Zambia is home to one half of Victoria Falls, one of seven natural wonders of the world. Beyond that, most of us Singaporeans don’t know much about the country. Eyebrows were raised when I revealed where I’m headed for for my annual leave.
The main purpose of Mummy’s trip to Zambia was to join World Vision Singapore in a 6-day visit. World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision Singapore is a branch of World Vision International and a registered charity with Commissioner of Charity in Singapore (Source: giving.sg). Find out more about them on their official website.
WV organises Child Sponsors’ Trips regularly for their supporters to get to know their field work and for sponsors to meet their sponsored child. Mummy joined World Vision Singapore on their trip to Zambia in June 2017. After the WV trip, I had a trip extension with a few other trippers. During the trip, I had a chance to visit their Area Development Plan projects in Musosolokwe, Zambia and paid a visit to my sponsored child’s home. Another 6 days were taken up for flights and trip extension.
There are not many flights options from Singapore to Lusaka. Here are 3 of them that I know:
1. Singapore – Dubai – Lusaka
2. Singapore – Johannesburg – Lusaka
3. Singapore – Addis Ababa – Lusaka
I chose the first one as I was traveling alone and yet wanted to maximise what I get out of the trip. That included some time to explore Dubai. It was a more expensive option though but not sure if it was the most costly one.
Day 1: Midnight flight to Dubai, reaching my destination at around 5am. Spent the day in Dubai. Visited Jumeirah Mosque, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain. Overnight in Dubai (Rove Downtown Dubai).
Days 2: Flight to Lusaka for WV program. Overnight in Kabwe (Neem Park Courtyard).
Days 3-6: WV child sponsorship visit. Overnight in Kabwe (Neem Park Courtyard).
Day 7: End of WV program in the afternoon. Flight to Livingstone via Proflight Zambia. Overnight in Livingstone (La Patino B&B).
Day 8: Cross the border into Zimbabwe and visited Victoria Falls Town and Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. Overnight in Livingstone (La Patino B&B).
Day 9: Cross the border into Botswana and visited Chobe National Park. Overnight in Livingstone (La Patino B&B).
Day 10: Victoria Falls, Zambia. Flight to Lusaka and thereafter overnight flight to Dubai.
Day 11: Day in Dubai. The Souks, Abra ride, Palm monorail, Atlantis, shopping. Overnight in Dubai (City Seasons Tower).
Day 12: Flight home. Home sweet home.
For this trip, we took a total of 6 flights.
1. Singapore to Dubai (Day 1)
2. Dubai to Lusaka (Day 2)
3. Lusaka to Livingstone (Day 7)
4. Livingstone to Lusaka (Day 10)
5. Lusaka to Dubai (Day 10)
6. Dubai to Singapore (Day 12)
To cut down the traveling time and save on our annual leaves, we decided to travel between Lusaka and Livingstone by plane.
We did border-crossing on 2 days to Zimbabwe and Botswana. Zimbabwe was added to our itinerary as we wanted to see both sides of the Victoria Falls. Botswana is famous for its wildlife and National Parks. We chose to visit Botswana’s Chobe National Park, which is known to have high concentration of game, for our African Safari experience. We were certainly not disappointed.
With 6 flights totaling 32 hours over 12 days, there was insufficient time to cover much places in the 4 countries I visited, namely the United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
It was my first time visiting the African continent and a Middle East country. Despite getting to know these places through various media, there was still an element of venturing into the unknown for me. Despite the short duration of the trip, I got to experience life on different ends of the wealth spectrum. Immense wealth in a city and life below the poverty line in the rural areas of another. Yet the people in the latter overwhelmed us with their warmth and smiles. More on that in a future post.