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Beauty of Zambia, Comfort of Home

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We spent a beautiful final two days in Zambia, and we got to see the incredible Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The magnitude of this natural wonder was really beyond words. We were lucky to go on a beautiful and bright day, and we even saw a huge double rainbow from the mist of the falls.

We had a light dinner and an early night before heading to Botswana the next morning for our safari. After a 45-minute ride to the border and some customs formalities, we began our day with a water cruise safari. We saw crocodiles, lizards, elephants, hippos and the demonic-looking African darters (also known as snake birds). We even saw impala, water buffalo and baboons from afar!

After a short lunch, we started our land safari, in which we got even more up close and personal with the natural wonders of Botswana. For a while, we were just 5-10 feet from a large herd of elephants (close enough to consider stealing the adorable baby elephant being protected by the herd), and we even had one elephant chase after us for a little while, seemingly disappointed that we didn’t want to keep looking at him. There were beautiful giraffes, mongooses, impalas and (my favorite) sable antelopes. We were sad to leave the Chobe National Part that afternoon, but we left Botswana to head back to the hotel, pack and get ready for our journey home. We had our final dinner together as a group, and it was an extra special dinner because we got to celebrate the birthday of one of our trip participants, Ross. Ba Margaret also took the chance to share some photos and stories about how Hope first started, and it was nice to have a moment to think about all that we’d seen over the past week and a half.

The morning started early for most of the group, and we headed to the airport around 7:30 in the morning. After four flights and nearly 1.5 days of travel, we made it back to Chicago safely. It was bittersweet coming home, as I think we’d all made or deepened connections with the children of Hope, the staff and the beautiful country of Zambia. Here’s hoping we’ll all be able to go back soon and see even more progress for the children.

Thanks to all of you who have followed the blog during our trip. We’ve loved sharing our experience with you, and we’re looking forward to sharing many more journeys with you!

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