Dr Livingstone, I Presume

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
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Trip End Nov 28, 2012


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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Friday, November 16, 2012

We retraced our tracks via the Gautrain back to O.R.Tambo Airport (Jo'burg) and boarded a South African Airways 1 hour 40 minute flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. 
  
The airport there is just a shed. Luckily we were near the front of the queue so immigration procedures went quickly and smoothly.  However, we had to wait until our bags came in from the plane on a wagon.
 
After settling into the Kingdom Hotel, we set out to explore the its grounds, then headed through the back gate to the track to the falls.  The trinket sellers were out in full force as we walked along, trying to sell us the ubiquitous carvings and old Zimbabwe currency - i.e. $1 trillion dollar notes. (Due to the outrageous inflation of the Zimbabwean money, the currency of Zimbabwe is now the US dollar.) They even wanted to buy our shoes!
 
All my life I have been fascinated with waterfalls, and Victoria Falls has long been one of the major destinations on my bucket list.  And now I am here!  How different it is from the more familiar Niagara Falls.  We each pay the $30 US entrance fee to the National Park and take a look at the information boards, then head on the bush walk through the rainforest. At this time of the year, at the end of the dry season, the flow is at its minimum, so although we didn't see the cataracts at their best, we didn't get saturated by the mist.  However, it was refreshing to have a bit of mist on us as the temperature was about 38 degrees C.  Every few metres there was a side track to the edge of the canyon and views of the falls.  The falls tumble down into the gorge from the Zambian side, so we had the better views from the Zimbabwean side.  The falls are about 1.7 km wide and fall about 100 metres.  We shared the pathway with several deer and warthogs, but didn't run into anything more dangerous. The David Livingstone statue presides over the falls, commemorating the date, 16 November 1855 (157 years ago today!) that he discovered the Falls.

Across on the Zambian side, we saw swimmers in the Devils Pool at the brink of the falls.  This can only happen when the flow is low.  It is brinkmanship to swim here, but we weren't going to find out what it was like.  We met up with a young Aussie couple who were also on our tour in Johannesburg  and they were going to go over to swim in the Devils Pool the next day.  We never saw them again!

There really weren't any barriers along the edge of the cliff and no-one seemed to obey the signs advising not to go past a certain point!  The walk was so satisfying and the weather had cleared, we did it twice! (Had to get our moneys worth!)  We didn't do the chain walk down to the bottom though, nor did we bungy jump off the bridge or white water raft.   How boring are we?
 
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Comments

Liz on

So interesting, you lucky guys. The falls are huge. It was great to see more of Joburg, their shanty town was an improvement on the shanty town at Windhoek, Namibia....porto loos wow. Thank you for all the effort in sharing Africa with us all.xxxLiz.

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