Zim Part 2
Trip Start Mar 20, 2012
30Trip End Oct 16, 2013
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Ryan and I were impressed by a large Bedford safari vehicle that arrived, with Ian driving, for our day out exploring. Due to the trucks lack of sides, every piece of clothing I had was worn along with a blanket, but it was still an icy cold trip. We drove into Matopos National Park and then climbed a fair way up some slippery rocks to a large cave decorated with bushman paintings that were thousands of years old. While we caught our breaths and took photos Ian explained the bushman and the paintings; that the bushman are nomadic and paint simply what they have seen. The bushman are short people who believe they should not impact on the environment too much, hence their wandering ways as staying in one place leaves to much of a "footprint"
Ian’s passion for the subjects he speaks of was intoxicating.
After lunch Ian took us to Cecil Rhodes’ grave and proceeded to inform and educate of his life and accomplishments, along with things that impacted on Cecil’s contributions and the way he is now remembered. The site has a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding rocky land scape. Cecil Rhodes was sent due to illness to stay with his brother who worked the diamond minds at Kimberley. Until this point diamonds had only been found in the sand on the surface, so when the miners hit rock they all left. Cecil bought the land for next to nothing and drilled through the rock finding huge diamond deposits. He named this company De Beers owning 90% of the worlds diamonds by 1891. Rhodes was a millionaire by the age of 18 and is the only person to have owned four countries, North (Zamibia) and South (Zimbabwe) Rhodesia, Malawi and Botswana. The Rhodes estate is still funding schools, scholarships and the Matopos Park today. Up at the gravesite there is a monument/grave of the 30 soldiers that died during the “Jameson Raid” with King Solomon
The rest of the afternoon was spent rhino trekking. We caught a glimpse of 3 rhinos trotting off before the sun started to set and we had to head off. Pizza was enjoyed by all for dinner as we snuggled under blankets.
Eyelids lifted to the beautiful day that lay on our horizon; a long drive up to Victoria Falls was anxiously shared. Our big yellow vessel pulled into the campsite. We set up our tents then walked down to the bridge, which is the border crossing into Zambia. The bridge is 111m above the fast flowing water that has over years carved this gourge. Looking out from the bridge we got our first glimpse of the falls that are engulfed by a white Smokey mist. Ryan along with our companions (especially Fliss) were finding it hard to contain their excitement of the events yet to come; my feelings lent more toward packing myself at the sight of the distance between the bridge and everything below
For dinner we piled into taxis and headed down the road to the Boma. This place is incredible. As we entered the restaurant we were dressed in brightly colored sarongs. A guy with a tray of paints worked his brush magic, covering our faces with African inspired pictures. We were shown to our tables with the invigorating smell of cooking meat in the air. We were given a taste of local beer, which wasn't too tasty. An assortment of starters were available from guinea fowl to crocodile tail all super tasty. Onto mains we moved where trays of warthog, ostrich, buffalo, ribs and more waited for us to pick. Upon letting the chef know your wishes he would fry up the meat over a hot flame wielding grill. Our mouths were watering as we absorbed the sight and smell of this marinated feast. Each bite was like my taste buds had won the lottery. Platefuls of these delicious game meats were devoured. There was even a lamb slowly rotating over glowing coals which was divine. Our stomachs were full, but every dessert imaginable was on show. Cheese cake and custard, pancakes and trifle, on shinny silver platters. As the sweet eating was happening the drumming began. Everybody was handed a drum with animal skin tightly stretched over the top. A guy would drum a beat and we all played along. Vibrations were felt as hands furiously took turns at making this energetic sound. Before we knew it people were up taking turns at showing off their moves on the dance floor. I would highly recommend this place to anybody that's not vegetarian. All you can eat meat cooked to perfection combined with face painting, interactive drumming and even fortune telling is a night not to be missed.
A day was spent cruising the markets and town with people constantly offering to make you a millionaire by selling you a stack of old Zim dollars
The next day Ryan and I embarked on a trip to see Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River which is the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia opens up to 1.7km. In the rainy season 545 million liters of water are estimated to take the 107m death defying plunge into this crack in the earth. The never ending fall of water then sends white clouds of spray up to 500m in the air. At one end is a statue of David Livingstone who was the first white man to view the falls, naming them Victoria falls after Queen Victoria. The locals call the falls
Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) which is much more suited name I think. The water is exceptionally powerful as is forces its way over the edge and all you can do is gaze in awe. As we walked further along overwhelmed by mother natures beauty, spray started sprinkling down on us. Bright rainbows appear all over the place as the mist fills the air. Before we knew it we were in a waterfall caused rain storm walking on slippery rocks with no barrier between us and the deep gorge. This almighty natural wonder was mesmerizing sight.
The truck pulled out without our lovely Michelle with us all waving goodbye. Botswana, here we come.