Zambia

Crossing the border

Our shuttle from the airport dropped us off at the Zimbabwe border and we had to walk across.  Lines of trucks waited to cross the bridge two at a time from one side, then the other.  The border crossing from Zimbabwe to Zambia was legendary.  Spray from Victoria Falls rose like smoke from a fire creating mist everywhere.  From the narrow bridge there was bungee jumping and zip lines on one side.  The other sported amazing views of the falls.  We still had all our gear and after crossing the bridge the immigration office had taxis, baboons, and salespeople who all wanted our attention, money, and stuff.

These baboons walked around the border crossing weaving in and out of people like they owned the place.  They looked for inattentive travelers.  (as if pick pockets weren’t enough).  Some poor soul lost their bag of bell peppers to this baboon.

Eating traditional food in in a local venue

Enjoying nshima at Karabo’s restaurant.  Kylie ate like a champ without utensils.  Others of us….well we struggled.

Big surprise….Kylie LOVED eating with her hands.  The staple food is nshima, which was the same stuff as Zimbabwe, except it was called sazda over there.  It was described as being made from milimew.  It was a corn derivative.  The closest thing I have eaten is the inside of Mexican corn tamales….without any of the flavoring.  People use it to scoop up their food.  We all had different techniques.  Alyssa tried to scoop with her ten fingers.  Kylie tried to put food into the nshima and roll it up.  Sharleen used her chicken bones as utensils, and I tried to let my nshima absorb the liquid stuff and then eat.

Visiting Livingstone Island

That small red circle is Livingstone island.  On the edge of Victoria Falls in the middle of the mighty Zambezi river. Photocredit Here

Mosi-oa-Tunya (The smoke that thunders) was what Victoria Falls was called in the local language.  It was an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  At over 108 meters high and two kilometers long it is the largest sheet of falling water in the world.  It is twice as high and well over twice as long as Niagra falls.  Iguazu Falls in South America is a little longer, but not as high.  Iguazu also has a much higher volume of water rushing over it. Livingstone island lies on the precipice in the middle of the Falls.  Only crazy people go out there.  In the days of Livingstone, skilled boatmen used dugout canoes to get there.  We boarded a dual engine speed boat that navigated the swift currents and hippos to get to the island.

The brink
Sisters on the brink
I guess our relationship is on the edge….
vic_falls5
Our whole family on the brink!

The island was small, but we stored our things in a lock box and headed out for the view.  The water levels were too high to visit the Devil’s Pool.  However we were allowed to visit the Angels Pool during the rainy season.  I almost wish they were too high to visit either.  Being at the edge of a 108 meter drop was terrifying enough; however being at the edge wading through swiftly moving water with slimy and slippery rocks underneath was nerve racking.  We were one slip away from being pushed over the threshold to oblivion.  Making matters even more terrifying was posing for the pictures.  Everyone posed, half grimacing in terror, as people snapped shots.

Alyssa poses in blanket of waterfall rapids
Yup, that rope is there for a reason.  That’s what you grab onto if the rapids push you over the edge
Wash cycle: Tumble
Kylie caught in the wash cycle.
This was pretty scary!

 

Superwoman tempting fate

 

Glamour girl not affected by being 2feet away from doom.

 

Kylie squeak’s out a smile while being terrified.
We survived!  The small tree with the rope behind it in the back ground….that’s where we were.

When it was my turn, I swear I pushed my fingers into the rock to prevent myself from being swept over.  Terrifying, exhilarating, and definitely pushing things to the limit.  During the dry season, our guide explained, “Things are easier, we can walk right out there, but now it is very dangerous so you do what I say when I say.”  Everyone did just that.

After tempting fate, we made it back to the island where a wonderful breakfast awaited us.  It was the best porridge I had in long time.

If you look really hard, you’ll see some nutty people on the edge of the waterfall on the other side.  That was us the day before!

 

Kylie and Sharleen descend into the devil’s cataract gorge to see the Falls from a different angle.

 

The volume of water, the thunder, and power of these falls was magnificent.

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