Victoria Falls 2007, African Adventure
Victoria Falls was my last stop during my African adventure. I had seen this place in one of the books or sites that I was researching for the trip. Victoria Falls is touted as the Niagra falls of Africa. It touches four different countries and people come from all of the world come to see it. So I thought this would be a great place to spend my last days in Africa.
I flew in to Zambia from Cape town. From there a car from the hotel picked me up. We had to stop at the boarder crossing to go through passport control. The visa was incredibly expensive and the whole placed looked very shady, but there was no turning back. Even the car that I was picked up in was ragged and I was a bit uneasy. There was nothing remarkable to see at that point. I was tired, excited and ready to get to the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, I was impressed. It has a very grand entrance and the staff are all dressed up in uniforms that looked a bit on the military side. I had booked my accommodations in advance & was only going to stay for a couple of days. I wasn’t blogging then so I didn’t take a lot of pictures. I also didn’t book any activities in advance. I was escorted to my quaint room, I unpacked a few things and commence to exploring the grounds.
The hotel was had a very old English safari/plantation kind of decor. I couldn’t help but think that there were parts of the hotel that could pass for an actual museum. There were pictures everywhere and I could have walked around the huge property just viewing the hotel contents. I didn’t realize how close the hotel was to most of the sites that I wanted to see. That made this a good spot. I headed outdoors to check out the landscape.
There was a magnificent view of what was called the Gourge. If you are an adrineline junky that is the place to go. I’m not so I just did the lurker thing. In true African fashion, there were many monkeys and mongooses everywhere. They were just hanging out and not bothering anyone at the property. There were also some people hanging out on the lawn. I tried to be friendly and start up a conversation, but they didn’t really want to talk to me.
I figured the problem was that they thought I was a local. I fit in with the locals very well since I’m african American. They don’t get many American tourist there, let alone African American tourist. I was mistaken for a prostitute on several occasions. That is terrible, but true. Unfortunately once the locals figured out that I was a tourist, they were all over me to purchase their wares.
My plan when I went out into town was to not talk, which is hard for me. That way they would not know where I was from. As I walked from the hotel a guy with items for sale approached me. He greeted me and gave me a compliment on my shoes. I just nodded without saying a word. He went about his business and so did I. My plan worked perfectly. I was able to go for a walk and not be bothered. I just kept my mouth shut. :)
Time to go on a trek to see what I came to see. That was Victoria falls, but I had to figure out how to get there. I was told by the hotel staff that I could walk there. They told me to leave from the the back of the hotel and follow the trail in the woods. It would take me straight to the falls. I figured it was OK, so I headed out.
First of all let me say that there was an armed guard at all the entrances to the property. MMM that uneasy feeling was creeping up on me, but I went away. About 5 min into the woods there was some vendors selling statues. I shrugged them off and continued on. I was afraid they were pretending to be vendors and that they were going to get me. They were harmless and I continued on. I soon came upon the Gourge. This was the place where really adventure hungry tourist hopped on zip lines and flew across the Gourge or if you really wanted to get your blood pumping you could bungie jump.
The guides there tried their darnest to get me to participate. This is what I told them. ”No. Because there would be someone video taping the whole thing. I would probably pee on myself, pass out & someone would get it all on camera. Then it would show up on YouTube and all my coworkers would see it. Nope that is not for me.” I was pleased just to watch others.
Once I got my fill off watching screaming, filling, bungie jumping fools, I move on. I walked further into the the woods and finally arrived at Victoria Falls Park. It cost approximately twenty bucks to get in. There was not a lot of people there which was OK, with me. Basically you could walk along a path to see different angles of the falls.
I saw a guard there and I talk with him a bit. I told him that I was a bit disappointed that there was not a lot of water at the falls. He told me that it was a great time to see the falls. He also said if there were lots of water I would not be able to see anything because of the mist. That made sense to me & the disappointment instantly went away. I was there at a great time. I continued on until I got my fill. I took a fair amount of pics and then I headed back.
That night I decided to go to the hotel’s buffet dinner. There was to be a show going on. The only thing that I did not like was the darkness. At the time the area was experiencing lots for rolling blackouts, so the power was not on in this are. The staff had set up lots of candles. The hotel itself was on generator power when main power was out. However the show was very good. The performers sang, danced and played instruments. It was very entertaining. Afterward I strolled back to my room, took a bath and crashed.
The next day I decided to take a walking tour, alone, in the village right outside the hotel. There was not much to see. There was some shops. It seemed like everyone was selling the same thing. I am not a nicknack person anyway. I walked back to the hotel and relaxed for a while. I had planned on going on a sunset tour which would float down the Zambezi river. There would be sing, drinking, eating and some incredible sites.
How lucky was I to witness a herd of elephants crossing the river. It was amazing. Once you see animals in the wild, you never look at a caged animal the same. Mommy stayed with her babies until they were completely across and safe. They say Elephants are very protective of their young and they stick together for a very long time. It was absolutely amazing. My last act was to pack up to leave. This pretty much marked the end of my African adventure. I left Victoria Falls feeling like I was a true world traveler. I had seen the true Africa. I almost wish I had stayed longer.
You don’t see that everyday. Animals were everywhere. I loved it. Overall I enjoyed my short stay at Victoria Falls. The accommodations were good, the sites were marvelous and the people were OK. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would probably skip this part of the trip. I would spend more time in Cape Town. I’m glad I went and I don’t regret a thing.
Here are more pics for you… ( Click on one of the pictures blow to enlarge & view in slides) Enjoy!
I give this part of the trip a thumbs up!
Your Globetrotter Lizzy
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa Questions:
Where have you been in Africa?
What was your favorite part of the trip?