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The Smoke that Thunders


Published: June 17th 2017

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01 First View01 First View01 First View

My first view of the falls as we walked along the path.

Geo: -17.93, 25.84

This morning we met at our car at 5:50am. I drove us to Victoria Falls. It was about a five minute drive. We were one of the first few cars there. There was a vendor hiring rain coats. Paul, Francois and I did not have one so we decided to hire them, as from a distance we could see a huge cloud of spray- without the rain coats we were going to get saturated. I was looking forward to see the falls again.

Luckily I managed to get in on the South African entrance fee, which was still quite expensive at US $20. The falls were flowing hard due to the heavy rains in Angola. We quickly walked along the path and missed some of the view points because we wanted to see the sunrise over the falls on the Zambian side. All the falling water created many clouds of mist and from some look out points the waterfall was not visible at all! As we walked to each viewpoint, we walked through a rainforest and enjoyed various birds and interesting plants – vines and fig trees suffocating other trees. We came to the best lookout point and at

02 Misty02 Misty02 Misty

A huge cloud of mist from all the water.

quarter to 7, we enjoyed the sunrise over the falls. There was a very beautiful orange glow over the falls. We got wet from the mist and therefore we were a little bit cold.

We continued to walk to the end where we could view the Victoria Falls Bridge. After viewing the bridge in between the overgrown branches, we turned around and walked back. At about 8 o’clock we arrived back at the entrance. Here there was a cafe. I immediately took off my wet poncho and ordered a cup of tea- what I really needed now was a hot drink. While we had our hot drinks we watched a warthog that was busy eating grass. After another cup of tea and a toasted sandwich I felt much better and all warmed up. Paul and I took photos of each other with the warthog, other animals we saw were monkeys and bushbuck.

We then walked around the area to view the falls once more. There was a small baobab tree, which I tried to get my arms around- they only went around half way. We also came across a statue of David Livingstone, who discovered these falls in 1873. Along

04 A New Day04 A New Day04 A New Day

The sun is just about to rise.

the path I found a hanging vine that was perfect for swinging on. I cautiously swung on the vine- I didn&’t know how much weight it could take! It was pretty fun- reminded me of being in a playground. The guys took their time as they walked through the rainforest and identified many birds. One distinctly interesting bird in this rainforest is the Trumpeter Hornbill. It makes a sound like a crying baby and has a high beak. Once we visited all the viewpoints again, we decided to leave. On the way out, I stopped at the curio shop and bought a pair of little, metal guinea fowls. In the end we spent 5 hours here.

We got back in the car and drove towards the Victoria Falls Bridge &– which is also the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. They allowed us to walk across the bridge. Under the bridge flowed the Zambezi River. From the bridge we saw a young lady bungee jump. Between the bungee jumping and the vibration when a large truck drove across &– it was a pretty scary place to be! There was no way that I would consider jumping off any bridge. We didn&’t

05 John & Paul05 John & Paul05 John & Paul

John and Paul in their ponchos trying to see the falls behind all the mist.

spend long on the bridge.

We drove back to town the long way and stopped at ‘The Big Tree&’ &– which was a large, fenced off baobab tree. As soon as we stopped the car and got out to take a picture, a pair of locals ran up to us to try to sell us some curios. We quickly got back in the car as we were not in the mood to be hassled. Our next stop was the supermarket, this would be our last chance to buy any more food/supplies for the next two weeks. I didn&’t want to be cold like I was a few nights ago, so I bought a really warm blanket. After filling the car with petrol and cooler boxes with ice, we headed back to the backpackers for a chance to relax for a bit.

Back at the backpackers we all split up. Paul, Francois and I agreed to meet again at 3:30pm as we were being picked up then to go on a booze cruise. During our afternoon chill out time, I decided to have a pedicure while sipping on a G & T- bliss! It was very relaxing. I could have easily

06 View06 View06 View

Another view of the falls.

spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying more treatments. Instead I ate a pizza for lunch and freshened up and got ready for the boat trip. I was hoping that we would have some good animal sightings.

We waited for the transfer with 4 other backpackers. Along the way we made pick-ups. The drive to the boat was about 15 minutes. There were about a dozen boats on the river also offering the booze cruise. Our boat was full of much older people, so there was no much of a party atmosphere. It was all you can drink with snacks &– the snacks were very average, but we enjoyed many drinks. The cruise lasted only an hour and a half. During this time we saw elephants drinking, crocodiles lying about, hippos bobbing up and down in the water and various birds. We could also see the spray of the falls. The boat cruise went too quickly. At the end the boat stopped and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

The transfer then took us back to the backpackers where we continued on at the bar.


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