We woke up very early the next morning and flew to to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this part of our trip. Victoria Falls was incredible, however it took almost 60 hours of our trip to see this wonder of the world.
I was debriefing it with a friend who visits Botswana often, and I now think Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is a better excursion from Botswana rather than from South Africa. Doing Vic Falls + Botswana would take less time from your main trip.
When we first arrived we did not go and see the falls. You need to pay an entry to the park and we did not know how long it would take so we saved it for the next day. We ended up at a cafe that overlooks a gorge. We had some beers here and watched people bungee jump and use these giant swings. If you have ever read this blog, you know that I find adrenaline repellent, so I’ll never understand this sort of tourism.
We booked a dinner at someone’s home with a tour company called, Wild Horizons. The experience was nice. The woman who we visited, Simby was her name, had us eat in her living room. We ate with our hands, which was unique for all of us. Additionally we tried mopane. Mopane are worms that are dehydrated and then fried. I thought they tasted like stale nuts. There is not much to do in Victoria Falls, so it was a unique evening. It felt a little bit like poverty tourism, which I do not like at all. However, the dinner and the conversation with our hostess was really nice.
The next day we went to Victoria Falls. These waterfalls are incredible. They are so massive, that you cannot see them all at the same time. We got really wet as we walked along them, but it was totally worth it. Waterfalls are a reminders of the mighty power of mother nature. She frequently seems aloof, but these falls will not let you forget the untamed power of our planet. It was a lot of fun, but did not make for good photographs.
We went back to the hotel to change and decided to check out the bridge that separates Zimbabwe and Zambia. None of us had the right visa from Zimbabwe to officially leave, so we could not enter Zambia, so we just walked across the bridge without going through a border office.
Oddly enough, there is a cafe in Zambia before the border authorities. You can walk to the cafe without officially going to Zambia. Thus I have been in Zambia, but all I have done is crossed over to a cafe and watched people bungee jump while I had a Zambian beer.
At the end of the day we decided to take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. We booked with the Zambezi Explorer and decided to go big. We booked the signature deck and the follow up dinner.
The signature deck was the top deck of this beautiful 3 deck luxury yacht. There was a host, a waiter, and a bartender for our deck and we made up 4 of the 5 guests! When you board you are escorted to to a set of couches at the front of the deck and your drink orders are taken. I asked what he had and he recommended a double gin and tonic. That recommendation set the tone for the next 3 hours. There I am, a white guy with with money drinking gin and tonics on the Zambezi river, I felt like quite the asshole.
On the cruise we saw a lot of hippos. The sunset was brilliant. We saw a few giraffe in the distance, and we were amazed by them. Little did we know this view would be unmemorable in a few days when when we got to safari.
The food during this part of the cruise was really good, and very decadent. There were many
different appetizers, but I was the most surprised when they served us a sushi roll. And guess what? It was a really good roll. The boat docks when it gets dark and most of the guests are escorted off. We stayed on the boat and were served a proper meal. I had a steak of some wild game. We ate by candlelight and a full moon that sat large in the sky and mirrored long across the water. It was really beautiful.
When it was over we headed back to the hotel for late morning flight to Johannesburg.