September 7, 2011 By Pamela 2 Comments
Victoria Falls is one of those places that is on (just about) every travelers list of things to see/do/experience.
I set up my tent with Sarah for the last time (as she would be going home from Victoria Falls) and tried to imagine what it’ll be like to sleep in the tent on my own going forward. Needless to say, I’m not sure setting up and taking down the tent on my own is going to work, lol. I quickly cast the thoughts from my mind and continued to get everything ready as I’d be spending 2 1/2 days in Victoria Falls.
As I unrolled my bedmat and sleeping bag inside, I could hear the roar of the falls in the distance -I then made a mental note to not drink too much as the noise of the falls would make me have to pee in the middle of the night. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the mist and heard the roar of waterfalls (Niagara was back in 2008), and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I arrived in Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls is the halfway point of my Classic Journeys trip from Kenya to Cape Town with Intrepid. Some of our group (actually, most of our group) will be going home from here. Out of 18 people, only 7 of us are continuing to Cape Town. Before we leave Victoria Falls we’ll be joined by 5 more people, making our new group nice and small (which means we don’t have to sit beside one another if we don’t want to). I just hope that most of them are normal and there isn’t another ‘Eloise’ among the newbies!
While many in the group decided to try out the many adrenaline rushes in Vic Falls (Bungee, Microlight, Gorge Swing and Zip Lining), I decided to relax, wander around the falls, look for souvenirs and try to catch-up with my writing, emails and photos. Part of my decision had to do with my ankle still bothering me on and off and the other part was my desire to actually rest and get caught up while I can.
Manu and I decided to head out around 10 a.m. the following morning, so we could have the afternoon to do some souvenir shopping (and maybe nap), and it was a good thing we did. Victoria Falls was relatively quiet in the morning, which meant that we could explore and take our time. Manu and I walked through the gate and looked at the map of Victoria Falls. There were 16 viewpoints listed. I have to admit, at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to all of them, the area looked huge! However, Manu convinced me that we should go and I’m glad that we did.
Each viewpoint offered a slightly different viewpoint, and I was in awe with each and every one of them. I know that sounds really weird, but I am fascinated by waterfalls. I’m not 100% sure what the allure is, but I could easily sit down, look at a waterfall and let a day or 7 slip by with little notice. Extreme, maybe, but I think you get my point.
Although I’m in Africa during the dry season, I can still see the beauty of the landscape around me. Sure, Victoria Falls would be absolutely gorgeous in the wet season, all green and vibrant, but it’s also hot as Hugh Jackman in a Speedo (yup, I just went there). Hhmmm maybe I should consider coming back in summer…
Manu and I followed the path to the left of the entrance around to the first viewpoint and immediately stopped, pulled out our cameras. In front of us was Devil’s Cataract, a small, but very full waterfall, and the first of the 6 waterfalls (Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, Armchair Falls and Eastern Cataract) that make up Victoria Falls.
As Manu and I walked from one viewpoint to another (taking a load of photos at each viewpoint), I was grateful for the slightly warm air and the empty pathways. There is nothing better (to me at least) than feeling like you have a place all to yourself. Okay, I know that I was nowhere near to having Victoria Falls all to myself, but I could pretend I did!
When we reached the Main Falls, the mist loomed above the falls, slightly obscuring our view from time to time, and giving us a small shower whenever the wind changed -which I was totally okay with, unlike Manu who hated getting sprayed.
The sheer force of the Main Falls intimidating and I was more than a little grateful to be standing on the Zimbabwe side and not on the Zambia side as the paths of the Zambia side seemed to get too close to the edge. I’m pretty sure that if I had been standing on that side (and that would have taken a lot of coaxing), I would have had heart failure due to a severe fear of falling to my death. I know, I’m a chicken. I am totally okay with that!
Manu and I spent almost 3 hours walking to the various viewpoints, snapping photos and taking small rests due to my ankle. As we walked back to the gates, the air had started to heat up and the pathways were getting a little more crowded. Going to the falls first thing in the morning had definitely been the right choice. Now I can cross ‘Visit Victoria Falls’ off my bucket list, that is if I can even find where I had stashed that list…