Victoria Falls, Zambia

March 3, 2018

I arrived in Livingstone after a pretty empty flight from Johannesburg  on the 27th February, and stayed 3 nights at the 'Victoria Falls Waterfront' which is situated right on the banks of the river Zambezi. It is a low budget place, and I stayed in a tent with a single bed inside, and electric points to charge phone. Tents also have a fan as the nights are very humid.

After arriving at about 3pm, I was told there is a sunset cruise that includes dinner for 45 USD which I went on leaving at 4.30pm. Others refer to it as the booze cruise as you can drink as much alcohol as you want, and that was certainly the case for some people. The cruise itself was great as you could spot Crocodiles, Hippos and the beautiful bird of prey called the African fish eagle, and of course, the sunsets did not disappoint.

When the cruise came to an end, everyone mingled in the bar which was a great atmosphere with people from all over the world socialising together. 

 

The following day I took the free shuttle bus at 9.30am from the waterfront to the Victoria falls. There is also a later free bus at 1.30pm, but as it's rainy season it often rains in the afternoon, so I decided to take the earlier one. 

When arrived, it cost 20USD  or 200 Zambian Kwacha to enter. Card is not accepted, so make sure to have cash, but there is a ATM close by. 

When inside, you are free to take whichever path you like, I started by walking along the path in front of the falls (getting absolutely soaked) where you can see the Victoria bridge and bungee jump from, which I bottled!  This bridge was completed in 1905 and connects Zambia and Zimbabwe.

After completing this trail, I then went to the top of the Falls. You can also go to the boiling point at the bottom, but I had my mothers camera and did not want to gamble getting a telling off for getting it water damaged! She can be rather scary at times! 

On the way out of the Falls there are lots of little stalls selling wooden figurines and other little keep sakes from which I bought a little bracelet for 20 Kwacha after they asked for 150!! 

 

 

 

 

After I had exited the falls, I found a driver in a car with no seats in and asked how to get to the village of Makumi about 7km away. He said to wait and he will take me, so I waited for 5 minutes for him to fit his passenger seat into his car, and he then drove me for 30 Kwacha while talking about the English Premier league which he seemed to know a lot about. 

On arrival to the village, I was greeted by a lady called Yamina, and she offered to be my guide for 50 Kwacha which I accepted so I could learn the history of the village. 

Yamina told me about her upbringing in the village, the struggles of survival, and all about the history of the chiefs of the village. 

When you become chief of the village, you have to swallow a stone that remains inside you all of your life, and when you die the next chief (who is always the son, brother, or grandson) has to swallow that same stone. (I didn't ask how they get the stone back!!).

I learnt how they make their houses, and that they are all round to keep the snakes out as they only settle in corners. I also saw the village prison that is mostly for petty crimes where they keep people for one night for bad language or just being too drunk!

At the end of the tour Yamina took me to the village market, which is their main source of income. I knew this before arriving, and already planned on buying most of my gifts for people back home here to support the village. The village really rely on people like me visiting and spending some money,

I noticed when walking past a group of children that they would automatically pose for a photo as soon as they see visitors in order to make them happy, so that more will come.

They do now have wells that ware made in 1995 after a tourist visited and wanted to help. But before that, they had to walk to the river, then purify the water themselves.

Overall I really enjoyed my time at the village, and really got an insight of how they live and the struggles they endure. I found the same driver to take me to the Waterfront for 60 Kwacha as it was further than the Falls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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