During my time as a volunteer in Zimbabwe I had the chance to take a few days off to see Victoria Falls. Chipangali helped me book the bus, accommodation and even a helicopter ride over the area.
The bus was ok. Still the roads in Zimbabwe are not what they could have been – corrupt country and all that – and neither was the bus, but I’ve seen worse. At least we got there in one piece.
And the rain just kept pouring down…
The hostel was fine. They had a swimming pool, which I didn’t really get to use since the weather was chilly (! – yep in Africa!) and rainy. They had cooking facilities – it was after all a hostel. Boxes for your valuables, which was nice, since my first night was in one of the dorms.
Of course, I made sure to get my own room, since I no longer enjoy dorms, so the first night was a dorm, and the following two nights I had my own room. That was great!
The only thing I didn’t like about the hostel was that it was quite far from the centre. I would’ve loved to stay somewhere closer, so it would’ve been easier to walk back and forth. I could’ve paid more for this if it was a money issue.
TIA – a pessimistic African expression… where you blame everything on nothing…
I did, however, have my own private driver, but didn’t really feel comfortable calling him whenever and every time, and then having to wait for his arrival, which not always was particularly fast… after all… TIA – This is Africa
Besides – he wasn’t for free either!
Since Chipangali had horrible wifi (at least when I was there) and I had some problems with my Zim-sim (Zimbabwean simcard), I couldn’t book this trip myself. I had to take what was being served.
Well, it was ok, I guess, but I would’ve preferred getting the option to choose whether to stay in a dorm or a room. In spite of my youthful appearance, I was almost twice the age as most of the volunteers were. There’s certainly plenty of people my age, and older, who don’t mind staying in dorms, but for me, that part of travelling is over.
I don’t want to sleep with random people I don’t know anymore…
Of course, I could’ve voiced all of this myself, but sometimes I just take things for granted, like getting your own room while you actually are travelling alone…
Sometimes I forget I’m Swedish and a very private person, and that everybody’s not thinking exactly like me.
My stay in Victoria Falls was relaxing, for sure, and I had the option to finally go exploring, so I was walking around quite a lot. I travelled with another volunteer from Chipangali – someone slightly more eager to hang out than me – the hermit… 😛 so that was unfortunate…
Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya (“The Smoke that Thunders” in the Tonga language) is the widest waterfalls in the world, and of course there’s a tourist city built all around the falls. A small city or town, serving every tourist’s needs.
I bought it all – of course – non-valid currency, that actually proves I’m a billionaire. Both fun and tragic at the same time. Fun for an empathy-lacking tourist, but tragic for the Zimbabwean people, having their currency on a roller-coaster…
I visited the waterfalls on three occasions, and in hindsight, considering the shameless entry price of 30 USD, this might have been slightly exaggerated. The first time I was there was just an hour before closing time. It was raining, so no pretty pictures, but it was still an experience seeing the falls in this more dramatic weather.
Regardless of the weather, Victoria Falls are pure magic.
Day two in Victoria Falls was helicopter day. 5 crazy tourists were pushed in the helicopter, and somehow I managed to grab the front seat next to the pilot. So brusque and unswedish of me! Sometimes it pays off to be the ego one…!
The pilot showed me different animals, so I felt kind of “special”
The second time visiting the waterfalls was after the helicopter ride, and that other volunteer joined me. He managed to take one of those simply lovely pictures of me… with awful lighting…
I can definitely recommend a visit to Victoria Falls to everyone going to Zimbabwe! It is actually a must, and not just for people crazy about waterfalls, as I am, but for everyone. The waterfalls are actually in Zambia, but the view is better from Zimbabwe, and it’s possible to buy a visa and cross the border to swim in the Devil’s Pool. That would be cool to try!
If there’s a next time I will definitely take a dip there – in the Devil’s Pool!
Have you seen Victoria Falls? What is your impression? Please leave a comment!