With a few days to fill at the tail end of their South African adventure, our member Flying mermaid decided to visit the world-famous Victoria Falls. The visit certainly did not disappoint!
The falls are awesome!! and so long – we have only seen a tiny stretch so far and we walked a long way. We walked across the Knife Edge Bridge and some of the teenagers were having fun barefoot surfing back down it. It runs slightly downhill and with a reasonably slippery surface and covered in water they could run a bit and then slide the rest of the way down – with a minimal barrier, a very narrow bridge and a long way down they were scary to watch. At this time of year the water is in full flood and running very fast…
We saw so many rainbows – just beautiful. Apart from the spray it rains sporadically – the spray shoots up, condenses and comes back as rain.
Filling in four days in this amazing destination was not a problem. There are many things to do and many different ways to experience this natural wonder, from cruises to helicopter flyovers.
After checking in we went to the desk to book various activities. Livingstone Island this morning, Cruise this afternoon, Helicopter tomorrow and dinner on the train on Wednesday. Somewhere in there we figured we would have time to walk over to Zimbabwe across the bridge.
There are two sides to the Victoria Falls, the Zambian and the Zimbabwean side. After a toss up between the Royal Livingstone on the Zambian side and the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe, our member decided to book at the Royal Livingstone and was impressed with the hospitality at the hotel, as well as the views of the waterfall from the Zambian side.
But there are advantages to viewing the falls from both sides, and it was decided to cross over to Zimbabwe one morning. It’s nice to get another perspective, though it seems the Zimbabwean side is a bit more run-down. The market there, which has a reputation for overly pushy salespeople, was avoided but it was difficult to completely avoid people trying to sell things. This is to be expected though in this part of the world as many of the locals depend on tourism for their livelihoods.
The view from the bridge was beautiful. Bungee jumping takes place here as well. Young men sell curios all the way from a bit before the Zambian post to the curio market on the Zimbabwe side. I think the all attend a Fagin training school as they all have the same spiel. Generally offer a helpful hint of some sort, then where are you from. Then you get Aussie, Aussie Oi Oi, usually followed by a conversation on kangaroos, then what do you do? which allows them to tell you they are an artist and show you whatever is it that they are selling. One guy, Paddy, was a little more interesting – he had memorised all the Aus Prime Ministers going back to Barton. I am a bit of a soft touch and bought a few things. Everyone was very pleasant, although pushy.
The pushy salespeople didn’t seem to spoil an incredible experience. The photos in this trip report are bound to whet your travel appetite!
What else will our correspondent get up to? What animals will be encountered along the way? Come along for the ride HERE, and discover this amazing part of the world.