Vic Falls

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May 12th 2008
Published: May 30th 2008
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How to get to Vic Falls has been the biggest dilema of the trip so far. We weren't sure whether to brave Zimbabwe with all the political trouble, food shortages and fuel shortages. On the other hand, it would cost us nearly $500 to get over to Zambia for the night as Brits get whacked with a visa fee 3x bigger than anyone else and then you need to pay for a ferry, third party insurance and carbon tax!

We didn't realise this until we'd actually come out of Botswana and were waiting in line to get the ferry to Zambia! Once it had dawned, we did a quick u turn and crossed back into Botswana, which confused the hell out of the immigration people when we said we'd changed our minds. So quickly back into Botswana and 10 minutes later we were getting our third passport stamp of the day, crossing over into Zimbabwe! Idiots!!!

Zimbabwe turned out to be fine. I don't think we really got to see anything of what was going on in the country from visiting Vic Falls. The town itself was really quiet and there weren't many people visiting the falls, so it was fairly obvious tourists aren't going. Speaking to people at the place we were staying, it seemed that many people were taking a wait and see attitude to what happens in the run off, but no one particularly seemed to like Mugabe.

The falls itself were spectacular and well worth the hassle of getting there. The force of the water creates a permanent mist, so it rains at the edge of the falls and we got absolutely soaked! This means all these rainbows are created everywhere, which was really cool.

After spending most of the afternoon at the falls, we then went for a cocktail at the Vic Falls Hotel. This place is amazing, with a great view down on to the falls and colonialism everywhere. It was so immaculately kept, it was almost like a different place to the rest of Vic Falls.

Everything is paid for in US $ but we did manage to get a few Zim $, so we can actually say we are millionaires. The 50m note is worth about 50US cents (although probably a lot less now!). The funniest thing is that is was printed in April 2008 and is only vaid until the end of June 2008! Crazy! Anyway after one night in Shoestrings back packers we headed back to Botswana to get our 4th stamp in 2 days!

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30th May 2008

The Visa fees are reciprocal. Zambians are charged the same amount to enter the UK. The Uk government was the first to raise the fees. so it was some kind of tit 4 tat. My own view is that it defeats the Zambian governments own stated policy of promoting the tourism industry.

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