A Travellerspoint blog

From Zimbabwe

sunny 34 °C

It's been a week since I last managed to update due to long days travelling and very unreliable internet connections in Zambia and then Zimbabwe. Since last updating I spent 3 days at a second campsite in Lake Malawi, 3 days travelling through Zambia to Victoria Falls (the border with Zimbabwe) and then yesterday here, white water rafting and riverboarding the Zambezi. I'm currently in the town of Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe side of the border.

The three days at the second campsite, further down Lake Malawi than the one I last updated from, were mostly spent relaxing by the lake and swimming. On one of the evenings we organised a dress up party where everyone on the trip drew someone else's name and spent $5 shopping in a market for the most ridiculous clothes possible, some of the outfits had to be seen to be believed. The markets contained the worst dresses and colourful tops imaginable, probably discarded from Western charity shops!

The highlight of Lake Malawi for me was a village walk that some of us went on with some local villagers. They took us to the local market but also to an orphanage where about 100 children live and go to school. The buildings were all modern but basic, paid for by English and American doners. The children were fantastic, reciting their times tables and singing songs for us.

After Malawi, we were 'in transit' through Zambia in order to reach Victoria Falls. What this actually means is getting up at 5am for three mornings in a row and spending most of the day on the truck! Although some people have had enough of the truck already, I don't find it too bad, plenty of chances for reading and playing cards! Also, we were arriving at the campsites an hour or so before sundown which allowed us to use their pools, much needed in the temperatures. The worst thing about Zambia is the visa cost, due to a fall-out with the British, we're currently being charged US$150 to enter. Great!

We stayed at Livingstone (named after Dr. David, who 'discovered' the falls and named them after the queen) on the Zambia side on Thursday night and crossed the border on Friday, two bribes were required but we got through eventually! I've yet to be out to the falls but am planning to tommorow evening. It's currently the dry season which means that the falls are not the size they are in June or July. Some people have still been out on helicopter rides over the top and say they're still fantastic (as you'd expect one of the seven natural wonders of the world to be!).

The Zambezi is the river that the falls are on and the rocks and volume of water means that they are perfect for rafting and kayaking. This is fairly expensive to do, but its worth it. We rafted down 21 sets of rapids in a raft with 7 of us in, there were four rafts in our group with kayakers to rescue anyone who goes overboard. 14 people from our tour went meaning we could fill two rafts to ourselves. The rapids are some of the best in the world and vary from grade 3 to 5 (grade 6 cannot be rafted by us). The raft I was on overturned twice and I was sent overboard on two other sets, these are by far the best moments, although the time I got caught underneath the raft and couldn't breathe wasn't so much fun! It takes the full day to raft the 21 rapids, after breaking for lunch some of us paid out to go riverboarding which involves going down the rapids on a boogie/bodyboard with flippers on, tough to do considering the huge currents trying to drag you to rocks. By far the best was rapid 18 (named oblivion!) which is grade 5 and had a wave at least 2m big crashing on top of me and my board. The rafting and bodyboarding was filmed and I will get a copy and show everyone eventually.

We leave Vic Falls tommorow morning and head into Botswana to Chobe National Park. Yesterday was day 21 of our 42 day trip and I can't believe how fast it is going.

Posted by pullboy 22:39 Archived in Zimbabwe Tagged round_the_world

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This sounds more exciting than cold, wet days in UK!

We seem to be missing a 3-day entry from the 24-27 October period......can this be located and re-posted?

by StevieK

You seem to be having an exciting time. Can`t wait for next blog. Any photos?

by NannaJones

sounds like you're having fun! that rafting sounds better than the one we did on the colorado river! XX

by dannilouis

Seems like your having a great time. We had our first snowfall last tuesday (well up north anyway!) so very jealous that your in the heat. Stay safe xxx

by -marie-

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