STOP 24 | Day 75 to 76 |
Zimbabwe was the next step on our overland tour. As we edged further south we started to experience patches of development and civilization. Despite the political turmoil of Zimbabwe, the country is still one highest GDP producers of Africa and we were of course excited to visit. We got on the road at approximately 5am to try and make the most of our time in our next stop being Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. We were also both looking forward to two nights in a hotel room as camping in the developing world does take its toll – it was finally time for some a/c and a bed!
The drive to the border took about 9 hours as we made the most of our time by making sandwiches in the truck as we drove. Approaching the falls from Zambia side you enter the town of Livingstone, a tourist hub for those visiting Victoria Falls from the Zambia side. The bridge that links Zambia to Zimbabwe can be visited by either side, you just have to let the border guards know and they will give you a day pass to view the falls and Zambezi River from the bridge. After an hour at the border, it appeared our truck was going to be held for a bit longer so we got a ride into town. There we were pitched various activities in Victoria Falls (from zip lining, bungee jumping, sunset safaris to helicopter rides). Most of these activities were quite expensive, as were the dining options in the town (pitfall of being a tourist hub, a “cheap” meal would run about $20-30USD per person!). We checked into our hotel, although the truck didn’t get in until early evening we were content with finally having decent Wi-Fi and a/c. That evening as it was our final night with our tour group we enjoyed a meal at Three Monkeys together.
The next day we met with our new tour group, which we would be heading to Cape Town with. It was a group of 17 people in total (increasing to 20 along the way as we would drop and pick up others at Windhoek and Swakopmund). This would be a different experience from our past 21 days with 3 people! Shortly after meeting our companions for the next 3 weeks, we headed off to the Victoria Falls and spent 2 hours walking along the park. Victoria Falls is formed by the rapids of the Zambezi River, the fourth largest African river. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, some claim that Victoria Falls is the largest, based on its combined width of approximately 1,708 meters and height of 108 meters. As it was dry season the volume of water over the falls was not as powerful, which allowed you to take pictures and enjoy the refreshing mist in the hot temperatures (versus during rainy season where the spray is so powerful a rain jacket is required and cameras will surely get soaked). Due to the mist the vegetation near the falls is like a rainforest. We also saw people enjoying Devil’s Pool, swimming near the edge of the falls (as one of the most popular activities this needs to be booked in advance and leaves from the Zambia side). We also enjoyed a latte at the cafe within the grounds, finally we were able to find coffees along our stops! After our lunch at Shearwater Cafe, J headed to the gym while A relaxed at the hotel (in her defense it wasn’t an A-friendly gym with no a/c and no cardio machines!). That evening, we found a cheap eats at Shoestrings Cafe, a popular spot with backpackers.