Victoria Falls was one of the reason why I included Zimbabwe on my 7-week African adventure. Not only that, but also to do another game drive and as well as to visit the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. After all the research on the internet, I found an organized trip. A short 5-day itinerary covering the major highlights of Zimbabwe and was a perfect timing for me who had very limited schedule.
Victoria Falls is only a few kilometres away so I decided to cross the border on foot. I finally left Livingstone on a late afternoon right after a guided cycle tour. Took a taxi from Waterfront to the immigration office. After getting my exit stamp, I proceeded to walk a few kilometres more. Passed the Victoria Falls Bridge where I took a short break. It was so hot! I was carrying my big backpack too. Plus sleeping bag and daypack! How it ended up so heavy was a result of my plain generosity. I guess I just wanted to get rid of my friends and relatives off my lists. My backpack was full of souvenirs & animal crafts for Christmas presents. Still dehydrated. In the middle of the heat, I thought about throwing my backpack over the bridge to make things easier. I decided not to do so after several minutes of consideration. I stood there for a while watching some nervous tourists doing the bungee jump. And then I started walking again.
I checked in at Victoria Falls Backpackers. The place has a very laid-back atmosphere. I chosed this one because of its good reputation and high rating at Hostelbookers website. The only downside is the location. The hostel is 2km away from the center. Walking was optional but not exactly a good idea. Especially at night. We were located in a wildlife area after all. Feeling tired & exhausted after that border crossing, I took a short siesta before dining out.
Victoria Falls National Park
Two days before I left Zambia, I visited the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park, which was quite underwhelming. All I saw was rocks. I thought the park should be closed during dry season. Yet there were still people visiting the place. Their facial expression were the same as mine. Sad. Disappointed. Thinking probably why they came here in the first place. I met a traveller that day who was less enthusiastic. She started in Zimbabwe first before coming to Zambia. She told me there was still water to see on the other side. And that gave me something to look forward to.
Seeing one of the greatest natural wonders of the world was a dream come true. I have been longing for years to see this place. It wasn’t the best time due to dry season. The ideal time to visit is between July and early September. Supposedly, the water level would be perfect. Not too much spray or mist & not fully dry. The falls was at its lowest flow. Segmented into several strands of water with much of the underlying bedrock wall exposed. But there were some areas where the falls are more concentrated. The sound of cascading water is captivating and the dramatic scenery it sinks into is exceptional. Even though the falls nearly lacks its thunderous impact, I was still delighted to see partial of it from the Zimbabwean side. I can see myself revisiting the falls in the future. Definitely in a month of August!
The town itself is relatively small and everything is within walking distance. After visiting the park, I spent the rest of the day walking around the center. The place has loads of restaurants, souvenir shops and tour agencies. On the way, I was constantly approached by street sellers. There was this local who tried to sell me Zimbabwe dollars for 20USD each. Unable to accept no for an answer. When I told him I already have those, he literally looked into my wallet to see If I was lying or not. Feeling a little bit annoyed, but at the same time sorry for these people since its their way to make a living. I find it hard to believe that Zimbabwe was once the richest country in the African continent. I’ve heard about the land reform implemented by the government. It eventually led to hyperinflation, which is unfortunate really. I remember being overwhelmed by sellers the moment I entered this country. So many of them at the border. Desperately hoping to sell at least a giraffe sculpture or just one small bit of anything in order to survive. I couldn’t buy things anymore because there was no more space in my backpack.
The following day, I checked out from the hostel in an early morning. Took a taxi to a hotel not so far from the centre to meet the new group. An organized trip with Nomadtours led by Soliwe. After a small briefing, we went on a grocery store before leaving town. It was goodbye for Vic Falls. Continuing our journey to Zimbabwe’s largest nature reserve for another game drive.