Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Zambia  ,
Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Smoke that Thunders - is what the title means and is the Zambian name for the Victoria Falls. Bit of trivia for you all!

Before our Zambia entry, just to let you all know we've now put some photos of Zanzibar up as we couldn't do it before - check it out, it's gorgeous!!

We spent a week at Jolly Boys Backpackers Lodge in Livingstone, Zambia, the site of the Zambian side of the falls (you can also visit from Zimbabwe). We'd met up with two other English guys called Alam and Matt in Lusaka and we hung out with them in Livingstone.

The falls weren't as we imagined as it has been the dry season, the area has been very dry for months and there have been real water shortages. Although there wasn't as much water and mist as we thought, it was an amazing sight. We got up early (5.30am and you all know that is early for us!) to get there before the crowds which was totally worth it. Apparently, after the rainy season, when the waters going over the falls are at their highest levels you get soaked as you walk along the top. At least for us it was easy to get photos without too much mist.

After we  had walked along the top we went down to the bottom of the falls - the 'boiling pot' which is also where the rafting starts from at this time of year. Most of the 600m down was a path, however at the bottom it was all large boulders (sorry, we didn't get any pictures of this - you'll know why in a second). Being clumsy, I (Sarah) managed to slip over on a wet rock and fell over, hitting my head on a large rock. Long story short I cut my head at the back and by the way, head injuries bleed a LOT! So after Tom managed to stop the bleeding (he's so good in a emergency) we climbed our way back up to get a taxi to the hospital where I got a nice stitch (ouch!)

We were really worried that this would stop us going white water rafting which we had booked with Safari Par Excellence which were a really good company. We had both been looking forward to this for ages - the Zambezi river, especially at this time of the year is supposed to be the best place in the world for rafting. Thankfully the wound healed well over the next few days so we went. It was a fantastic experience although scary when the raft flipped and we fell out in the middle of the rapids, which happened twice. It felt like being in a washing machine, the water sucks you down and you roll all over the place. Then eventually you pop back up to the surface (just when you think you can't hold your breath any longer) and you look around for the raft to clamber back in. Even after this experience Tom still got out of the raft twice to swim through a couple of the smaller rapids. Out of all the 23 rapids, which cover 24kms of river, we managed to go through all but one rapid which was a grade 6 and not commercially used. We got a really good DVD but unfortunately can only put still photos on the blog for you to see.

After our week of relaxing at Jolly Boys round the pool, bar and hammocks! we got, yes you guessed it another coach! to Windhoek, Namibia... more on that to follow soon.
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geoffansell on

Amazing Trip
I thought rowing on the Thames was exciting but your rafting looked amazing. Have a great birthday on 1st Dec Tom and Sarah is your head better now? Blessings, Dad xxx

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