Bungee Jump or Swim with Crocodiles? More Choices Please!
Landing in Zimbabwe I soon found myself with my nose pressed against the windows of our bus which would take us to the hotel. With a few enthusiastic slaps to my husband’s knee, I squealed, “Oh my gosh! I’ve fallen into a National Geographic Magazine!”
His response? “It would have been a lot cheaper to just buy the magazine.”
Our quick trip to the Victoria Falls Hotel was a step back in time to colonial rule with lavish gardens, impeccable manners, excellent service and a romantic ambiance that only the British know how to create. The doorman amused me to no end and I loved his attire. I thought of him often when I wrote Black Mamba and Kifaru. Big smile and a bigger personality. We took a walk after unpacking and checking out the hotel. Things to remember when going for a walk:
- Don’t go out at night for a walk. Lions often wander in for a midnight snack.
- You’ll be overwhelmed by young men who want to sell you something. I tried to be polite by saying “No thank you,” numerous times. What I found out was all you need to say is “No,” forcefully and tell them to get away. So much for the polite American.
- Wear good walking boots.
- Make sure you know where you’re going and if it is safe. Most of these hotels have marked trails. There are plenty of hotel personal to assist. Everyone speaks English so you can’t blame a language barrier.
Dinner consisted of crocodile (tastes like chicken) and a number of other dishes that didn’t scare me. With romantic candle light, white tablecloths and waiters with red jackets and encouraging smiles, my friend and I got to dress up and look important. (Big laugh here!) Following dinner, we enjoyed a dance presentation in the outdoor arena. The music might surprise you. It sounded like we were in the Caribbean. Well of course! The descendants of today’s Africans in the Western Hemisphere came from this part of the world. So one fun thing I never knew until I visited Zimbabwe.
The following day we walked to Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. Since it was at the end of winter (although the weather was warm) the falls were not flowing at full capacity. We got to go to a crocodile farm. This big boy was 50 years old. They continue to grow their entire life and some have reached 100. Crocs are raised for food and crafts. They aren’t endangered and are harvested from farms like these. And yes! I’m holding a baby croc.
The sunset cruise was on the Zambesi River which feeds Victoria Falls. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about being on a river in an open boat that if stopped could float over the falls. Too much imagination! It could happen. Right? Since I knew crocodiles lived along the edge I kept wondering if I could swim for it if the worst happened.
Other things you do is bungee jump off the bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. Or you can swim in the waters around the falls. Have you seen this YouTube video? These ladies are braver than me. Look them up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVFsiJBSQps
Things I didn’t know about Zimbabwe
- I was struck by the poverty on my way to the hotel.
- If you’re in the hospital out in the boonies, someone, probably a family member, must bring your food and stay with you. That is not provided.
- Several funeral companies donate a tree to families who lose a love one. Trees are planted to help fight the continued problem of deforestation.
- Salaries are around $370 a month.
- For such a small country you can find seven national parks.
- As with many third-world countries, theft and muggings are common. Don’t be going out alone at night. Stick with a reputable travel company for guidance. There was a coup several years ago and there is hope that the new government can turn the country around.
- Look at the map. See how big the continent is? Look at all the countries and how they stack up.
Our next stop is Botswana. Sigh. Love this country so much! In the meantime, you might want to check out Black Mamba. You can pre-order the fifth in the Enigma Series for .99 https://amzn.to/2PjbZuo All the Enigma books are complete at the end. I don’t leave you hanging. Well there is always a promise of another adventure just around the corner.
My friend Leann and I decided ahead of time we weren’t going for the glamour look. This explains our lovely attire. No fussing with hair or makeup. Well we stuck to that until we found out John Travolta and a few other Hollywood types had just visited our next camp in Botswana. That’s a story I’ll tell you next.