Getting Soaked at Victoria Falls

Move over Botswana, it’s time to cross borders and venture into Zambia!

Today’s estimated travel time is three hours depending on how long it takes for us to cross the Zambezi River by ferry to enter into Zambia. Luckily, we are somehow able to skip the long line of trucks and cars waiting to board and within minutes, we are on the next available ferry. Passport Control at the border is a lot more pleasant than the nightmare that was the Botswana border. While we wait, we barter with street merchants selling wooden animal carvings. I purchase a couple of elephants and a hippo as souvenirs and gifts.

From the border, we continue onto Livingstone; home for the next two days. The town of Livingstone is a regional transport center, being located near the borders of Botswana and Zimbabwe. The city itself serves as a base for many visitors wanting to see this part of Africa and the mighty Victoria Falls, located only a mere 7.5 miles from Livingstone.

Tonights campsite is the best one yet. It sits on the Zambezi River and is a mixture of both camping/tent area and incredibly beautiful log-suites. It even has a decent restaurant and bar on site too. A couple of us see if there is availability to upgrade for the two nights that we are based here. Luckily for us, there is, and only $23 per person per night – what a steal! A balcony, real bed, electricity and a gigantic bathroom with a huge shower and hot water; it was honestly like winning the lotto.

Upgraded suite at Livingstone Campsite..Restaurant and bar deck at Livingstone Campsite overlooking the Zambezi

VICTORIA FALLS

Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Referred to by the locals as ‘smoke that thunders’, it is the largest waterfall in the world. This recognition comes from combining the height and width together to create the largest single sheet of flowing water. The falls occurs where the river is 1688 meters wide, presenting the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million litres of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls. The Zambezi River, which originates in northern Zambia, serves as the falls water source.

Before exiting our overland truck to head to the falls, we are told to shut all truck windows. The area is swarming with baboons and they will take any opportunity they see fit to get their hands on food. Baboons are scary creatures. They are extremely strong and powerful and have the ability to severely injure and kill humans rather easily. I am so freaked out when they stop and block my path or walk up beside me and just look me in the eye *shivers*. I keep my distance.

While some choose to explore Victoria Falls from above via helicopter or by bungee jumping, I simply choose to explore it by foot. There are several unique trails alongside the falls that place you face-to-face with the tops of them. They are head on and only about 60 meters away. As you enter the park and turn the corner, you are instantly presented with the magnificence and mightiness of the falls. As you walk the trail, hear the gushing of the water pounding and witness the vapor rising, you quickly come to understand the name ‘smoke that thunders’. It is honestly like nothing I’ve ever seen before – so grand and splendid. Within seconds, the rising vapors have me soaked from head to toe, but I don’t care, I’m too busy being dazzled by this mesmerizing, natural wonder.

Victoria Falls Collage

Click to enlarge (it’s worth it!)

Victoria Falls Panorama

G Adventures Overland Truck at Victoria FallsUpon returning to our overland truck, security informs us that despite warning, someone from our group has left their window open – how clever of them. From what onlookers tell us, a group of baboons jumped onto the roof of the truck from a nearby tree and climbed in through the open window. The window just so happens to be one seat behind mine, but luckily I have nothing of value left on my seat.

When we are finally able to get back onboard, it is discovered that a few lunch bags have been stolen, a packet of chips broken into, and a sandwich nibbled on, which apparently wasn’t up to the baboons liking, because they left it behind only after a few bites, haha! High maintenance much?

We bid farewell to Victoria Falls and make our way back to camp. I’m covered in a mix of mist and sweat so a shower is well in order. A nice, big, hot shower in a private bathroom. I can’t wait!

Later that night we head out into town as a group for dinner and drinks. Half the group commit to only a seven-day tour so they will be leaving us in the morning. This sucks for two reasons:

1. Two people that make up my fun, core “hang-out” group are leaving.
2. We have to welcome new people to our tour group – what if they’re not as cool?!

Enough with the worrying though and onto the food. Tonight I try crocodile for the first time in my life. To my surprise, it is absolutely delicious. It tastes a little like chicken, only tougher. They had it pan fried up in some sort of marinade with peppers. YUM!

.Eating crocodile in Zambia..Saying goodbye to Sam

That night I go to bed feeling excited yet nervous. Tomorrow morning I have an amazing experience ahead of me…

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