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Daily Archives: August 15, 2011

Zambia, Africa – Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya)

Author: Kendal

DAY 1

Victoria Falls is one of the 7 Wonders of the World.  Today we went to the top of Victoria Falls. We got a taxi from Jolly Boys Camp (the place we are staying) to Royal Livingstone (a very, very fancy hotel, where we are not staying). While on the road to Royal Livingstone we saw some baboons walking on the side of the road! It was crazy! Once we got there we headed out to the boat that was going to take us to the only island on the edge of glory! 😉 Jk! I mean the edge of Victoria Falls! We took the same route that David Livingstone took when he discovered the beautiful falls. Well it was discovered before he got there, he was just the first white man to find it and to tell others about it.  We got off the boat and were treated like royalty.  We were handed what I think was an orange Fanta with Sprite before the tour. Then, because it’s kind of like the water rides at different theme parks, we were given raincoats. The water sprays everywhere, approaching the falls it looks like you’re headed into smoke but it’s actually the spray from the falls. It’s known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or the “Smoke that Thunders”.  They told us that we had to take off our shoes so we started walking barefoot with our raincoats.  There was mud everywhere! When we stepped sometimes our feet sank into the ground past our ankles! It was like a mud bath for our feet!!  As we headed over it was hard for me to imagine what it would look like because of the mud slowly squeezing its way between my toes, and toenails but I was kind of picturing some pictures that I had seen of Victoria Falls. Everyone in the group (which was 8 of us) had to hold hands as we reached the edge.  We then walked to the edge of Victoria Falls! It was not even close to the pictures, you might think that they photo shop the pictures to look that beautiful (I know I kind of thought that) but they don’t! So the pictures are real! I swear! They are not a green-screen backdrop with fake pictures!!! It was that magnificent! The guides took our picture as we posed by the water. When we were getting our pictures taken at the edge of the falls, which is 360 feet straight down, dad was squeezing my arm so hard! It was like when you go to the doctor and he checks your blood pressure with the machine. Then everyone went and walked through the mud and rocks again (barefoot!). Once we reached a certain point they let each of us go, one by one, to the edge of Victoria Falls and look down. It was an awesome view and Dad was even brave enough to get a picture for you! After the cool view, the guides asked our group if they wanted to go swimming. The option was to dip/swim in the top of the falls before the water goes over the edge.  Our family said no, but four other people went swimming. While they were swimming, we went to eat breakfast overlooking the falls.  It was very tasty.  After that, one of the guides washed everyone’s feet, to get rid of all the mud from our mud bath.  Like I said we were treated like royalty.  Shortly after we took the speedboat back to the Royal Livingstone. When we got to the hotel we sat on a swing and talked about our favorite parts of the adventure. Because we still had 2 hours until the taxi came back for us we decided to walk around the hotel grounds. As we were walking we came across at least 20 or more monkeys that live on the hotel grounds. They were just roaming around like it was normal!!! They were so cute! They started following us so we started to FAST-walk back to other people. We asked one of the cleaning people if the monkeys were friendly and he said yes, but when we asked a security person he said no.  He was holding a slingshot aiming at the monkeys.  Mom started talking to him, and he said he could show us the giraffes, and zebras that they had on the hotel grounds!!! So we got a ride on a golf cart out to see the animals and the trainer came out and explained it all to us for FREE! It was awesome!  Finally, before our taxi came for us we got a drink on the Zambezi River.  All in all it was an awesome experience.

That's Keegan walking behind one of our guides and the edge of Victoria Falls is right in front of them. That's not smoke, that's spray from the falls down below.

Here we are on the edge of Victoria Falls - a few steps to our right and we're heading straight down, it was so exciting!!

Here's another angle - you can see Dad's "death grip" on Keegan, his other hand was holding me. As long as the sun is out there are rainbows everywhere.

Because it was so dangerous you decided whether you wanted to go look down the falls. We all did. The guide was asking me, "Kendal do you want the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if yes go jump for it"!! I didn't.

Here's the view, that's 360 feet down and the roaring water was so loud!

This is breakfast overlooking Victoria Falls.

Keegan was looking at all the monkeys on the roof and was shocked to see what was behind him.

That's me at the Royal Livingstone Resort.

DAY 2

Today we went to see the other side of Victoria Falls. We took a free shuttle there from Jolly Boys and a taxi back.  Once we got there we saw baboons everywhere! All kinds, some had babies, some older, male, female, all different kinds, and they are very scary looking. We had been warned by many other campers that the baboons do attack and take your bags so keep your bags concealed or don’t bring them (they are looking for food). We walked inside the gate and we headed into the forest.  It’s almost like a rain forest in the desert because of the spray from the falls.  It’s very green and pretty in this area.  We started going one way but we get stopped in our tracks because a huge male baboon was standing in our way, and its face seemed to be taunting us. We turned and headed another way down to the Boiling Pot (because we were following people) we went down half way, it was very steep, but then figured out that it’s not the way we wanted to go so we headed back up. Finally we got on the right path. We went and took a few pictures and were about to get a snack before we went to look at the falls closer when we heard the screams! A lady and a very big baboon were fighting over her backpack, they were playing tug of war with her large backpack, but then the lady fell backwards into a bush and the baboon had the bag, by then a number of men, including a park worker with a knife, came rushing in to help, chasing the baboon but the baboon easily ran and jumped off the side of the cliff with the bag. (We found out later that you are not supposed to chase them if they have your pack, just let them look through it, once they don’t find food or even if they do they will drop the bag and take off, if you chase them they will run to places and you will never see your bag again).  After the show 😉 we had a snack and restored our energy, we then headed to Victoria Falls. As we got closer we started to feel the water. Then we saw it, the breath-taking view of Victoria Falls.  It was just beautiful, my favorite part was watching the crystal like droplets of water come back up and splash us, it was surreal.  After we soaked it in for a while we started walking along it (it’s about 1 mile long), and took a billion pictures and videos.

That's me again - words can't describe what we saw that day.

We were all soaked.

My dad loved it!

The different sides that we saw of Victoria Falls were equally beautiful. We were able to see both and I’m glad we were able to because it makes up for other things (like scary baboons) that we have experienced in Zambia. And I’m sure the next couple things that we do will not disappoint.

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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Zambia