A sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi

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Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls
June 21st 2018
Published: June 21st 2018
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Today was a free day until 3pm, so we took it easy. We had been going to get the shuttle into the village and explore, but after hearing from other travellers that you are harassed by beggers and hawkers, decided not to. That’s not our idea of a holiday. Instead, we had a leisurely breakfast by the pool, refreshed and then left our room to be serviced and went and sat in the comfort of the lounge adjoining the pool and dining area. Here we sat, Tom catching up on information on coming days, and me doing my blog while the bus load (of Chinese, it turns out) are out touring and the internet is not under stress!

Just before 3 we made our way down to reception to wait for our tour. A lovely Canadian lady was chatting to us. It’s wonderful to hear everyone else’s stories and to swap notes. We have found that the pick up time is a guide only. the reception was crowded with people coming and going. The coach of Chinese tourists returned, and then some of them went off in a safari truck. The Californians we spoke to yesterday had been staying in safari camps. Everyone has different experiences. Sorry about the short sentences, just putting it in while I remember! (and that’s a challenge!). We were collected by our tour people who collected a few more people and then took us out to the cruise dock on the mighty Zambezi for the sunset cruise. of course we were met by the African dancers who put on a show as we walked down the path to the gangway, and then serenaded us with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (the chorus of which has a whole new meaning since Sophie sent me that meme with the piccolos of champagne on it - “a wee Moet” - no wonder he slept well).

We were assigned to a table on the upper deck, but were free to move around and take pictures. We were sharing the table with a lovely couple from a seaside village near Durban in South Africa, a 2hr plane ride from Cape Town. We set off, cruising around the islands in the Zambezi, and spent some time in Zambian waters, without getting our passport stamped! Our hosts plied us freely with our drinks of choice (gin and tonic in large soft drink glasses! - Tom stuck to the Zambezi lager), platters of finger food, and pointed out items of interest on shore and in the water.

The Zambezi water is filtered and used for drinking. It is also harnessed at the Falls and used for hydroelectricity in a joint venture by Zimbabwe and Zambia. There were a lot of palm trees, and I asked if they were native. The guide said no, the elephants introduced them. They ate their seeds in Namibia and walked to Zimbabwe, depositing the seeds along the way.

We saw what they called a bushbuck, sitting amongst the shrubs on the side of the river. It resembled a small deer and is actually part of the antelope family. There was a lot of bird life, including Egyptian Geese, vultures, kingfishers which sounded reminiscent of our kookaburras, and South African Ducks. We also saw a monitor laying on a branch over the water, and then we saw hippos! They usually stay in family groups, and one of the groups we saw had 8 hippos in it. My best pics though were of a mother and her baby. When hippos open their mouths, they are not yawning, they are showing off their powerful, crushing teeth - as a warning sign.

As we motored around we could see the mist rising from the falls in the distance. Luckily our engines were reliable. We also saw a couple of crocodiles resting on the sandy shore. Yes, lucky our boat didn’t sink. So many things to be grateful for!

So we motored around, finding all the hippos, watching the other dozen or so boats doing the same, and then the sun started to set, and it was simply gorgeous. My shots were taken with my iPhone, so you can imagine how good the view was in real life!

At the end of the cruise we were collected by our driver who took us back to our hotel, having to stop along the way for the impala crossing the road.

I must’ve upset the earring Gods somehow because I noticed yesterday after the helicopter with the headphones and everything I’d lost another earring! It must be a decade since I lost my last earring (a crystal Mickey Mouse stud from Disneyland - yes, I know and treasure each and every pair) and now two in a couple of days. I guess I have to buy some more to appease them.

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