Well, we passed the Visa test. Much easier than I thought it would be. although the guys in front of us who informed the customs inspector that they simply did not have enough cash to buy their visas did not agree. Tip: Do not try to bargain with customs officers.
Day 1 in Zambia greeted us with beautiful weather and a stunning backpackers.
For an hour. Then it rained. Our sunset cruise that we booked while sunny was enjoyable, although the promised sunset (see name of cruise) did not eventuate.
The rain continued into our second day and prevented us from heading out to Victoria Falls on a micro light but the sun popped out for our free tour around Livingstone. Essentially a border town, the town was named after the British explorer David Livingstone (“Dr Livingstone, I presume”) who visited the town on his first trip to Africa. The town is most famous for being the closest town in Zambia to the Victoria Falls, the longest waterfall in the world. Once the capital of Zambia, it still resembles it’s 1964 pre-independence days as most of it’s founders left in fear of the never-to-eventuate fighting over the country’s independence. Now recently named the tourist capital of Zambia, funds are starting to come back to the town although it’s been hard hit by the GFC.
With the sun staying out for the rest of the day, we took the opportunity to relax by the pool.
The rain reappeared the next day, but not before we got our first glimpse of the amazing falls from our micro light ride. With the wet season fast approaching, the falls were nothing but a glimpse of mist, the sound of thunder and a bit (read lots) of water flowing over the top. Apparently the water reaches the bottom at some point.
With the rain absolutely bucketing down and the knowledge that we were going to get soaked anyway, we decided to go out to the falls and see if we could get a glimpse from the front. The amount of water coming over the falls meant that from the viewing point, one could only see mist but from up close (if you could bear the mist storm) you could view the whole falls from top to bottom. And they were simply amazing.
To top off our “Zambian Falls Festival”, we tripped off to Livingstone Island at the very top of the falls. Reaching Livingstone’s premier hotel (the Royal Livingstone) looking like drowned monkeys and receiving a less than pleased reception, we took a little jet boat out to the island. Our guide Alex preceded to take us onto the rocks at the top of the falls so we could peer out over the top and then take a little swim just metres from the start of the drop. No words can explain that feeling, hopefully the photos will suffice.
We had a wonderful lunch (no doubt slightly better than the one David Livingstone had when he first reached the island) and headed home for some more rest and relaxation. An amazing day!