Published: April 7th 2012April 7th 2012
After the excitement of Victoria Falls, I sat by the pool for a little while. The Zimbabwe sun can sneak up on you and beat you at your own game, if you aren’t careful.
I decided to do the sunset cruise. Against my better judgement, I had spoken to other guests who said they really enjoyed it. I figured it would be a 2 hour funfest with families and people who were there for the “all the booze you can drink”. I wasn’t wrong.
How weird did I look being a single guy on a sunset cruise, really? No one looked at me like I was creepy, but seriously?
Anyway, we boarded the boat that had about 50 passengers. I counted 30 life jackets and about 20 bottles of liquor. If the boat went down and you didn’t have a life jacket, the vodka would make you numb to the wildlife that would eat you.
We started our “voyage” by floating downstream towards the falls. At the 4km mark from the brink, they started the engines and we headed upstream, away from death and destruction. Just as we got going, we noticed another boat near the shore
and all the passengers were pointing and taking pictures. As we got closer, we saw an elephant on the shore eating and minding its own business. We pulled up alongside the first boat and then a third boat joined us.
All the boats were jockeying for best position until the elephant turned towards us, moved right to the shore and started flapping its ears at us. The next thing you know, all the boats are in reverse and moving back. Apparently, the flapping of the ears and standing on the shore is the elephant's way of being dominant. We were invading his/her space. I got great photos, but had visions of the elephant coming into the water and wreaking havoc on the boats.
After that, we continued up the Zambezi and found a family of hippos. There was the father, mother, and a couple of babies. Again, for the sake of the tourists’ vacation photos, we got too close again and the hippos started to snort, moan, groan, and make ungodly noises. They also lifted their heads out of the water and opened their mouths wide, showing us their teeth. Apparently, this is a defense mechanism that basic
says, “back off”. Again, I got some good pictures and we moved on.
After that, we saw a baby alligator (or crocodile). It was lying on the shore and frankly, it looked like a log to me. I would have missed it completely. It was doing nothing and continued to do nothing while we all snapped photos like it was our last sunset cruise!
The sunset on the Zambezi River is quite nice, but it wasn’t one of those “Oh My God” sunsets, so I played with my camera and made the sunset look a little bit better than it actually was. I think you will appreciate my efforts.
After watching the sun fall behind the clouds, we headed back to our port. As we turned the boat around, there was the full moon in all its glory. I have to say seeing the full moon over the Zambezi River was pretty impressive.
All in all, I am glad I did it, but I don’t think I will do another sunset cruise by myself again… That’s just weird.
There are more photos below