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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Zimbabwe/Zambia - 10 April, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Victoria Falls (Shoestring Campsite) S1755.568' E02550.111' 892 m
Zimbabwe - Zambia border
Helicopter flight over Victoria Falls 100 km
Zambia - Zimbabwe border
Finish Victoria Falls (Shoestring Campsite) S1755.568' E02550.111' 892 m

Total:

33,952 km

13,132 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny and very hot.  Cool at night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

This morning we had planned on going for a helicopter flight over the falls, but we had been told yesterday that the helicopter had been grounded, so we could not go.  They were going to try and see if they could arrange anything with the company on the Zambian side - we would find out this morning.  After packing up our stuff, we wander into town, where we find out that they have been able to re-book us and we will be leaving in about one hour.  We decide to go have breakfast in the meantime.

 

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We are picked up outside the booking office and, once again, head off to Zambia.  This will now be our fourth visit.  We enjoy the ride across the bridge and arrive in Zambia.  By 10:30 AM we are at the helicopter base.  We will be the second group to go up, so we wait for a short while.  It is then our turn and we line up to get in the helicopter.  Lars is lucky and gets the front seat next to the pilot.  Once we are buckled in, we are off.

 

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We lift off the ground a few feet and the pilot zips forward, slowly gaining ground as we go.  It is great.  We then fly up to and over the Zambezi river upstream from the falls.  We head down toward the falls and we are awestruck by the views that we get. 

 

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The pilot does a number of circles around the falls in both directions.

 

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We get to take in all parts of the falls, including the bridge over the gorge below the falls.

 

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We can also see the old Victoria Falls - the original is 8 km downstream and the present one is number 8.  The river has slowly worked its way through the weaknesses in the basalt that runs perpendicular to the river's flow.

 

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We then head downstream to take in the view of the gorges.  They are stunning.  We also get to fly over the gorge where we did the gorge swinging on our last visit to Victoria Falls.

 

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It is then back upstream for one last look at the falls from the air before heading up the river.  Along the way, we get an excellent view of the golf course that Lars played on yesterday.

 

We then need to head back to the airfield - our fifteen minutes are up.  But it was a great ride and well worth doing.  We need to hang around and wait for the others to complete their ride and we then head back towards Zimbabwe.  We get back to our campsite at noon.  We organise our stuff and then head off.

 

First we grab some lunch and then go to the post office to mail off some stuff.  From there, we head down to the falls so that we can get a close look at them from the Zimbabwe side.  It is a short walk and we are there by 2 PM.

 

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We then spend the next two hours wandering through the park, looking at the falls from all directions.  We came prepared with our rain gear and did we ever need it.  The river is full and the spray is tremendous.  We got totally soaked (you can see the water drops in the the lower right of the picture).  As a result, it is quite hard to take pictures (unless you want your camera to get soaked).

 

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We wandered the whole length of the falls, from Devil's Cataract to Danger Point and the look out over the Boiling Pot.  On our way out, it was a bit cloudy, but as we got to the end, the sun began to shine through the clouds.  We then started to get some great rainbows, including under the bridge, ...

 

Zimbabwe01_VicFalls2_Falls15_Devils_Rainbow_2900_Web.gif (212295 bytes)

... and back at Devil's Cataract. Once we had a chance to see all of the falls, we decided to head back to the campsite.  Once there, we organised our stuff (we are leaving tomorrow) and to take a shower.  We then decide to go to Jungle Junction at the Victoria Falls Hotel for dinner.

 

We head off shortly after 6 PM and get there around 6:30 PM.  And is it ever a spread.  It is so good that Lars runs off to find Jim and Paolo.  He finds Jim in the Kingdom about to have a pizza and Jim decides to leave his pizza for later.  We then go look for Paolo at the Explorer bar.  We take a taxi, who races us up there.  We run in and tell Paolo to forget whatever he is eating and to come with us.  To his credit, he asks no questions and follows us.

 

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We get back to the Victoria Falls Hotel and have the feast of our trip in Africa.  It is a huge buffet spread.  We order some wine to go with dinner, which includes some game meat.  We finish off with some sinful desserts (including freshly made crepe suzettes - Lars tries all three types) and some cigars and port.  It is a great meal.  During dinner we have some traditional music and dancing to keep us entertained.  We also get to watch the nearly full moon rise and light up the spray from the falls.  It is wonderful.

 

Zimbabwe01_VicFalls2_FallsNight_Web.gif (105519 bytes)

After dinner, totally stuffed, we waddle off to the Kingdom for some drinks, cigars and some gambling.  It is our last night here, so we want to see what kind of luck we have.  Lars does very well on the roulette wheel.  His numbers keep coming up and we have a grand old time.  We just keep on increasing the bets and just keep on winning.  We play until we get rid of all our small chips and then go and cash in - we have won 20 times our starting amount.  The only problem we will have now is that we need to spend all this money - it is pretty much worthless outside Zimbabwe as the currency is rapidly depreciating.  That will be tomorrow's problem.

 

We then head back to the campsite to go to bed.  It has been a great day.

 

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