Published: May 10th 2009November 14th 2008
How we'd love to come back in the wet.....
Unbelievable is the right word to sum up our experience of Zimbabwe, for both the right and the wrong reasons. To form a complete opinion on what is going on in Zimbabwe would be crazy, considering our VERY brief and limited time and experience of the country. Our time in Zimbabwe was restricted to spending time in the now quite deserted tourist resort of Vic Falls. What we certainly did notice was the complete disparity between each side of the border, the change almost surreal in how distinct it was.
From the debauchery of the previous night in Livingstone, the border crossing was one of the most arduous we have ever experienced and Jason was having flashbacks to the Laos/Cambodia border crossing (see appropriate entry as that's a whole other story!). We were told to bite our tongues during our stay in fear of a Mugabe style response.
The most obvious signs that this country was in serious trouble was the constant stream of locals crossing the border to buy food and goods from their neighbour Zambia, the sparcity of food and products in any of the shops, many of which were already closed and abandoned. Finally you know
something is wrong when the locals would rather the clothes off your back in exchange for hand made souvenirs rather than money. Oh, and the fact there is a 200 billion dollar note in circulation isn't a great sign either, especially when you can buy one for US $1.
On a positive note the people were suprisingly in great spirits in general and the thing that still surprises is that everyone was at least trying to sell something rather than begging, some wares better quality than others of course, but at least they were having a go. Only for a lack of contacts, I missed the opportunity to sign the greatest thumb piano player for a record deal/gig back home!
All these issues aside, Vic Falls is one amazing place, a natural beauty and adrenaline junky paradise.
Over the three days we had here we went white water rafting down the mighty Zambezi which has a fair proportion of grade 4 - 5 rapids and easily one of the best rafting spots in the world. We visited the stunning falls one morning before Kirst finally took the plunge. She was supposed to bungy in the UK for her
No fuel today...or tomorrow
A reflection of the current economy???
30th but due to Britains incessant shitty weather it was cancelled twice and we got a refund. There was no escaping here and well the video speaks for itself, all 111 metres of it!!!
The local lads on the rafting also loved to party and we spent one crazy night out on the town, where at one stage we were positive we had been abducted as we were driven out into the middle of the Zimbabwean bush. We managed to arrive safely at a tin roofed, mud brick nightclub called the G-Spot (!!), where the locals couldn't believe that a group of white tourist would come to their local club! It was a role reversal that night as the locals all had their mobile phone out taking photos of us! (obviously they didn't get to many tourists out there!). The last drama was getting home and fortunately there was a local guy who had driven and we managed to cram into the back of his ute to get home in the rain, albeit at 4am in the morning. The 7am start the following day was going to be somewhat of a challenge!!!!
There are more photos below