Approximately 0 kilometers. After four days of hard riding, we had the pleasure of having a rest day on Lake Kariba!
Before lunch a group of us took a trip to the Crocodile farm near the lodge we camped at. While the “farm” idea didn’t sit well with many of us, after touring the farm and learning how the farm worked with local authorities, we were far more comfortable with the whole operation. In addition to employing over three hundred local Zambians, the farm breeds crocodiles for skins and meat. The part we liked best, however, was their agreement to provide crocs for release into Lake Kariba should the population of wild crocs fall below normal numbers, combining income generating business and employment with local wildlife conservation efforts.
The majority of us were happy to take the provided safari truck into the farm, but a few Bike Zambia riders (Jacky and Peter), our wonderful host Sean from Thorntree Safaris and his son, Chembe, and ride leader Henk insisted on riding their bikes, even on the rest day.
We were able to view crocs from one year old to over fifty. The small crocs are fed with pellets made of chicken, beef, blood, maize, and . . . stuff. These small crocs are no danger to people beyond finger nips and the workers freely work in the enclosures. We had the pleasure of “meeting” a young croc who was happy to have us pet his belly.
After viewing the young croc enclosures we were driven into the area where breeding crocs are allowed to roam in a large (fenced in) natural area on Lake Kariba that has been set aside for them. The huge older crocs are beautiful and terrifying, but will be happy to move if poked with a big stick.
After a morning of relaxing and croc viewing, we were treated to a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Kariba. The cruise itself started at three pm. so we had plenty of time to get into the middle of the lake before the red african sun set. Surrounded by the calm waters of Lake Kariba, our group had a chance to relax and discuss their individual and group experiences in Zambia thus far and prepare for the two days of cycling that lay ahead of us. By the time we returned to camp our bellies were full of amazing food, our hearts were full of love for Zambia and each other, and we were fully recharged for a grueling day of biking through sand.