Vic Falls

Victoria Falls with mist galore

We arrived in Zimbabwe and set up camp at the bumping Shoestring backpackers hostel in Victoria Falls. Most tourists and business are still a bit wary about coming to Zim. As a result, the town of Vic Falls feels somewhat derelict as most tourists opt to visit the falls from the Zambian side. It’s a bit of a bizarre feeling wandering around the streets of Vic Falls. The shop owners and tour bookers are very glad to see us, although prices are exorbitantly high. We were hoping prices would be low to draw the tourists back, but sadly that’s not the case. Some trucks, like ours, are starting to make their way back here. Most of the trucks just to pop in to visit the falls and leave again. We, on the other hand, will be spending a couple weeks in the country.

Colin and Helen on the bungee bridge

Victoria Falls is one of the adrenaline capitals of the world. There’s bungee, gorge swings, class V rafting, and microlite flights to name a few. The activity that appealed to us most was the rafting, which was unfortunately suspended due to dangerously high water levels. Instead we got our kicks out of watching everyone else jump off bridges. Insane. I have absolutely no desire to launch myself off of anything higher than 4 feet. Mark, on the other hand, does, if only it wasn’t so costly to do so. The bridge, from where the bungee jumps, crosses the Zambezi river, which is essentially the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Although we don’t have the stamps in our passports, we visited Zambia momentarily on the other side of the bridge. The bridge itself is officially ‘no man’s land’.

Victoria Falls

Of course, the main thing to see and do in Victoria Falls is to visit the falls themselves. They are spectacular. They are the largest curtain of falls in the world and one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The water level of the Zambezi was pretty much at its peak and so the water was roaring over the falls and conjuring up a ton of mist. It’s inaccurate to classify it as mist, actually. Standing on the opposite side of the gorge, we were subjected to a total downpour. Water hit us from every direction imaginable. Mark almost drowned. Kidding (but only a little). The mist made it difficult to get a good glimpse of the falls. We were lucky enough to get a few peeks through without destroying our camera. You can feel the mist at times from our hostel, which is a 20 minute walk away. The power and beauty of the falls is unparalleled. After visiting Niagara a few times, it was nice to see that they were kept natural. There are no pink spotlights illuminating the falls at night and the surrounding towns are without strip joints, naff museums and casinos.

The mist from Vic Falls

On another note:
Largely in thanks to Mugabe’s land redistribution regime, Zimbabwe’s currency underwent serious hyperinflation. The Zim dollar is no longer valid and they’ve since switched to a hodge podge of US dollars, Botswana Pula and SA Rand. Industrious street hawkers, however, have not let it die. You can buy wads of the old currency from these guys for a couple US dollars, a Nike t-shirt, or for a slice of pizza as did one guy from our truck. The bills of the old currency are ridiculous. For example, Debbie on our truck has in her possession a $1 Zim bill from 2006 along with a $100 trillion Zim bill from 2007. Can you even wrap your head around this? In 2008 Zimbabwe held elections and a power-sharing agreement was reached in parliament, and will hopefully help to stabilize this fascinating country.

Comments

    Natural wonder! one of the other great 7 natural wonders, of course being the Northern Lights, which inspire when they appear unpredictably. So you are/have experienced a point of dichotomy in our world, natural beautiful and incomprehensible human political/economic thinking. Otherworldly moment for you.

    Dad

  1. Mama KT

  2. Hey kids: Do you think two ‘mature’ older women, ie. me and Chris Fudge would fit in on a safari like your’s. I truly meant it that Africa is now #1 on my bucket list. Your blog entries, have truly inspired me and I think Chris too ;) I know you both so well, and can tell this trip exceeds far beyond what you expected. I’m so happy you are living your dreams. Safe travels… Love Mama KT

  3. Maw and Paw Gough

  4. Hi M&M
    You forgot to mention Niagara Falls is the honeymoon capital of, well,um North America – or was anyway till Las Vegas out-gaudy’ed them for the title…
    Maybe Zimbabwe can use this as a segue to re-enter the tourist trade. Any volunteers to be first?
    Paw, aka Bruce the Moose

Leave a Comment

Your email will not be published.
Required fields are marked *.