Zambia - Victoria Falls

Trip Start Feb 26, 2006
Trip End Nov 28, 2006

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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The next day, we took the ferry across the 'Mighty Zambezi' river into Zambia to the city of Livingstone, the jumping point for many outdoor/adventure activities, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, and scenic flights.

A trip to Livingstone would not be complete without a visit to its number one attraction - Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls is shared with its neighbour, Zimbabwe. You can get quite close to the falls via a suspension bridge and we got completely drenched from the heavy mist!!! The consolation was seeing a rainbow over the falls.

We were able to walk upriver to the starting point of the falls, but there is no barrier, so if you're not careful, you could easily fall in the river and be taken for a ride down the falls!

Outside the entrance to the falls is a large market. Shopping at the curio markets in Livingstone is quite the experience! Everyone wants you to go in their store and look at their goods. An interesting thing we discovered is that shopkeepers here are very willing to barter (with some cash on top), whether it's clothing, shoes, bandanas, and even small things like pens and hair accessories (but we think that the small items are really just to get you thinking that you can buy something for nothing). We and one guy in our group were asked to trade for a used plastic water bottle with some juice inside.

A few people in our group decided to do the bungee jumping off Victoria Falls bridge, and the rest of us went to watch. The bridge is 111 metres, and looking down at the rough water below made us wonder why people do this! Here is Tobias from our group on his jump.

Normally it costs $65 US for a visa into Zimbabwe, but as the Vic falls bridge straddles both Zambia and Zimbabwe, we thought we'd sneak across to Zim...
and back...

Our overland group decided to go on a dinner/booze sunset cruise as well.

We had a great time as it was an open bar and buffet, and we even saw some hippos as well as a pair of white rhinos graxing on the river banks..

Our highlights:
- We thought it would be nice to take a trail at Victoria Falls called the 'Boiling Pot'. The trail would take us down to the edge of the rapids at the base of the falls. We had to share the trail with a huge family of Chacma Baboons! We were rewarded when we got to the river's edge and had an amazing view of the Victoria Falls bridge and the very rough rapids surrounding it (i.e. the 'Boiling Pot').

- Ed decided to tackle the mighty Zambezi in a different way by rafting its infamous Class 5 rapids. Unfortunately, he couldn't take a camera to take any photos, but here he is getting ready:

Edmund's raft flipped at Rapid # 16b - "The Terminator 2". After going into the rapids at a bad angle, the raft was tossed over and everyone was dumped whereupon we were washed down the river. It was a pretty weird experience because you couldn't tell what was up or down, and gasping for breath before being sucked into another set of rapids. One girl almost drowned and was pretty traumatized by it. Doesn't that sound like fun?
- Amy opted for a little more low-key activity and spent the day at a local pre-school (ages 3-6) singing songs, reading books, and playing games with the students:

- Lastly spending a few days in Livingstone relaxing and not worrying about packing up to go to the next destination was nice. We got to just sit back at the pool and enjoy some drinks to unwind for a few days.
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