We bid goodbye to South Africa and landed in Zambia, home of Victoria Falls (shared with Zimbabwe).
David Livingstone, in 1855, was the first westerner to see the falls and named them after Queen Victoria. The locals knew about the falls since much before though and had their own name for it: Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders. Today the area is part of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We began our exploration of the falls by taking a “sundowner” cruise along the mighty Zambezi river.
This is the fourth longest river in Africa and it begins its life in Zambia from where it curves into Angola, Namibia & Botswana only to end up in Zambia again before cutting Mozambique in half and dying in the Indian Ocean.
The cruise was a totally turisty thing to do but still quite enjoyable and we saw an incredible number of hippos in the water
and even some elephants.
The falls are 1,708m wide and 108m tall.
The combination yields an astonishing 625 million liters of water PER minute going over. At times, the water spray from the falls rises more than 400m and is visible from kilometers away.
Bring a raincoat for the walk to the viewing area if you don’t like getting soaked.
Otherwise, the sun will dry you right up once you get there.
Beware the baboons at the entrance to the park.
While the boys were so enthralled by the little ones
that we spent over an hour watching them, their elders are not cuddly creatures and we saw them attack people and steal purses and hats.
In the afternoon we took a more adventurous excursion to Livingstone Island by boat. This is the site which made Dr. Livingstone exclaim: “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The guide walks you out to the edge of the falls and holds you by your hand while you peek over.
There are no rail guards here and you can easily imagine yourself falling over. In fact, our guide asked us if we’d like to take a dive as they do at La Quebrada in Acapulco. Nope. He then helped us maneuver ourselves into “Angel’s Pool” for a short swim in the frigid water at the very edge of the falls.
We ought to give a mention to our very cute hotel situated right outside the park: Avani Falls. Zebras
roam the grounds as do the more bothersome Vervet Monkeys and apparently even crocodiles
although we saw none.
Victoria Falls are twice as high as Niagara Falls and a sight worth seeing.
We came, we saw, we loved them; we’re off to Kenya next!