From the idyllic islands in the Seychelles, we continued our journey south in Africa and flew to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. One of the largest waterfalls in the world, the falls themselves were the main attraction for us.
Zimbabwe has been in the news in the past few years for less than positive reasons. There has been a lot of political unrest and jobs are scarce. Safety can also be a concern in some areas. Previously, the Zimbabwe dollar was in use, before US dollar was introduced to combat the hyperinflation. Just this year, foreign currencies were disallowed and the government changed the local currency to the bond, which there isn’t enough of which to circulate. This resulted in Zimbabweans with plenty of useless old currency like this one:
However, the town of Victoria Falls seems to be in its own bubble in Zimbabwe and an exception to the country considering all the tourist dollars that come this way.
Everything in town revolved around the falls, from hotels and restaurants catering to tourist to all the excursions available. Attractions and activities were quite pricey (think North America price levels) but definitely worth it.
We visited the Victoria Falls park and had a great time. A 1-2km long walk along the edge of the falls takes you through a series of viewpoints in which you can not only see, but feel the might of the impressive drop and shear volume of water. The water spray was real and could get you soaked in minutes.
The end of the trail takes you to the peace bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia, where some travelers bungee jump into the chasm below.
We crossed the border from Zimbabwe to Zambia and stayed in Zambia for a few hours only. Our plans here were to visit the Devil’s Pool by the edge of the falls.
What really set Victoria Falls apart from the others in its league, namely Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls, was the opportunity to be at the very edge of the falls.
We’ve taken boat tours to the bottom of the falls where you can experience the pressure of the water on your body, but here we could sit at the top and experience the thrill of almost falling into a 100m drop, never to return.
The tour starts on the Zambian side of the falls and takes you to a nice boat ride on the Zambezi river. There were some rapids along the way, but nothing too big or dangerous. We continued to land on Livingstone island and had a short walk and swim in the river to get to Devil’s pool.
Once there, we followed our guide and jumped into the pool. One by one, we took our turns at the very edge of the falls. Only one rock separated you from certain death and lying on top of it with water flowing around you was exhilarating. Looking down was both, one of the coolest sights ever and one of the most terrifying scenes you will ever have. Words just can’t describe it.
Once we had enough of playing with our luck, we headed back for a delicious afternoon high tea.
Namibian Nomads with Absolute Africa
Besides providing us with one of the coolest experiences of our lives, Zimbabwe was also the beginning of our 22-day overland safari taking us from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, across four countries, and ending in Cape Town in South Africa.