Goal 73 – regal Victoria Falls.

The town of Victoria Falls itself is pretty small, and it’s only a short walk from the station to the town centre. However, it is possible to attract double-figure pesterings in such a short distance! I think being white here means that you have a huge $$$ sign above your head, as it is absolutely impossible to walk anywhere without being offered taxi rides, tours, statues, figurines, necklaces, food, drink, and of course, Zim Dollar notes! I will be very careful if doing any further note trading!!

Once I found a hostel I showered and changed, which was wonderful after a couple of long days and nights of travel. After lunch I wandered back into town, and then down towards the Falls. Chatting to a family returning from viewing the Falls, I decided that I would need my waterproof camera case – they were soaked! So I opted to save my entry fee for the next day, and instead took a wander just down the road to the border crossing into Zambia.

There I found out that I could pass throught the Zimbabwe border, even without my passport, and wander down to the bridge over the Zambesi, in no-man’s-land, between the two countries. There were more enthusiastic touts on the bridge offering bungy jumps, zip-lines, statues, jewellery, and of course, more Zim Dollar notes – I was very tempted to buy a 50,000,000,000,000 (fifty trillion) note for a couple of dollars!

The view from the bridge back upriver to the Falls is spectacular, and the view downstream too is of a deep gorge, huge river roaring through the middle, with the spectacular-looking Victoria Falls Hotel perched on the edge in the distance. You can’t really see all of the Falls, as much of it is hidden around the corner, but the height is spectacular indeed, especially when seen with a couple of people on the island in front to give some scale.

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One of the local tourist policemen took me down a little back path to a great viewpoint looking back up the river to the bridge. The spur of land inside the sweep of the river is part of Zambia.

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In the evening I found an internet cafe, and managed to book a flight back to Johannesburg from Livingstone in Zambia, so my plan changed slightly. I had decided that flying back to Jo’burg was the only option, as overland would have taken two more days, and I didn’t have enough time or patience for more bus journeys. I had expected to fly back from Victoria Falls, and just take a one day trip into Zambia, thereby avoiding another hefty visa fee. However, flight from Livingstone and visa are the same total cost of flight alone from Vic Falls.

So the next morning I packed my bags again and walked down to the Falls entrance, running the gauntlet of touts once again. Entry was a multi-currency option, and I decided to pay using some of my remaining SA Rand, saving my US Dollars, which are much more widely accepted here.

The views of the Falls are stunning. I started at one end at the Devil’s Cataract, and then followed the gorge along on the opposite side to the Falls, seeing the Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and ending up at Danger Point, where you can see the river exit the gorge and head down under the bridge.

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The Horseshoe Falls are amazing, at over 100 metres high. The noise and spray is incredible, and at Danger Point it was impossible to avoid getting soaked. I was glad I had waited to bring the waterproof case for the camera!

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After achieving my goal of seeing the Falls, having spent a good long morning admiring the Zimbabwe side, it was time to cross the border into Zambia.

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Parag - January 26, 2010 Reply

There is a wide choice of Victoria Falls accommodation, ranging from luxurious villas on the banks of the Zambezi and safari lodges in private game reserves, to large colonial-style resorts within sight of Fall's huge plume of spray. Each has its unique advantages and features.
I cannot imagine buying fifty trillion note for a couple of dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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