The End of the Trip: Victoria Falls

We arrived in Victoria Falls on October 19 and went directly to the Falls.  Everyone on our tour but me and another lady decided to go check them out immediately.  I had gotten a thorn in my foot the day before when using a bush toilet so I wasn’t up to walking at that time.  It was also very hot and I wanted to go in the morning when it was cooler. 
Went to the hotel instead and got settled into my room.  The other lady who didn’t go to the Falls had decided to room with me for the nights we were in Victoria Falls as she needed a break from her tent mate and a tent in general.  Hung out at the pool to relax for the afternoon and then met up with the group for supper as it was our last night together. 

Even with being in a room, it was hot.  There was a ceiling fan but it could only do so much with the heat.  Ultimately, we slept with the door and window open (we stuck something in the door to make it a bit safer).

Visiting the Falls
Headed off to the Falls around 10 am.  We planned to stick around until after lunch as we had heard that around 1 or 1:30 you can see rainbows.   The walk over was probably about 15 minutes but it wasn’t too hot so it was tolerable.  We started by walking the length of the path to see the Falls and then we wandered to the restaurant to have something to eat.  They had misters which was nice as it was getting hot and we were melting. 

Beginning of the Path

Looking down towards the other end of the Falls

Looking back at the first Fall

The biggest section

Panoramic of the Falls

As we were there in the low season, the Falls were not as full as they typically would be.  From what we were told, the water levels were actually the lowest they have seen in a lot of years.  With that, when the water levels are higher, there is so much mist that you cannot see much.  For that reason, I’m glad we were there during the low season

Lovely rainbows!

Originally we planned to walk across the bridge to Zambia but decided that we were too hot and tired.  We purposely would walk some of the paths slowly as you got mist from the Falls coming over you.  Instead of walking back, we took a cab due to the heat.  I enjoyed a swim in the pool once we returned before meeting the people I had been touring with for supper.

A misted pathway

The route to cross the border

Random Photos from the Falls 
One of the dry areas of the Falls

One of the many excursions you could do.  But climbing back up would suck.

See the little people?  They are in an area called "Devil's Pool".  It feels like you are being pushed and are going to fall over.

And the Truck Wheels Keep Rolling

October 16
Yet another day with another long day in the truck.  Left Crocodile Valley and drove another 12 hours to another campground.  Found two intrepid trucks, one G Adventures truck and one from Nomad.  A lot of people were hanging out in the bar, playing pool and just partying.  I hung out a bit but it was too loud so I went to my tent.
October 17
Up and on the road early yet again.  We crossed into Zimbabwe early in the day.  The Canadians got hit hard with VISA fees with it being $75 US yet the Americans only had to pay $30.  I have since found out it has to do with how much the other country charges. 
Zimbabwe Ruins
We visited the Zimbabwe Ruins.  Climbing up all the rock stairs was a lot of work as they were not even or in good condition.  It was interesting to see the various areas and what they were used for.  It was a bit hard for me to imagine with all the rocks everywhere and there not being any complete walls left.

The hill we climbed

Up in the Ruins

The view from the top of the Ruins

 A village created for the tourists

Inside the Great Enclosure

Exit from the Great Enclosure

Within the Great Enclosure

Arrived at our home for the next night and decided to upgrade as it was raining when we arrived.  Rooms were only $4 night, per person.  They did the trick and everyone stayed dry.

And we moved on again the next day.  This was a short day in the truck, only 6 hours!  Who would have thought I would have said that 6 hours of driving was short?  Anyways, we arrived at our campsite, most of us upgraded by rooms, being tired of the ground at this point and hauled our stuff in.  Then we piled back into the truck and headed into Bulawayo to check it out.  There was a store that I wanted to check out but it was closed to I hung out with the girls at a bar for a bit.

October 18
I hung out at the campground today.  The optional daytrip didn’t interest me so I hung out at the campground, played on the Internet and hung out at the pool.  Our guides can’t swim but I was trying to teach them how to scull.  They couldn’t get the hang of it and were quite jealous.  They had issues sinking too, had a tough time trying to dive down to retrieve beer they had tossed in the pool.

Next up, Victoria Falls!

Country 4, Zambia

Left Kande Beach and crossed the border into Zambia.  Several people upgraded here and the rest of us put our tents up and relaxed once we arrived at our destination of Crocodile Valley.  They had a pool so I was able to get in a bit of a swim, although, it wasn’t very big, but it was nice when a person was overheating.

Monkeys Everywhere!

We were asked not to feed them but some people still felt the need to give them food.  The problem with feeding them and being friendly is that they get used to it and become pests to the local people.  We saw several monkeys missing their tails and at least one without a hand – this is a sign that that particular monkey is a troublemaker and they mark them this way.  They only get some many strikes, or body parts chopped off, before they are killed.

One of many monkeys

On the grounds of the campground

Night Game Drive

Most of us are doing a game drive while we are here.  It starts in the late afternoon and then goes into a night drive.  My hope was that we would be able to see something in the dark.   We drove around the park for a bit and saw a lot of hippos, giraffes and elephants.  As the sun was setting, we stopped at a river bank and we had a snack of popcorn and juice while we watched the hippos hang out and make a lot of noise.

Getting ready to head out

So many hippos as we entered the park

Giraffe native to this area

One of several groups of elephants we saw

So cute!

I just couldn't resist this picture

Most of the animals didn't care about  us

He had no interest in us

Watching the sunset and observing all the hippos

We don't know where the lone hippo was going.  We thought the elephants were coming for water but they turned.

Nope, water wasn't interesting.

From there, we went driving in the dark.  Each car wandering around had a big spot light on it with someone dedicated just to running it.  They would sweep the light from side to side, looking for reflections from the eyes of an animal.  We did manage to find some giraffe’s, hyenas and some napping lions but it was difficult to get any good pictures due to it being night

As we were heading out of the park, we came across a “game drive traffic jam” and we approached slowly to see what was going on.  It turned out some lions had brought down a zebra and were having a hearty supper.  With all the cars there, it was easier to get a decent shot as there were a lot of lights.  While it was something gruesome to see, it was amazing to see something like this in the wild.  From what the guides said, it sounds like it doesn’t happen that often as they tend to take their kills further from the road.

Warning:  Graphic pictures ahead, view at your own risk.

Sleepy kitties

And these kitties were hungry

Hanging Out at Kande Beach

We arrived in the afternoon and everyone decided to relax.  This meant going for a swim in Lake Malawi.  A lot of our group decided to swim out to the island as it wasn’t too far but I declined as I wasn’t confident enough with my swimming abilities and wasn’t sure I would have the strength to come back once I was there.  

The first night was a party night.  The costumes that people bought at the market were brought out and everyone dressed up.  The G Adventure group we had met at the border was also at Kande Beach and they were having a dress up party as well.  

After supper, several of us went down to the beach as the girls had been invited down for a bonfire by some locals earlier.  I didn’t really want to hang out down there so another lady and I left after not too long.  We went back to the bar area and hung out there for a while and just watched what was going on.  The G people were dancing at the bar and having a good time.

We went back to the beach after a while to see how the girls were doing.  As it turned out, they were happy we showed up as they wanted to escape but didn’t know how.  They were trying to give us clues when we arrived to let us know to rescue them so once all of us were back at the bar we setup an emergency phrase for the future.  Turns out, one of the girls somehow had almost gotten herself engaged.  The guy had already told his family about her and they had invited her for supper the next day to meet her.  

When we had been walking back to the bar from the beach, we had come across the G adventures people who were going for a skinny dip.  They invited us to join them but we declined.  We found out later that they had several items stolen as they had taken cameras, iPods and keys with them.  One of these sets of keys was for their truck and they didn’t have a spare set.  We did find out later that they got their keys back (a reward had been offered).

Are we there yet?

October 10
Only four hours in the truck today which is a treat after the last few days.  We stopped at a mall and we had hoped to find some souvenir type thing like post cards or magnets but no such luck.  We went into a market to get costumes for some sort of party.  I declined as I didn’t feel the need to waste money on such things when they were for just a few hours and I didn’t understand the purpose.   I wasn’t the only one in the group that chose not to.

As we headed back to the truck, we saw a wedding procession drive by.  The bride and groom were each sitting in a window and waving at everyone as they drove by.  I don’t know if that is normal but we waved back anyways

Where’s the Beach?
Finally made it to Kande Beach which was to be our home for two nights.  Pretty much everyone decided to upgrade here as it was cheap to do so. I got a dorm room which was in a row of rooms; I think 5 in a row, basically separated by bamboo walls.  Not very sound proof but they did the job. 

The beach and the island for snorkeling

By the bar

Lounging area by the bar

Unfortunately, some people didn’t understand that there were people in other rooms and had no consideration.
  • Night one – I was woken up by someone having sex a few rooms down. The noise kept me awake for probably half an hour before they were quiet enough that I could sleep.
  • Night two – some people came to use the showers which were at the end of the dorms.  But instead of talking in regular voices, they were yelling which woke me up.