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The smoke that thunders part 2

After leaving the rain-forest, we enquired the cost of seeing the falls from Zambia and were told it was only 15 Zambian kwacha. We had carried our passports in anticipation of this. Locals and foreigners without passports or without any intention of going to Zambia are only allowed to go as far as the Victoria Falls bridge. We managed to obtain 100 kwacha for all activities on the Zambian side and set off for Zambia. Before stamping our passports on the Zambian side we had an encounter with a baboon that saw us eating apples and came right at us. Alex was so terrified as the baboon approached us, we both didn’t understand what was happening. She grabbed at my arm. I was terrified as well 😬😬. We threw away our apples to ward it off. Fortunately, it only wanted the fruits. We briskly walked away, stamped our passports and walked away in search of the entrance to the falls.
We missed the entrance into the Rain-forest from the Zambian side and were on our way to Livingstone. An inner feeling told us we were lost. Gladly a local boy helped us find the entrance. Nothing about it had registered it was ‘the’ entrance. Entry fee was actually 12 kwacha each. And we found a second statue of David Livingstone on the Zambian side. The Zambian side of the waterfalls isn’t as enthralling and magnificent as the Zimbabwean side besides the Knife-Edge bridge. On this bridge you totally get soaked from the showers.
We left the rain-forest at midday and were starving by that time. We decided to try Zambian cuisine. We helped ourselves to Nshima and chicken (Sadza neHuku) 😁😁. We left the eatery and entered the premises of a nearby hotel to the chagrin of the guard on duty. Zebras and meerkats were foraging in the hotel grounds. Before leaving Zambia we got a souvenir from Ernest, he had rented us his raincoats and had offered to give us a souvenir at a discount thanks to Alex. We returned to Zimbabwe soon after. Our budget wouldn’t allow us to try the adrenaline activities so we took time to take pictures over the bridge and peer over it into the gorge. At the height of the bridge it was as if you’re staring at an abyss.

Day 1 seemed over 😢. We felt bereft and cheated. Everything else that remained on the activities list seemed way out of our reach. We walked back to Zimbabwe, took more photos and had ice cream. We had to take a short break because we were exhausted from all the walking. We walked back into town. You only realise Vic Falls is quite small after you’re done with the rain-forest. We saw the crafts and curious in Elephant Walks shop and decided to have milkshakes. We went to Lola’s Tapas and Bar but found the place expensive. I noticed marimba and my inner musician was awakened 😁😁😁. We spent over 30 minutes there while I played marimba. I played marimba for a good portion of my primary and high school. Getting to do so on this trip was like seeing that long lost cousin. Remembering different old tunes took a while but it came back soon enough. We ended up going for milkshakes at KFC afterwards instead. I loved the Oreo one.
We returned to the marimba place after the milkshakes. I was definitely in the spirit. Alex was not having it but she decided to take videos of me with the marimba crew. I must say, this was probably the highlight of the trip for me because it took me down memory lane and I’m sure Alex had no idea I could play marimba. Tunes we played include Mugarandega, Saints and Delighted. This was to the delight of tourists passing by who took a moment to watch and take videos while we played. We left this place to get supper and we headed home afterwards. At the end of the day we’d walked about 22 km according to our step counter app.

Day 2 started on a low note. We thought we’d run out of stuff to do mostly because we couldn’t afford the more expensive stuff Vic Falls had to offer. A friend came to our rescue when she told us of a Crocodile Park a few km out of town. We boarded a taxi and visited the place. I saw and held a baby crocodile. It felt cold, I had done science throughout school but I had never taken the cold-blooded idea seriously. Alex wouldn’t touch the crocodile at all so she was in charge of the camera. We walked through the park in fear of the larger and older crocodiles. Some were sun-basking, others moved about making a splatter in the pools and others just sat there with their mouth agape like they were frozen in time 😂😂. I’d never seen an albino before this day. The shade of it’s tough skin is a pale cream with hints of green.

After seeing the lions in the sanctuary and taking photos we left for the lake across the road. We entered Zambezi house and got a chance to stand on the pier and look at the cruise boats. That was enough to satisfy our desire to go on a cruise. We saved the cruise for next time 😁. We made our trip back to town and took the chance to see the big Baobab tree. This was the final stop before choosing to say goodbye.
This trip in all was a wonderful experience. It opened my eyes to the endless possibilities in life. It also proved to me that being a tourist is not necessarily about where you go or how much you spend but ultimately about how a place makes you feel and what new lessons you can take from it. We proved going to Victoria Falls on a tight budget is possible and you can still enjoy every bit of it and we surely succeeded. We chose to leave the fancy stuff for another time when money permits. 😁😁.

The Crocodile Park — Photo by the tour guide
The Bridge — Photo by Author

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