The Thunder that Smokes


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Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls
November 10th 2011
Published: November 11th 2011
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Actually, the title of this short post should be “The Smoke that Thunders”. The Thunder that Smokes was the situation with our digestive systems after 4 nights (and a total of 32 courses plus snacks) at the fantastic Dulini Lodge.

The Smoke that Thunders, or Victoria Falls, as it was renamed by the explorer/missionary/anti-slavery campaigner/all-round do-gooder Dr Livingstone, is an amazing sight on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We spent two nights on the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and have been amazed equally by the stunning scenery of the Falls and the amateurish service at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge where we stayed.

But the falls first. They are one of the seven natural wonders of the world, although I don’t know who made the list up since it doesn’t even include Bondi Beach. At this, the driest time of the year, you can walk the full width of the falls, 1.7kilometres in all, and get spectacular views all along. In the peak of the wet season there is so much water that you can’t see anything of about two thirds of the falls and the spray rises some huge distance into the air.

As much as the waterfall itself, the narrow canyon into which all the water spills and zig zags its way downstream is an incredible sight. The highest point of the falls is just over 100 metres, and it is possible for the non-acrophobic to stand right on the edge to take a photo.

Of course, being in darkest Africa, there are animals all around, from monkeys stealing anything left out on a balcony (or inside a room if the door is foolishly left unlocked) to vultures circling lazily over the local waterhole, to hippos and crocodiles in the river. It is striking how the locals live so easily with the animals all around, with beware of elephants signs on the roads and warthogs grazing in the hotel grounds.

This is certainly a very friendly place, but not big on efficiency. Sharon ordered a Pimms Splash (whatever that is) from the cocktail menu. It came in a nice cold glass with some fruit on the top. It also came in a second glass with the rest of the drink in it. It also came, a bit later, in a can of ginger ale that they should have added at the start but obviously forgot to. No taking the drink back and offering to make a fresh one, they just give you the can and say “enjoy”.

We also sent a few postcards from here, but since the mailbox looked like it hadn’t been cleared for a fortnight they may be a little late arriving.

So after this little note we are heading into Botswana for a few days in Chobe National Park. Hopefully we will have lots more animal sightings to report, and maybe a few properly-made cocktails to drink.



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11th November 2011

Drinks anyone?
Stick to the beer!Sounds a better option to us. I think we'll have to add this trip to our wish list. It's all sounding fabulous. Soak it all up and enjoy the experiences!
12th November 2011

Vic Falls
Pleased to see the service was up to its usual standard. Hope Muchenji provides improvements and lots of animals. Keep exploring, all good here. Love from the Andrews

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