2012 Africa

Zimbabwe Revisited Part 3

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Next stop was Victoria Falls, again! We stayed at Shoestrings Backpackers, again! We took a look at the Victoria Falls, again! We even walked across the bridge into Zambia and had a meal on the Zambian side. If you just want to walk onto the bridge you can get a ”bridge pass” at the border control, but if you want to enter Zambia make sure you have a double entry VISA to Zimbabwe, else you will have to buy a new VISA when you re-enter Zimbabwe again. A VISA to Zambia costs $25, a VISA to Zimbabwe costs $35 if I remember correctly.

The falls looked as amazing as I remembered them. And wet. Very wet. Since we spent some time here I managed to convince most of the gang to join me on another white water rafting tour. And of course I wanted the same guide as I had 2 months ago. Titanic! So we walked into Shearwater Adventures office and booked a rafting trip. And we were lucky! The rafting had been closed for almost 2 months due to the high water levels. The Monday we had booked on was the first day they would do it!

Said and done, the very next day we left. The road was as bumpy and the truck was as noisy and uncomfortable as the last time. We arrived at the same place as I had done 2 months earlier, we got our ”spoons” and the soup was just down in the gorge. We climbed down and after the usual safety instructions we we’re on the way. And it turned out to be a really good adventure. The Zambezi river was really aggressive and we had to paddle like crazy!

IMG_7109Then it happened! A huge wave flipped the boat! Everyone ended up in the water. We spent 1/3 of the rafting distance picking up members and their paddles. When we arrived at the sand bank where we had stopped and rested the last time we were exhausted. For me, it was loads of fun, but some of the others were not as enthusiastic as I were.

After some less dramatic rafting we arrived at pick up point of the rafting and we got to climb all the way up from the gorge again. And on the top we were greeted by food and ice cold drinks. Back at the lodge I met some nice people who I chatted with for a long time. I also met a South African tour leader who taught me the rules in rugby and also made me like the game!

From Victoria Falls it was just a short drive to Botswana, but before crossing the border we entered a small national park around Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge. We weren’t to excited about the park so we left or the border station instead.

Gallery updated with pictures from Zimbabwe!

2012 Africa

Zimbabwe Part 1

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Arriving in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls in the afternoon the best thing we could do was finding a place to stay. We ended up in a place called Shoestrings Backpackers and had our first pizza for this trip. We camped in the cars in the backyard which suited us pretty good. Now, we knew there were some cool stuff to do around here. One of us had serious thoughts of bungee jumping, I convinced 3 others that we should go white water rafting on the Zambezi river (which is supposed to be one of the top 5 best white water rafting in the world with a rate of 4 & 5 and sometimes even 6).

Said and done, we went out to find someone who could take us. We found that Shearwater Adventures were the perfect providers of adventure for us! So we booked a tour the next coming day. In the evening we took a short tour on the town to see what was up in Zimbabwe. Found a bar called Hunters where we spent some time before going back home.

The following morning we were awakened by a thunderclap and then the sound of a lightning splitting a tree somewhere really close. Well, now that mother nature had our attention we figured we should crawl out of bed and prepare for the white water rafting. A couple of hours later we were on the back of a truck that slowly worked it’s way forward through the harsh and unforgiving nature around the Zambezi river. When we finally arrived at the starting site we got our safety gear (helmet, life jacket and paddle) and the guide pointed down the gorge and said: Here’s your spoon, there’s your soup!

We begun descending down to the ”bottom” of the gorge with a lot of inconvenience while the staff ran up and down like it was nothing. At the bottom of the gorge we got appointed a guide for our raft. His name was Titanic. This didn’t bode all to well. After a while the staff had pumped the boats and deployed them into the water and we could finally begin the white water rafting!

We went about 10 km downstream and had a really good experience. Some really good splashes and me and Robban fell into the water once but over all it was a really good ride. Oh the fun!!! When we were done and finally hit a shore where the water was calm we had to climb up the gorge again. Now, tired after the rafting and carrying the helmet, life jacket and paddle in the hot sun was not a nice experience. But when we got to the top we got our reward!

The staff from the truck had set up a BBQ and there was a huge chest full with ice cold beer, soft drinks and water. The food was so tasty and sitting on the edge of the gorge looking out over the mighty Zambezi river was something extraordinary!

The next day we left Victoria Falls, but before we left one of us wanted to do a bungee jump. I’m quite impressed considering he was 58 years old doing this jump. All respect to Christer!