Published: August 14th 2008August 14th 2008
From Zanzibar to Zambezi...not that easy to connect. I took three flights, Zanzibar-Dar Es Salaam-Johburg-Livingstone.
All this with a night over in Johburg, my first short stop in the city.
Landed in Zambia in Livingstone, ready for the short drive to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, across the famous "old"
bridge. For your info, the Falls are 3/4 in Zimbabwe and only 1/4 in Zambia, with the best views by far on the
So now the question...with the current situation in Zimbabwe, should we avoid or not the country. My answer is
simple, people here tell you to come. If you do spend and stay in luxury, you will help a lot of people keeping
their jobs and feeding their families. So the message from people around here...is please, do come...but make sure
you know where you spend your money not to put it in the wrong mouth!
My first afternoon was spent at the Falls. I was in Iguacu in February, and in Niagara Falls in June, so I think
now I can give you my own authorized chart 1. Iguacu Falls, 2. Victoria Falls, 3. Niagara Falls.
The Victoria Falls are by far
the ones that have been left clean of buildings by far. It may also be due to the way
they are set...long, narrow, deep crack in the ground. This is the only Falls where you will simply not find a boat
to go just below the Falls, as the crack is simply to narrow.
Look at the pics. The park closes at 6pm....and at 6pm I was 10 minutes walk from the entry...enjoying the sunset
with 15 other people. This is an AMAZING sunset...for sure one of the best I ever did...and today I've been to 74
different countries, so with a "little" experience of our little planet.
I stay there, sitting on a rock for a good 30 minutes. Thinking a lot about a lot of things. And yes I know, life is
great and I'm thankful for all that is happening to me. Thankful for what is important for me, love, family and
discovering our planet a little more eveyday.
So enjoy the pictures...
I stay for 3 nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel. A truly iconic hotel, astonishing place where I spent three nights in
a gorgeous suite. I also had the chance
to speak a lot with the staff there. You look at the menu and finally have
to ask...ok, what do you have today...and the answer is beef or chicken...all this is coming from the black market.
The place is iconic, the staff really lovely...and the way the place is running is quite impressive...considering
the situation...hope it will improve soon...for all the people of Zimbabwe. So to those who say...how do you dare to
stay in such luxury with the current situation, I simply say, 5 staffs per guest minimum, this means every guest
at the Victoria Falls Hotel will feed at least 30 people each day...better than camping and bringing not much around.
And then came the 12th of August. I did some white water rafting before. Tuly river in Cairns, Australia, rafting
around Bariloche in Argentina, and finally Aspen in Colorado. If you love rafting, this is THE trip to do...
The craziest one day trip on earth. Rapid 1 lays just below the Falls...and for the one day, we are going from there
to Rapid 23 which is 25 km below the Falls.
The funny thing, is that you can do 1 day, 2 days, or
up to 6 days on the Zambezi...but the crazy part, is rapid
1 to 23, that you can do on a day trip. I was also very lucky, as due to water levels, Rapid 1 to 10 have only been
open for 5 days...so did the mighty river to it's full power.
If you've done white water rafting before. You may be used to the guide using big paddles at the back of the
raft. Here, 2 choices, a guide with 2 big paddles, which I always did before...or a guide with a single small paddle
like everybody else on board...and a bunch of crazy...need to be fit...people.
23 Rapids...6 of them are Class 5...if you don't know what does it mean...these are simply clearly dangerous...
one is a Class 6...we left the raft for this one, walking around...but the crazy point...the guide goes down this
one with the raft on his own...pure madness! Than a majority of Class 4. The fun part, Class 2 rapids don't even
count. So yes, this is really impressive, and I would not bring everybody on this little day trip.
You do around 3 hours of rafting. There is a lunch
break just after Rapid 10. In the morning, I was on a boat with
4 other people. We had the guide with the 2 big paddles...but hey, out of 5, we had three ladies who clearly
had no idea what was going on and what they were going to do. So I had to settle in the front of the raft...lot
more fun...lot more scary. Everything went fine...rapid 1 to 6...rapid 7 was fun. The are 2 companies these days
from the Zim side, Wild Hirozons is going through Rapid 7...ShearWaters is walking it...so we went through...while
looking at other rafter walking around.
Rapid 8....the raft flipped-over...at the first wave of a Class 5! Let me say that the 2 italian girls behind me did
simply look terrorized once back to the raft. The raft flips, you are in the washing machine...I manage to keep holding
to the boat...did get properly washed around...than it was time to help our guide to turn around the raft, and pick
people around...all that as fast as we could....because next was Rapid 9...a Class 6...something you don't want to go
through while being IN the water.
Rapid 11...the italians girls have left...so
I'm jumping in a boat with a guide with only the small paddle, and 6
young Zimbabweans from Harare. With another guy, this give 9 people paddling...all quite fit...didn't stop the boat
to flip one more time...great fun experience, and I fall one more time in the water on another class 5. This is my
fourth rafting trip, and the first where I ever went to the water.
The day after, your body realizes what he went through. My right hand had been crashed...a little....
You may have heard that on top of rapids, the Zambezi has also few crocodiles...is this a legend? Well, we saw 4
of them lying on the banks...guess these guys are swimming between rapids and not IN rapids...just to give a little
more spice each time you fall in the water!
After Rapid 23...you leave the boat...and hike up the gorge for 20 minutes...well, that was for me...some took a lot
What a day! Another dream come true! You won't see pics...didn't want to take anything down there with me...keep concentrate
on the danger was enough. Wild Horizons do a video, but no pics, and sadly, the quality of
the video was average,
so I'll keep my souvenirs in my head. Next rafting destination...rafting in Nepal...a multi-days trip...coud be very
On the 13th...more relax day. Round of golf at the Elephant Hills course, 5 minutes for the hotel. The place is
so empty that my caddy claim he can caddy less than one round per week....so you can imagine that a tip in hard
currency is more than welcome. Just make sure you don't stay at the Elephant Hills hotel, it's just belong to the
Today is 2 more flights, going South for another great adventure. Wait few days for this one...but Leslie is soon
back to school and me very soon back to Ma'ri....every great trip have to come to an end...but ready for the next
great trip, just after the last stage of this trip...Enjoy, I do!
There are more photos below