, particularly at dusk when hundreds of birds fly in to roost. In the following photo I silhouetted the storks against rich purple African sky, shortly after sunset.

Yellow-billed stork colony at dusk, South Luangwa National Park.

Another highlight of South Luangwa National Park was some of the nocturnal wildlife that we were able to see. One evening, after enjoying a lovely sunset on the banks of the Luangwa River, we were extremely fortunate to come across a beautiful Serval Cat on our drive back to camp. Since these cats are nocturnal, good sightings of them are few and far between. I was keen to get a decent shot of the Serval but I did not want to use a flash on an animal with sensitive night vision. This was my first trip with the new Canon EOS 1D Mk IV so I decided to really put its low light capabilities to the test by shooting only by the light of a single spotlight. The following shot was taken at 400mm, f/3.2 at ISO 8,000… I find it incredible that this was even possible and the resulting shot shows just how far digital cameras have come in recent years.

A Serval Cat at night, South Luangwa National Park.

After South Luangwa we moved to Lower Zambezi National Park for the final leg of our trip. We spent most of our time cruising up and down the river watching elephants, buffalo and hippos. We stayed in a spectacular camp overlooking the Zambezi River… it was a very fitting and romantic end to our honeymoon!

A feeding Elephant, backlit by the setting sun, Lower Zambezi National Park.
A Bull African Buffalo on the banks of the Zambezi River, Lower Zambezi National Park.

Zambia is a wonderful destination for a safari… it is much quieter than other parts of Africa I have visited and boasts some beautiful national parks. I can’t wait to return someday to undertake a more in-depth photography project. To finish off this post, here is a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Spider in their web at sunset, overlooking the Zambezi River (you might have to look closer to spot Mr. Spider).

Mr. and Mrs. Spider in their web at sunset, overlooking the Zambezi River.

27 Comments

  1. Santanu Karar said: September 10, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Nice and beautiful honeymoon! :) Congrats!

  2. Darpan said: September 10, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Congratulations!!!!!! :) :)…
    Awesome Photos…!!!

  3. Paul Westrupp said: September 10, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Great shots, sounds like your bag just got a bit heavier :)

  4. Puneet Garg said: September 10, 2010 at 9:16 am

    wow ..amazing pics !! the last one nailed it !!

  5. Frances Pawley said: September 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Stunning photos and absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on your marriage!

  6. Jessica said: September 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

    These are amazing pictures, you are so talented. Congratulations on your wedding, sounds like you’re going to have a great life ahead of you!
    I hope you do go on that ‘in-depth’ trip back to Zambia for some more photo’s! It’s an amazing place!
    Have fun!

  7. Sandra said: September 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Will, great pics as always. I love your work (Matt’s too) because you give the impression of being so close to the animals… It’s like being inside your pictures.

    I was wondering if, in the future, you might tell us more about your trips. In other words, how do you chose your destination, how do you plan it, do you work with a local agency, do you everything on your own, what gear do you bring with you… All that kind of stuff.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences with us! :)

  8. Deborah Smith said: September 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

    These pictures are awesome, but I want to comment on the spider picture. That is the most awesome picture that I have seen in a while. Very original. Great job!

    Deb Smith

  9. Leanora Swist said: September 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for sharing thes with us, wonderful pictures, congratulations on you marriage,and I hope the honeymoon lasts as long as ours (36 yrs so far)

  10. Ian Heppleston said: September 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Congratulations & best wishes to you both.

    May you have good health,much happiness,& a long fullfilling life together.

    Many Thanks for shareing your beautiful photos & the information which was most interesting.

    Cheers
    Ian

  11. Luis said: September 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Magnificas fotos. Especial la de:
    ¨Possibly my favourite image from the whole trip is this one of Nat looking out over the falls at sunset¨

  12. Marion said: September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Congratulations & best wishes.

    These pictures are awesome and I love them.

    Thank you for sharing

  13. robert said: September 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    great set of images thanks for sharing love the spider one cause i love wild spiders

  14. David Simon said: September 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulation. I am happy to see the pictures you shared. Wish you a lasting happy marriage.

  15. Will said: September 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for all the nice comments guys! :)

  16. Debbie said: September 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I was in both of these parks this past July and agree with your comment of them being quieter than places like Kenya. We didn’t get to see a serval though. The picture is beautiful.

  17. Millie James said: September 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

    CONGRATULATIONS….. You’ve just embarked on the best journey yet…. Pix are as wonderful as ever ! ! !

  18. Deborah Flowers said: September 12, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Congratulations on your Marriage! Looks like you two had a beautiful and magnificent Honeymoon as evidenced in these pictures. I can’t choose a fave, they are all equally fabulous, each in it’s own different way. Though I will say, those conditions in which you captured the Serval Cat are absolutly astounding! You have definitely got the gear to match your talent.
    Agin, Congrats! and thanks for sharing!

  19. secretgardenpics said: September 12, 2010 at 1:40 am

    You people take the most beautiful pics I have ever seen and you have the means to go to the most beautiful places in the world. Congrats and hope you enjoy your lives together.
    suzi

  20. Kim said: September 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    What a beautiful place to enjoy your honeymoon and the pictures are fantastic! The spider shot is breath-taking!!

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