Just to wrap up last night, Terry and Debra joined us to peruse the mall. Jim was looking for a knit beanie to wear in the early mornings for the game drives and Terry wanted a new backpack. Debra and just wanted to see this amazing upscale mall across from our hotel in Mandela Square. Well, we weren’t disappointed on any count.
The biggest surprise was that the anchor store was Woolworth’s – yes, Woolworth’s. They had every kind of fashion department and a supermarket that could best any Whole Foods or fancy market in the US or Canada. Debra and I were walking around with our mouths hanging open at the variety and quality of the offerings. Fortunately, we didn’t have much time, or we would still be there!
In any case, we left our hotel this morning at 7:30 to get to the Joburg airport for our flight to Victoria Falls. The short flight was packed and we were in row 66, just three rows from the back. I was not imagining that the VF airport could handle such a big plane. Easy flight, but once we landed, we were told that the delay in getting our visa to enter Zimbabwe was very tedious. They weren’t kidding. We stood around for over an hour at one of the many kiosks to get processed, to pay the $45 US per person for a two entry visa, so we can walk over to the Zambia side of the falls. Yikes! Eventually, we got through, got our bags and bus to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, about 30 minutes from the airport.
The Lodge is beautiful, surrounded by woods that welcome animals to the watering spot, visible from all the rooms. After a quick turnaround, we walked to the lobby and right at there was an elephant getting a sip of water. How awesome! We met in the lobby to take our sunset cruise on the Zambesi River to spot more wildlife. The pontoon boat had tables and chairs, a stocked bar and a captain who provided lots of
information about the river and area. We were serenaded by men in various native costumes, singing and harmonizing songs that could have been from The Lion King. We all loved it.
As we slowly navigated the river, sipping vodka tonics, we saw several hippos hidden, then visible in the water. Sometimes, only their eyes were above the
water. It kind of felt like a ride at Disneyland. We saw white beaked vultures in the trees (one of many species of vultures in the area that are fed to great fanfare every day at 1:00PM). We saw beautiful small birds with very colorful heads called Bee Eaters. And, we could see the mist from the falls, creating rainbows. However, the best part was the sunset itself. We were all enraptured with
the colors of the sky as the sun went down. Or, maybe it was the vodka tonics!
Back to the Lodge for dinner and more music. It has been another long day, but very satisfying. Tomorrow, we are off to see the falls in another boat, from below. Luckily, it is nice and warm here (mid to high 80’s), so getting a little wet should pose no problem. We are going to the artesan market and in the late afternoon, to an evening game drive and bush dinner. Another adventure… Time for bed.