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Published: July 23rd 2019
Today we were able to sleep in enough to enjoy a buffet breakfast in Johannesburg before catching a flight on South African Air to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls was "discovered" by Dr. Livingstone in 1855 (we presume) after he was taken to the site by two local guides. Our driver, Fanuel (like F instead of M in Manuel), met us at the airport and we were relieved to learn he would be with us for the next three days. After checking in to our hotel, the Victoria Falls Lodge, he would take us on a personal tour of the magnificent falls. Our rooms are very nice... Two stories with a living area below and bedroom suite upstairs, along with a balcony overlooking a watering hole. On our arrival, it was mostly birds gathered. Later that evening, we would see several giraffes and elephants.
Fanuel picked us up and we were on our way to the great falls, with a quick pit stop at a 1500 year old Baobab tree. As we started walking along the trail at the falls, we could hear the mighty roar of water and see mist in the air. We rounded a corner and Fanuel
started counting (5... 4... 3... 2.. ) He was waiting for the first of us to turn right and gasp upon site of the falls, complete with what seemed to be a perpetual rainbow. We then moved down the falls on the Zimbabwe side when our cell phones welcomed us to Nambia. (Thankfully, data there is free whereas in Zimbabwe it is $2 per MB--ouch--so a few quick things were uploaded on the spot.). In the summer months, the volume of water is much higher, and not much can be seen other than mist. We were thankful to be able to see the cliffs and, at a few points, even the bottom of the falls. Words cannot describe the natural beauty we saw. Though each viewing point offered its own sliver of magnificence, we could have shot a dozen or more photos at nearly all of them.
Along our return walk, we saw the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia that crosses the Zambezi river. It was completed in 1905, originally a railroad bridge built by Cecil Rhodes. At this point, we also encountered some more wildlife, namely baboons. First, it was just a few, but then more and more
began rooting through a garbage can and seemed little bothered by the humans around. Soon after that, we saw a family. The mother was nursing her baby, while the father was combing through the hair on the mother's arm to check for ticks. It was as romantic as baboons could be. We also came across a bush buk (antelope) and got a close up photo of him eating some greenery.
We returned to our lodge just in time to witness our first African sunset. This time, several giraffes were gathered at the watering hole and it was pretty breathtaking to see their reflections on the water as the sun sank over the horizon. Our balconies proved to be perfect viewing stations, but were too far away to get high quality photos that encompassed both the sun and the giraffes.
Tomorrow morning we start at 6:00 a.m. for an elephant safari to be followed by breakfast. Stay tuned!
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