Taking To The Skies

Written By: The Lowdown - Aug• 01•13

Cover - 2013-08To drive from Livingstone to Lusaka is five hours solid driving. It is a tiring journey watching out for the odd pothole (not too many these days, thank goodness), cows, donkeys, people and keeping an eye open for bad drivers. So when I was asked to go to Lusaka and was given a ticket to fly, I was more than happy. Actually I hadn’t been to Lusaka in years – probably about four years – just because I dreaded the drive there and back.

I walked over to the airport as I live nearby, greeting the staff and chatting as I arrived. I found the airport cat cleaning itself in the domestic departure lounge; all the passengers seemed to be entertained by her presence.

We all sat and waited for the call to get onto the Proflight plane. I had a look at the new construction going on at the airport – it is going to be massive when it is finished and make us look very modern. Meanwhile the cat had come outside and was trying to catch a drongo, failing miserably.

As we took off I looked down over Dambwa Forest with the hope of seeing some elephants, but I didn’t notice any. With over a hundred elephant now roaming around Livingstone it would not have been unusual to see them there. I did notice that the fence around the airport was down in some places and knew that the elephants had visited.

I love seeing Africa from the sky – a magical experience. As we flew over the landscape I looked down through the odd cloud trying to recognise places I know so well. Over the farming areas around Choma and Mazabuka I could see the commercial farms with their massive circles of, I assumed, wheat watered by centre pivots. Then we went over the Kafue River, now quite low, snaking between the swamps providing a haven for lechwe and sitatunga. It reminded me of my recent trip to Lochinvar National Park on the southern edge of the Kafue River and its floodplain.

As we arrived over Lusaka I could see the sprawl of the capital gradually moving outwards. The homes full of people who had arrived for work or to try to get work as Zambia goes through an economic boom. Lusaka has a population of around 2 million – around 15% of Zambia’s population. I was so glad that I didn’t live there.

Touching down in Lusaka, fresh and ready for a days work, I reflected on what a quick and easy trip it had been, boarding formalities in Livingstone (and on the return journey) were quick and painless, the aircraft was comfortable with professional, polite and pleasant crew. Plus we were on time.

And best of all, I knew that the next day I would be home within an hour.

Taking To The Skies


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.