Day 7 – Arriving to Vic Falls
So we made it past the border and are now in Victoria Falls. Passing the border went much smoother than anticipated. Getting out of Botswana was easy, and on the Zimbabwe side we had one small group in front of us so the wait wasn’t to bad. In Vic Falls we got dropped of by the Shearwater office in town. The Pink Caravan has used Shearwater as a partner her for many years and we got a warm welcome and information on the activities on offer. Shearwater has also expended since the last time I went here and now also operate a small café with good food.
After the information I had lunch at the Shearwater Café before going back to the camp site. Where I got back here we had the first wild life attack, part from mosquitoes, for this trip. One of the girls got stung by a scorpion while sitting at the pools edge. Scorpion bites are really painful even it their not that dangerous unless you get an allergic reaction. And ambulance came, she got a shot of painkillers and were asked to relax and keep a bit of ice on the swelling. A good night sleep got her fit for fight again the next day.
Day 8 – Adventure day
Today has been flat out doing stuff all day. I got up at seven, ready to go canoeing in the Zambezi river at seven thirty. On the drive toward our launch site we had a mini safari as we drove through the national park. While taking a detour we came upon three giraffes by the road. After driving a bit further and turning back we got the same giraffes on the road coming back. This time they got backup, and we ended up with a heard of fifteen giraffes on the road in front of us. As we got closer they slowly moved of the road but stopped just a few meters away to look at the spectacle that was us 🙂
At the launch site we go together with two other travellers from another company doing the same tour. This gave all of us a bit of extra security with three guides and the eight of us. We had breakfast on the beach, eggs, bacon, juice, tea and proper coffee. Good start to the day even if the weather Gods didn’t seem to be in our favour. We have overcast weather with a bit of wind all day.
After doing a safety brief we started of down the river. Just after larch we got to see an elephant on the far bank, and we were constantly looking for the hippos. The water level is very high at the moment which means the Hippos are moving around and can be hard to spot so the guides took extra care when we got to places that hippos prefer. At one time one got in the water not far from our canoes which lead to some hard paddling the other way. Nobody got eaten by hippos today. In the middle we had a little break, getting out of the canoes to stretch our legs. On the way down the river we also had to go down a few small rapids, nothing like the one your raft, but still one of them had me bouncing out of the canoe and into the river. I’m not sure how it happened, but the canoe in front of the one I was in got pushed against a rock, and the our canoe slammed into that one which threw me into the river. After sailing down the rest of the rapid hanging on to the canoe I got back in when we came to the calmer place. I guess that means I’ve been swimming with crocodiles and hippos 🙂
After our paddling we got to shore on a resort and got a splendid three course lunch.
Back in the camp I had just thirty minutes to get into some dry clothes before the second activity of the day. After being picked up me and two others from the bus along with a few others drove on to do a night game drive. Starting out in daylight we drove around the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve where we got to see more animal. This park has a very successful black rhino breeding program and there are now eight black rhinos in the park. Most of them has been de horned to protect against poachers, but there is one female that they haven’t been able to catch yet. We got lucky enough to see her sneaking around in the bushes. Later we also got to see some of the other rhinos. We also got a close encounter with two young male elephants who wanted to show of a bit.
Just before sunset we had a break, stopping in the bush for some drinks and snack while our driver prepared the car for night driving. His spotlight had some connection issues so he just cut the plug off and connected it directly to the battery instead, bush style 🙂
On the night driver we were not that luck, animals are hard to find and the thick brush doesn’t make it easier. You still get the thrill of the hunt which is great.
Before heading out of the park we had dinner at a small place, where I guess the views would have been great in the daytime. Food was excellent and the conversation around the table was loose.
When I got back to the bus it was time to crawl inn, day three in Vic Falls had another early adventure.
Day 9 – Walking with lions and a sunset cruise
Today at six thirty we got picked up ready to go walk with lions. The walk with lions is part of an initiative to try to save the African Lion population. The last time I went to Vic Falls I didn’t want to do it because I was a bit sceptical on the hole process. But since then I’ve heard a lot of positive talks about it from people who have volunteered there and other visitors.
The program is quite interesting. They take captive lions and train those to get back into the wild. These lions will never be let loose since they are to closely connected to humans. But these lions are released into a controlled environment where they will hunt and kill their own prey and have cubs. These cubs are never touch by humans and have to learn skills from their parent and the environment. The goal is to take some of these cubs and release them into the wild when they are around fiver years old. This year will be there first year that lions are released back into the wild and it will be interesting to see if this works out like planned.
After a bit of walking, and petting the cubs we had some breakfast before heading back to town.
Later we got picked up and went on a Sunset Cruise, Booze Cruise would be a more correct name. We also managed to see a bit of wildlife on the trip, a few crocodiles and some hippos. When we got back to shore our bus took us right to Shoestring where the party continued until late. Which for us was just after midnight 🙂
Day 10 – Last day in Vic Falls
Today was our last day in Vic Falls and I didn’t have much planned. I tried sleeping late, but it’s kind of hard when it’s getting hot on the roof and you got baboons trampling around on the trap. After a good breakfast some of did a walk down to the falls. Walking here now is very different from the last time I went here. Today the water level is high and we got absolutely soaking wet by the spray from the river. The sun was out today so a hose down doesn’t do much.
We had lunch in the park before walking back to camp. The walk to and from the falls was also an adventure as there was a herd of elephants in the bushes along the way. The first one we spotted on the way down got to be the largest one I’ve seen so far this trip. On the way back we saw three more.
Back at the camp I spent a while relaxing by the bus until it was time to go to the Victoria Falls Hotel for high tea. Great relaxing afternoon as expected.