Our canoe safari was incredibly relaxing, just taking in the sights sounds and feel of gliding serenely down this ebbing and flowing artery of Africa. We reluctantly returned to shore, bid farewell to our canoe team (when canoeing, you will always have at least three boats, safety in numbers when it comes to possibly encountering a hippo!). We journeyed back to camp where we ventured back to our room to relax a little before coming back to the main area to enjoy some delicious delights for lunch!
Lunch, as always at Matetsi, was delicious. Always wanting to try the local cuisine and daily specials, todays was somewhat of a different experience. There were burgers and home-made chips on the menu, so we decided, with huge stress, that we had to sample the burger!! And boy was it a good decision. Everything is of course locally sources, but the chefs are so talented they seem to absolutely nail the menu every single time. The flavours are impeccable, there’s not too much and not too little either as sometimes you can be over swamped by food at many camps, Matetsi have a super balance of just enough but leaving you not too full.
We spent the afternoon relaxing in our room, by the plunge pool enjoying the views of the river below. Numerous birds flew all around us in the passing hours, chirruping and chatting as they chose certain twigs and branches for nests, or chasing of rival males whilst trying to woo a female. A female bushbuck tentatively made her way in front of our room, taking a few steps forwards, then nervously ducking her head, and taking some steps back, repeating the process for the next half an hour or so. These moments when you are still and not bouncing around in a vehicle are truly magical.
Returning to the main area we met with Jonathan again where we ventured out on our next adventure – a river cruise! It was the perfect evening for an activity such as this; the water was calm, there was barely a breeze in the air and sky was, for once, clear of any clouds or storm clouds on the horizon. We set off and mozied along the banks approaching a herd of elephants who had been drinking from the river and were now scratching within the banks of the river to snack on minerals from the earth. We cruised serenely onwards, passing jacaranda birds, herons that look like plants, merging into their surroundings so superbly, then we rested next door to a large crocodile. These creatures are so prehistoric with their reptilian skin and cold eyes but fascinating none the less and hugely important part of the eco-system and circle of life on the Zambezi River.
Rosé in hand, the sun setting in the distance and the sky changing colour dramatically every couple of minutes, we listened in peace to the surrounding wildlife change from day to nocturnal animals. What was also so magical about this experience was seeing the moon, full glow takes over the luminescence from the sun. It was reflecting perfectly off the still waters of the Zambezi River as we cruised back to where we had begun. We didn’t want this evening to end, it was pure bliss.