Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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After a restless night due to aches and pains, we rise early to visit the area of Victoria Falls. The breakfast at the hotel is perfect, with a great variety of choice of bread, fruit, cereals, and warm food like eggs made to order, potatoes, sausage, tomato, bacon etc. We head out towards the town, where I use much more caution now when crossing the road. Along the way we are approached by peddlers trying to sell us all kinds of trinkets. When you show no interest the prices for these trinkets drop dramatically until one wooden bowl for 40 USD, drops to 4 bowls for 2 USD. The comment “no business” appears to work to quickly get rid of peddlers, though sometime it just means their pricing changes to Rands, as they think we are South Africans.

A short walk through the bush, across the train rails and a right turn at the road leads us to the bridge across the Zambezi leading into Zambia. We need to go through immigrations to enter Zambia for which we already have a visa. The bridge is a good vantage point to see another angle of Victoria Falls. It’s also a point from which some souls braver than me attempt to bungy jump. The proprietor of the bungy jump installation invites me to try it, but one glance off the bridge makes my stomach turn and extinguish any thoughts of bravery on my end. After admiring the view of the Falls from the bridge and taking pictures, we continue to the other side. There we ascend some steps to another view point, where more photographs are taken. We continue along many parked trucks waiting to cross the border into Zimbabwe, before we too turn around and head back. Livingstone is still several kms away, and we still need to walk a considerable distance to see Victoria Falls.

Back at the entrance to Mosi-Oa-Tunya we buy tickets to enter the National Park, at 30 USD per person not very cheap, though locals only pay 7 USD. As we start down the path to the Falls we soon notice it’s worth every penny. At the first turn towards the waterfall we hear the thundering noise of the water and feel the spray on our skin. Along the trail there are different view points of the waterfall, each point even more impressive than the next. The light spray of water soon turns into a downright splashing and by the time we are at the end of the trail we are drenched down to our underwear. It’s comparable to wading through a river, even though you never enter the water. The dry air away from the waterfall dries our clothes quickly, and by the time we leave the park, we’re dry again.

On the way back we plan to have lunch at the Victoria Falls Lodge. However it’s packed so just enjoy the view of the bridge from here. We stop for a bite to eat at Mama Africa’s Eating place. I have a burger and Gepke has a sandwich, neither was impressive culinarily speaking, but it hit the spot. We start the trek back to the hotel, and along the way nearly trip over a warthog and are menaced by baboons.

Back at the hotel we freshen up an get ready to meet our fellow travelers and guide for the trip. As usual on these tours, it’s an international group with people from Canada, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, USA and UK. Our tour leader Jaco comes from South Africa, and our driver Dion is from Namibia. They speak Afrikaans with each other, and I ask them to do that to me too so I can pick up some more of this language. Jaco explains some of the rules during our trip, and lets us know what will be happening the coming days. We all have a meal together and get to know one and other.

Next: Botswana

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