And finally, we got to the end of our tour. It had been a long 20 days. The good: seeing so many wild animals, meeting our fellow travelers, interacting with locals, learning the local culture and history, seeing so many beautiful landscapes, and getting to know the fabulous crew. The bad: putting our bags on and off the truck everyday, mixed vegetables, changing hotels 17 times in 20 days, and spending so much time on the truck instead of being active or even resting at the resorts.
As we crossed into Zimbabwe the crew was beaming and so happy to show off their beautiful country to us. It was green and the most modern place we had seen since Windhoek. As we pulled into the town of Victoria Falls, Gift was explaining some of the financial difficulties in Zimbabwe today. There is literally no cash to be had. ATMs have quarter-mile long lines. People were hawking old 5 billion Zim dollar notes. Read more here.
We got out of the truck and were led to an adventure store. We signed up to go on a 12 minute helicopter ride that afternoon
We were excited to have to-go coffee and tea, ice cream cones and sandwiches at the modern shops. We got our take-away lunch and entered the park to see the falls. Jen and I sat trying to eat while being really harassed by aggressive monkeys. I threw a potato chip to one monkey and she came up and wiped it off, then broke it in two and held a half in each hand. She nibbled on one half then the other. It was really cute.
There is a part of the falls view where you are basically looking at the side where the water is falling over the edge and another part where the mist falls down on you like pouring rain. We were at the falls when the water was really cranking. I have a postcard from when the water is low and it's like it's a completely different place. So we were completely soaking wet when we were finished. It was hilarious. We dried out in the cafe and had a cool drink with the family. A monkey did a smash and grab for some other table's french fries and I believe spilled their soup in the process.
We loved our beautiful hotel, the A'Zambezi. The powerful Zambezi River bordered the property. There were monkeys and warthogs on the grounds. The bar tender had to keep chasing the monkeys off the bar. They wanted the citrus fruit used in mixed drinks. They just lifted the lid and took what they wanted.
A van came and we took the helicopter ride. It was a first for Jenni and she got to sit up front. It was an incredible view and perspective. I don't think I would have appreciated the falls nearly as much because when we were at the falls, we couldn't see too much because of the overwhelming mist-rain.
Later Jen got a mani-pedi in the hotel's "spa" and I went swimming in the beautiful pool. Dinner was a big farewell thing and everyone was pretty emotional. There was a show by a group of dancer-singer-drummers.
The next morning, after a delicious buffet breakfast, there were more goodbyes. Jen and I left for the airport for our flight to Cape Town. Most everyone had another day in Vic Falls before heading home or to Joberg and Kruger National Park.