We disembarked our train from Bulawayo in the small town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. We split another taxi with our Swedish friends to the hostel we were staying at a little outside of town. After checking in and taking much needed showers after two overnight journeys across two countries, we talked to the owners about activities around the falls. One of the owners offered to take us into town where we could easily get around to get food and do some of the activities around the falls. Rather than taking the road back into town, he brought us though the bush. Alex and I rode in the back of his truck as Maya chatted away with our impromptu safari guide. We saw a few impala, lots of warthogs, a herd of elephant and got to stick our feet into the Zambezi River above the falls before he brought us into the town.
We experienced the dollarization (use of the American dollar) of Zimbabwe’s currency in Bulawayo, but Victoria Falls was the first place we were reminded of the steep American prices we had forgotten about after living in Africa for five months. However a costly lunch was worth the visit to the world’s largest waterfall, not to mention free wifi. After lunch we walked through the bush to a zip-line and rope-swing where Maya and Alex got their adrenaline fix, then over to the Victoria Falls National Park (where we were pleased to take advantage of our South African residency and pay a reduced entrance fee!).
The falls were actually breathtaking, and it is actually difficult to describe beyond that. We walked the paths along the falls and stopped at every viewpoint to take it all in. Cheesy and sappy as it may be I couldn’t help but to think about how fortunate and happy I was to be in the moment in such an amazing place with amazing friends like Maya and Alex.
There were areas along the path where the mist from the waterfalls was so heavy that it felt like torrential rain. We saw other tourists from America and Asia all wrapped up in ponchos looking wet and miserable, avoiding the mist while still trying to take pictures, as we walked by them soaking wet into the rain and happy as ever to be where we were.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alex Paone is a junior at the University of Vermont, majoring in Anthropology and double-minoring in African Studies and Geography. He enjoys photography, cooking, hiking and has a passion for travel. Alex is looking forward to calling Cape Town home and also exploring more of Africa beyond Cape Town and South Africa.</span></p>