Day 30-32: April 2-4,2018. Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia!
Flew from South Africa to Zimbabwe and arrived at the Shearwater Explorers Hotel. It is a very cute hotel with thatched roofs and nice little pool and bar. For excursions, we signed up for a sunset river cruise down the Zambezi that evening. We hopped on a boat with an unlimited bar and saw elephants, hippos, and a crocodile as we cruised down the river during sunset.
Afterwards we walked around the quiet town and lounged at the hotel.
Today, we explored the Victoria falls from
the Zimbabwe side.The Scottish explorer David Livingstone apparently was shown the falls and gave it the name Victoria Falls after the British Queen Elizabeth.The locals refer Victoria Falls as Mosi-otunya, the “Smoke that Thunders.” They decided to keep the name Victoria Falls as it was a more memorable name for tourism.
In the morning, we took a helicopter flight over the falls and could view the waterfall spray way up high in the air and also the gorges zigzagging showing how the falls have moved over time with erosion.
The falls runs through the Zambezi river and one half is in Zimbabwe and the other half is in Zambia. The falls lie on the Zambia side so it is actually better viewed from the Zimbabwe side where there are 16 viewpoints where we viewed it on foot later in the day. It was a wetter time of year so there was a lot of water coming up from the falls that look like smoke and about half the viewpoints looked like a whiteout with how much water came up and we got drenched!
At some points such as the historic bridge you can see what looks like a double rainbow but it is actually a reflection of the first rainbow as the colors are reversed. The railway that ran over the bridge was imagined to be built all the way to Cairo but it was never completed that far. This famous bridge is where people bungee jump, zipline (slide), and swing (tandem and single). We watched some people take the death defying bungee and swing off the bridge and survived. To cross onto the bridge you need a Visa for the Zambia side. We got a visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia for $50 US.
Other activities that could be done in the area were a type of hang gliding (microgliding), walking to knife edge bridge close to the falls on the zambia side, day safari’s in Botwana nearby, and swimming in Devil’ pool and white water rafting when there is less water. There was apparently Angel’s pool in the falls that could be swam in at this time (with hippos nearby).
Later that evening, we had dinner at the famous Victoria Falls Hotel that was built in the early 1900s after the bridge was built. It is a nice British colonial hotel with an outdoor restaurant with a view of the bridge and some of the falls. There were some resident warthogs that ran across the lawn. Every month around a full moon a moonbow (aka lunar rainbow) can be seem at night (a rainbow seen at night by the moonlight). We unfortunately just missed this by a day or so! It is one of the only places in the world to see this phenomenon as other places with falls have too much light pollution to see it.
That morning I walked around the town and saw a restaurant near the Elephant walk where they had crocodile diving. They had a pool with 3 crocodiles (one of them being albino)! Walked to some shops with seemingly the same items with as wood and stone carvings, magnets, jewelry, etc.
Fly out back to Johannesburg (S. Africa), then layover to Dubai (8 hrs), then 13 hr flight to Melbourne.