Sioma Falls, Zambia

One of Seven cascades, Sioma Falls, Zambia

One of Seven cascades, Sioma Falls, Zambia

A stopover in Mundo gave the opportunity to restock, restore and for me, to update on my travel back(b)log. I had a lot to catch up on and good, strong wifi is hard to find. The Italians are going the same path as I will, we just didn’t know where we would meet up again.

Reed sunset of calm waters, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Reed sunset of calm waters, Sioma Falls, Zambia

It was late afternoon by the time I left Mundo. Following the Zambezi River’s current south, that was the plan.

Light display and reflections near Sioma Falls, Zambia

Light display and reflections near Sioma Falls, Zambia

I didn’t get far before I found a perfect little free camp spot next to a sidearm of the Zambezi. Mirror calm waters and no wind, the sun setting a long way over the horizon. This will be spectacular. That turned out to be an understatement.

A purple ring appears around the yellow sun near Sioma Falls, Zambia

A purple ring appears around the yellow sun near Sioma Falls, Zambia

As the glowing orange ball set lower and lower, a purple ring appeared on my lens.

More and more purple covers the yellow sun near Sioma Falls, Zambia

More and more purple covers the yellow sun near Sioma Falls, Zambia

Not visible with my eyes, I looked through the camera in amazement.

Purple ping pin ball over calm waters near Sioma Falls, Zambia

Purple ping pin ball over calm waters near Sioma Falls, Zambia

At some stage, the sun had changed into a purple pinball over Zambia’s plains. 

The first symptoms of malaria are Influenza like. And this is how I felt this morning. I didn’t have fever and felt fine apart from that, another malaria symptom that comes and goes. As I sat in an aircon Internet cafe for hours yesterday, I hoped for the best.

Early morning waders near Sioma Falls, Zambia

Early morning waders near Sioma Falls, Zambia

Crossing the Zambezi via ferry once again, I followed the sandy track south via numerous communities to ‘Sioma Falls’, a smaller version of the upcoming majestic ‘Victoria Falls’.

The closest cascades at Sioma Falls, Zambia

The closest cascades at Sioma Falls, Zambia

National Park host Samuel guided me over mini islands to the main viewpoint off ‘Sioma Falls’, explaining history and geology.

Cascades upstream, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Cascades upstream, Sioma Falls, Zambia

There are 7 Cascades all up, formed by volcanic and platonic activities. Add the sheer force of the Zambezi River to that and you see an impressive sight of nature’s strength. The rising sun and the distance didn’t work in my favour for slow shutter speed photos.

Sioma Falls in sepia, Zambia

Sioma Falls in sepia, Zambia

As I inquired about camping, Samuel said that they had a big group of Italians camping last night. I had a big grin on my face and said ‘I think I know who they are’. I wasn’t going to camp here, but couldn’t pass without saying ‘Buon Giorno’. A very happy warm welcome received our appearance, really nice.

Italian fishing ensemble, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Italian fishing ensemble, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Most of the Italians were on the beach by the river; fishing, chatting and sunbathing. ‘This is how a real easy day looks like’ I asked Claudio as I surprised him with a fishing rod in his hand. His cheerful welcome showed that he didn’t expect anything less than a cheeky comment from me.

Eduardo with fishing rod, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Eduardo with fishing rod, Sioma Falls, Zambia

I showed Eduardo a few fishing tricks and handed him the prepared setup. Riccardo and Pietro chilled by the river, whilst Giovanni patiently waited for some fishing action.

Riccardo and Pietro, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Riccardo and Pietro, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Back at the shady camp, I confirmed malaria symptoms with  ‘Doctore Guido’. Meh, I best have a checkup. Jasmine joined me for a trip to the nearby health clinic. A drop of blood was added to a pregnancy like kit test, which added laughter to an anxious wait. Negative, I wasn’t pregnant. Needless to describe my relief. A friendly, efficient, quick and cost-free doctor visit in Africa? Never seems to amaze me. A sign of relief was obvious on Italian faces after sharing the news to my adopted Italian family.

Zambia versus squattro azzurri, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Zambia versus squattro azzurri, Sioma Falls, Zambia

A young school group from nearby Sesheke walked to the beach and asked to borrow the football.

The girls had just as much fun, Sioma Falls, Zambia

The girls had just as much fun, Sioma Falls, Zambia

It took a bit persuading, but eventually, our Italian teenagers joined them for a friendly international football game. Who wanted to miss that? Spectators from both nations cheered on in laughter, what a great sight.

Gooooaaalllll! Sioma Falls, Zambia

Gooooaaalllll! Sioma Falls, Zambia

The Italian boys showed a few tricks, but the home team sure had a home sand advantage. I think, the score was 4 all. A better game than this year’s World Cup final. No money, no politics, no acting. Just pure fun. That’s what football or any sport should be all about.

The boys were to shy to join me, Sioma Falls, Zambia

The boys were to shy to join me, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Three boys were sitting on some boulders to the right,

First of the girls to sit next to me, Sioma Falls , Zambia

First of the girls to sit next to me, Sioma Falls , Zambia

as some sand covered pretty young girls came over to join me.

Cute smiles all around, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Cute smiles all around, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Well, what can I say? Yes please!

Innocent smile, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Innocent smile, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Happy, cheeky faces, sand covered dreads and late afternoon sunlight. How could I possibly say no to this invite?

My favourite photo, Sioma Falls, Zambia

My favourite photo, Sioma Falls, Zambia

The sunlight sure worked in my favour this time.

Head from behind, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Head from behind, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Particularly in monochrome mode,

Fantastic combination, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Fantastic combination, Sioma Falls, Zambia

the faces,

Dreadful hair, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Dreadful hair, Sioma Falls, Zambia

hair pattern,

Almost perfect, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Almost perfect, Sioma Falls, Zambia

and shadows were striking, just irresistible for my camera. Some of my all-time favourite close-ups so far.

Three princesses, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Three princesses, Sioma Falls, Zambia

They weren’t shy either and happily posed in front of my OM-D.

Double header, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Double header, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Pushing all looking cool gestures, this was just incredible.

School class from Sesheke, Sioma Falls, Zambia

School class from Sesheke, Sioma Falls, Zambia

A group farewell photo was a must.

The show went on, Sioma Falls, Zambia

The show went on, Sioma Falls, Zambia

The happy atmosphere infected all.

Jasmine giving Vittoria a spin, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Jasmine giving Vittoria a spin, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Jasmine gave Vittoria a spin,

Friends in arms, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Friends in arms, Sioma Falls, Zambia

before joining Chiara for some playful antics in the sand.

Card wheeling, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Card wheeling, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Their cartwheels in the soft sand were impressive, as was Eduardo’s effort.

Eduardo enjoyed the soft sand, Sioma Falls, Zambia

Eduardo enjoyed the soft sand, Sioma Falls, Zambia

It was just an unexpected amazing afternoon, not much else to add. I am glad I came by to say ‘hello’, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this happy gathering for anything.

Pasta and ‘Spritzer’ for dinner and an amusing gathering around the bush tv ended the day nicely.

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