Zimbabwe trip - Days 1 and 2

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June 3rd 2019
Published: June 9th 2019
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My initial Eid planned trip to Scotland fell through, so instead my friend suggested an African group tour with a local touring group he uses. The trip was to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia, with stops in multiple national parks and the waterfalls. I had been wanting to take a trip to Africa for a while now, but did not want to go solo for my first time, so this was perfect.

Victoria Falls Rest Camp

We left from Dubai airport at 4:30 in the morning on Ethiopian Airlines, stopping in Addis Ababa (crazy airport), and landing in Victoria Falls. I met everyone at the coffee shop after checking in and it seemed to be a good, but diverse group of people, a few of whom had quite a few to drink on the way. We landed early afternoon and met with three tour guides who would take care of this trip. It was about a 30 minute drive to our campsite in Victoria Falls; our site was the Victoria Falls Rest Camp and we each had our own individual tents set up. I got to claim one of the larger ones in the back and then we all went to their restaurant, In-Da-Belly, for lunch. I had a Falls Rainbow salad with crocodile - yes, it tastes like chicken, though a little more rich and I could not eat it all, but it was good. After that we mostly rested for the afternoon before going to dinner at a nearby restaurant, Three Monkeys; I was still so full from lunch, so I just shared a couple pieces of pizza with another guy. A few of us girls decided to walk back the short distance to the campsite, but our guide got a little worried until a guy from our group also said he would walk - he was not the largest guy, but I guess it made the guide happy.... The stars were gorgeous so I got out my tripod and practiced taking some photos of the night sky and they weren't too bad!

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

The next morning, we left around 8 to head to the falls, just a short 5 minute drive away. I brought my rain jacket, but we all still got bright yellow long rain jackets from a local vendor because I guess the mist could be pretty intense. One of our guides led the tour with another bringing up the rear for those that stayed behind for photos. Thamu told us a lot about the rainy and dry seasons, some of the local wildlife, and took us point to point for various views. I loved it because it seemed to be better at each stop. However, with the mist, it was hard to take a good photo of the falls in its entirety. Towards the end, we saw some impalas and warthogs along the trail - so awesome.

We headed back to our rest camp to get some lunch and rest a bit. It was so awesome because along the drive back we saw baboons and then a mama elephant and her baby elephant! Just chilling on the side of the road. I knew the people from our group that decided to walk would have some great photos, but I got some too.

Vulture Feeding

At 1pm everyday, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge does a vulture feeding with leftovers from the nightly drum show at Boma restaurant. It sounds strange, but it was actually really cool. The lodge itself was gorgeous with a great view of a local watering hole where some wildlife congregated. Speaking of watering hole, we also got a couple of drinks before the show started. It was funny because the vultures know and despite there being few in sight when we first arrived, they started going crazy a few minutes before. It was interesting information from the guide, such as how vultures are the most endangered bird species, and how they keep our environment refreshed by recycling and preventing disease outbreaks and recycling nutrients. The two types we saw there are the hooded vulture and the white-backed vulture.

Local Village

After the vulture feeding we went to a local village where we met with the chief and were fed some home cooked food in their local gathering place. The food was quite good, starting with some pumpkin soup, and then including some chicken, mashed spinach with peanuts (yum!), and maize, plus some roasted peanuts afterwards. I bought a couple of souvenirs and then we took a little tour of the village, including the houses and main kitchen, where we met the chief's wife, who made the food and took the school supplies we brought for the kids.

Pariah State

After we got back to town, we went to Wild Horizons to plan our optional activities for day 4. Me and another girl, S, decided we were going to try sky diving! So, I signed up for the helicopter tour and then we were told to sign up separately for the sky diving. While we were at the bar next door, the guides came up and said sky diving was no longer offered - I'm not sure if it was temporary or permanent but either way we were super bummed. So, we decided on another adrenaline activity: the gorge swing. I saw this on the amazing race and thought it looked fun and I said, at least we get to fall still.

Additional photos below
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12th June 2019
Victoria Falls

Power and beauty
We loved our time at the falls.... thanks for taking us along.

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