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Published: April 15th 2014
part of the falls
So I travelled with John, a friend from Ireland who I met in Lilongwe from Lusaka to Livingstone, which took approximately 8 hours on a comfortable "luxury" bus. Now I've been on a number of buses which class their service as luxurious and of a high quality, but it more often than not, is anything but. However, the Mazhandu bus we caught was just like a Western bus and made for an enjoyable journey, especially as John and I booked the front two seats meaning we had more leg room and a decent view.
Vic Falls - Wow!! Victoria Falls is an unbelievable sight, the power and size of the river is extremely impressive. With the rainy season having just ended, the river is at it's highest which meant that the view of the falls was obscured by the mist rising up from below. However, the wind constantly shifts affording a brief, but fabulous view of the river. There are various trails which you can walk along once you've entered the park which offer different vantage points to view the falls from - all of which showcase the stunning river, gorge and landscapes which surround the falls. The geological processes
Bridge dividing Zam-Zim - plus Bungee jump
and erosion which have helped shape the falls are evidently seen and are also discussed along the trails - it really is fascinating to see how the falls was created and how it has changed over time. The nearer you get to the falls, the more spray there is - just imagine standing under a power shower as that's what it was like. Once you've crossed the bridge, you are a stone's throw away from the water plunging down which is very surreal and it is here where you get drenched. You can hire poncho's for a mere 10 Zambian Kwacha (£1) but I already had my rain jacket. Also, make sure you don't bring many valuables as they will probably get wet - if you do, bring a dry bag or plastic bag like we did so nothing get's damaged. A poor Australian girl had to trek all the way back to Lusaka after her passport got drenched - 16 hours on a bus.......rather her than me!
Furthermore, at various points along the trail, you can see the bridge which divides Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is also where the bungee jump is and there is always someone jumping
off which makes for an interesting watch. Let's just say that it's not for the feint hearted, as there's only a rope separating the individual from the Zambezi river and the many rapids which are underneath the bridge.
So after drying off somewhat, some of our group returned to the backpackers, whilst Sally and I thought we'd indulge ourselves in a luxurious afternoon at the 5 star David Livingstone Hotel and Spa Resort. The hotel straddles the Zambezi river and is just upstream from the falls. The place is very high end and the buildings were magnificent, as was the outside decking and pool area. The view of the river and falls was spectacular and it is pleasing to see that they allow day visitors to come. As I was hungry and fed up of peanut butter sandwiches, I ordered a lovely lemon salsa grilled chicken baguette (on brown bread for a change) which was delicious and as expected, very nicely presented. Also, the beer wasn't too expensive either. Having just gone for a drink - 6 beers later and an unbelievable sunset over the Zambezi river, we caught a free shuttle bus back into town.
Sunset over the Zambezi river
it is much cheaper to watch the sunset from an exclusive lodge, all of which line the banks of the river, rather than book on an expensive "booze cruise". We paid $30 for a lovely afternoon whereas the cruises are $75 plus. All in all, it was a wonderful day. I would certainly love to come back to see the falls in another season and see the differences - and perhaps sample some of the activities which are available.
Next stop - Namibia - a change in my itinerary see's me heading to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia before heading east through Botswana and Zimbabwe. Once I've travelled through these countries, I will continue with my volunteering in Kitwe, Zambia.
The desert awaits.....
PS Camping is going well so far - although it hasn't rained yet. Fingers crossed this continues, although I will no doubt find out how waterproof my tent is soon enough.
Speak soon - Rich
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