Victoria Falls

The falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


Today marks my one month point of being away. It has flown by!

Given we have been at Victoria Falls town for almost 2 days now and I haven’t heard, let alone seen the falls, it’s about time I went for a look!

Not too fast, time for a spot of shopping first! Went for a walk around the curio markets and stocked up on gifts! You certainly need your bartering skills here. Once you’ve bought a couple of things, they’re all chasing you around offering everything imaginable – all kinds of animals in both wood and stone, jewellery, bowls, paintings, fabric…

Finally, time to venture out to the falls. After paying our $30 entrance fee we were off on the 5km walk around the falls.

Victoria Falls, known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning the smoke that thunders) is the 7th Natural Wonder of the World as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 1 million litres fall per second down a 108 meter drop across the 1.7km long waterfall.

Along with being a spectacular sight in itself, Victoria Falls seems to be the activity capital of Africa, with something for everyone – micro lighting, helicopters, zip lines, gorge swing, game drives, white water rafting etc. Up until 2 weeks ago it was also possible to bungee jump from the bridge spanning the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, however after an unfortunate accident, the jump has been suspended. Bit of a shame as I was considering doing it!

1.1327607391.rainbow

The falls are part of the Zambezi river (or Great River in local Tonga language) is the fourth longest river in Africa. The river flows for 2,700km through 6 countries – from its source in Zambia, through Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

We walked along the length of the falls and it became more spectacular as we went along. It also became wetter and wetter! The spray from the falls extends up into the sky and comes back at you as almost rain. We were soaked through! (not good for cameras!). I couldn’t believe how large it was. At one point (called Danger Point) there is no fence any more. It’s possible to just clamber on (rather slippery!) the rocks and look over the edge! A pretty long way down – but mostly obscured by the huge amount of spray. But also some lovely rainbows! The walk continued along to the Bridge, then we had to turn around and repeat the experience! It’s just coming into full flood, so there is a LOT of water! I loved it!

Tonight is my last night with the truck. Time for some celebrations, so off to the fancy game restaurant in town – Bomas.

This restaurant is cool! Ok, so it’s the most touristy place I’ve ever been to, but it was so much fun! It’s housed in large tee-pee type buildings with thatched roofs. You’re given a fabric shawl to wear as you enter, which they tie over your shoulders, then welcomed with some maize alcohol (not the nicest thing I’ve ever tried).

[Note – this is before I became vegan. I now cannot believe I thought this was an acceptable evening activity]
The restaurant is a meat buffet. For starter there was bream (normal standard fish), guinea fowl (just like chicken!), crocodile tail (tasted nothing like the crocodile I ate in Peru) and impala pâté and loads of amazing salad – something I have missed while being in Africa! Main course was cooked to order over a coal grill. There were a couple of game meats – eland (really tasty!), kudu (ok) and warthog (amazing! This was everyone’s favourite!) along with the usual, pork sausages, chicken, sirloin steak…Even dessert was amazing, so many cakes and puddings to choose from. The chocolate mousse being a highlight!!

During dinner there was a lot of participatory entertainment. First off, just some traditional dancers and music – they were good. Then they came and handed out drums to everyone in the restaurant – one of the guys lead the drumming and gave instruction, was pretty funny! Then afterwards everyone was invited to dance!

There was also wandering entertainment – cocktails, fortune telling, story tellers and a face paint artist! So everyone had a suitable African animal painted onto their face. I was a lion!

We were the last people still in the restaurant (drinking!) but finally made it back to the hostel to carry on the party! I will miss this!

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