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Published: September 28th 2019
Busy day today, started with a short bus ride to the entrance to the Victoria Falls National Park, then we "walked the falls" with our Zimbabwean tour guide, Mike, and our Scenic tour director, Katia. It is a 3km loop with many view points to see the falls. Also a statue of David Livingstone. Initially walked through rainforest, (complete with rain - spray from the falls), branching out to the viewpoints, some had dubious fencing, and got a little wet. Because it is the end of the dry season in Zimbabwe, the first part of the falls were flowing, (they are 1.7km wide), but the second part were dry. Walked to the viewpoint for the Victoria Falls bridge (the border with Zambia) and then completed the loop back to the entrance (and the shop and the market). Quite hot by then. We were then taken to a residential area of Victoria Falls to walk through a local market. Unemployment is 85% in Zimbabwe, and though Victoria Falls is quite prosperous, because of the tourism, the cost of living is also very high.
A short bus ride from town (we were in 2 buses today, the big one couldn't do the dirt
roads), to the Wild Horizons Elephant Encounter. Here we were given a drink, a presentation about the elephant orphanage and sanctuary, then we got to meet the elephants. A group of seven, with their keepers, came to drink at a water trough below the edge of the deck we were on, lots of photos, and we got to pat the larger ones. In the group, there was an 8 month old baby, a 4 year old, and one male, the oldest and largest, named Jumbo. The rest were females of various ages. Then it was time for feeding (just a snack, they have to find most of their own food), and off to the water hole for a drink. Lots more photos! Then wine and snacks (while they put together a video and photos of our visit to sell) and exit through the shop.
Not hungry, but next stop was a lunch at another Victoria Falls Hotel - fish and chips - Zambezi bream.
Last activity for the day were the (optional) helicopter flights over the falls.
Helicopter does a figure eight over the length of the falls, and even though they were partly dry, it was still amazing.
time for a walk around the hotel, quite beautiful.
But the day wasn't over yet - we still had another meal (all we have done is eat!). Dinner (farewell dinner for some - 5 of us finish here, the others go on to Kenya and Tanzania) in the silver service restaurant at the hotel.
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