|Traveller Home Zimbabwe|
We all awoke at around 8:00 a.m. the next morning - mainly because we were so hungry, so Mike (the Brit), Rich and I went out to get some food. We started walking to the Vic Falls Hotel to get breaky, but we could see white mist rising up into the air over the tree line so we headed directly towards the falls instead. We got to the National Park, paid the fee and headed straight to the viewing areas.
Victoria Falls are 90 meters high and are one of the seven natural wonders of the world. They are spectacular - so majestic & so big! We were absolutely mesmerized by the falls themselves. The falls are larger than Niagra Falls and absolutely amazing. We were there are the perfect time of the morning where one is able to see two rainbows created by the mist being sent up into the sky by the thundering falls. We wandered through the park, stopping at every view point along the way. It was so amazing - every time we got to a new lookout the falls looked more and more spectacular.
The mist from the falls rains down on once certain part of the park and there's a definite climactic change in that area. The mist has created a true rain forest in the middle of a very dry national park. Amazing. Plus, there are tone of monkeys and baboons playing in the trees and walking around all over the place. We wandered through the park for a couple of hours looking at the falls and watching the monkeys, but eventually we felt like we were participants in a hunger strike and our brains were beginning to deteriorate so we left the park in search of food.
We headed over to the Victoria Falls Hotel - the one place in the city which just exuded with colonialism. This hotel is so colonial. It is reminiscent of the Hotel Del Coronado, in atmosphere and architecture, and one could tell that this was once a true colonial hangout for the British expatriates. It's elegantly decorated and their terrace looks out directly over the gorge where the Zambezi river runs. It is truly beautiful.
We got there too late for breakfast so the three of us sat on the terrace and had tea and scones instead. We were definitely in our element. After enjoying the colonialism of the hotel, we wandered through the local crafts market before heading back to the chalet at the campground to relax. Rich and I went back to the falls a second tie later that afternoon - they are truly mesmerizing - they draw you back again and again. After standing and looking at the falls for a few more hours we walked back to the chalet, stopping off at the post office to place a collect call to Sacramento to get the latest news flash from the family in California. We wandered around the city some more before heading to the chalet for some rest.
30th November 1992, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe -
Vic Falls sits on the Zambezi river, which doubles as the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Rich and I got up, had our all you can eat buffet breakfast (which was quickly becoming the norm) and decided to go across the bridge to the Zambian side of the falls for a look. We cleared immigration and immediately I could tell I was in a different country. Zimbabwe is so modern and with it, but once you cross the border one can tell that Zambia is a true Third World country.
The buildings are a bit more run down, the roads in poor condition - it was a totally different feeling and all we'd done was take a twenty five minute walk across the river. After looking at the crafts market just after Zambian immigration we wandered over to the falls where I laid down on the rocks and hung my head right over the edge so I could look right into the falls. You could almost feel nature's true power when looking over the edge; the falls are so spectacular.
Too bad the falls are only fifty percent the size that they used to be. There's been a major drought going on and the falls have been progressively getting smaller and smaller. We were forced to walk across 150 yards of rock that used to be covered with rushing water form the Zambezi - no longer. After sitting for a while at the falls we headed back towards the Zimbabwean border, but not before going back to the crafts market to see if there was anything I might need to send home before leaving Vic Falls. Since we didn't know when the truck was going to be arriving we just bargained the dealers down a bit on certain items so they'd be cheaper when we returned to really buy them.
Couldn't stay in the market too long - we were due back in Zimbabwe, for we were booked on a sunset booze cruise on the Zambezi river. We got back just in time to catch the shuttle to the boat. Since the Zambezi is chock full of crocodiles and hippos, why not go for an evening game-viewing cruise and get pissed in the process? The boat pulled away from the dock just as the first beer was opened and wine bottle uncorked. Our mobile cocktail party cruised down the river under a brilliant sunset while we watched the hippos pop their heads out of the water to see what the human folk were up to.
We did see quite a few of them, floating in the water with their mouths agape before they submerged to go looking for dinner. An hour or so and quite a few glasses of wine later we pulled back up to shore where we poured ourselves into the shuttle which would take us back into town. We went straight to one of the local hotels for more booze (just what we needed) and I ended up having a crocodile filet with cheese sauce. It was out of this worked - super tasty. Croc has the consistency of an overcooked fish stick, but doesn't have a strong fish taste at all - it's really nice.
After a few more drinks I left with Jenny and Stephanie because we were too drunk to cope. Hitched a ride with a Zim dude who graciously dropped us off at our chalet. Head hit the pillow and I was out like a light.
1st December 1992, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe -
Woke up, sans hangover (unlike a few others in our group) and headed to the Vic Falls Hotel for breakfast. After our tea and scones experience Rich and I wanted to see what a buffet breakfast there might be like. Remember I mentioned the "travel river" - the route that most travellers follow, gathering the information on where to go as they talk to others? Well that theory id 100% true. You do continue to see the same people over and over when you're travelling around like this. On our way to the hotel for breakfast we ran into this Aussie guy and Danish girl who we'd met in Lilongwe, Malawi and then again at Cape MacLear. Had a word with them and went to breakfast tripping off the fact that we'd seen them again.
On our way back to the campsite we stopped off at the post office for a minute where we met two more people we'd travelled on one of the Malawian hell buses with down to Blantyre. Had a chat with them and continued on to the campsite where we met yet two more people from Malawi - Jessica and Lucy - two very British girls from London. Since we were both lusting after these girls we immediately began to organize to do thins with them - it was nice breaking away from the people on the truck. We ended up taking the girls to show them Vic Falls (again) and I arranged for them to come white water rafting on the Zambezi with us the following day. It was getting too hot so we all too naps and arranged to meet for dinner later.
After our naps and dinner we headed over to Vic Falls newest nightclub - Explorers. This place was the S.Africans version of a college drinking club, only in Africa. Tin y bar - loud music and lots of drunk people in their mid twenties. It was good fun but we were stuffed from walking all day so we headed back and went to sleep.