Ostrich Burgers, lion walks and funny money
Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
125Trip End Jun 12, 2006
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Took advantage of the full English on the menu, very nice sausage by the way, before taking a minibus to the border with Zimbabwe.
Good views back to Vic Falls for the tall bridge crossing the Lower Zambezi. I also got to look down over the drop the bungee jumpers take on the 3rd highest jump in the world, all 111m of it. Border formalities were a doddle, but like Zambia, the Zimbabwians also didn't like the English and stung me for $55.
I arrived at the shoestring backpackers in Victoria Falls town for 11:30am to find out that my driver and assistant were still fast asleep in bed.
Met James, Charlie and Liam, 3 gap year students who I would be sharing the trip with. The other people were Kate, a 26 year old Kiwi, Nina, a German practicing law in NY for the last 7 years and Jackie and Byron, 2 Americans from Washington living in Liberia for the last 2 years. They all seemed nice enough.
Ordered an ostrich burger for lunch, very much like beef, and changed my $30 US into Zim $. I got over $5m in a wad that was over an inch thick.
In Zim the largest currency in the $50,000, but in reality there aren't that many of them and the $20,000 is what you usually get. A beer cost $150,000, so you need at least 8 notes to pay for it. Go out for an expensive meal and you need a wheel barrow! The new notes, such as the $20,000 are funny. They must have been made in such a hurry to cope with the massive inflation they look more like monopoly money and were just about blank on the backs!
Checked out the overland truck, it was a monster Scania truck with high up seating area attached to the back. It does look like a pretty cool truck for travelling in though.
On a whim I booked what was billed as a walk with the lions for that evening! All the money raised goes to a program to re-introduce lions into the wild. Their numbers have dropped for 250,000 in the distant past to 20,000 a few years back with an estimated 8000-15000 left today.
The idea was that you walk with the lion and are part of their pride and help them with their evening hunt!
Overall a fantastic experience and highly recommended.