The Fall over Zambezi

IMG_20160218_140929The water flows in a continuous motion, from the sea, to the Nile, to Lake Victoria, to many other bodies of water that fueled the vast animal kingdom that is Africa.  From where I’m standing, the same water drops some 130 plus meters over a plateau in a gorge that is the Zambezi River.  The same water will go to another land mark that represents the wonder of nature.
I was at the Victoria Falls four days ago, but tonight, at 9PM, the water looks more intense, more terrifying and more sublime in the moonlight.
As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is vast, stretching from Zambia to Zimbabwe.  In the dry season, the water flow looks like a veil, over the long stretch of Plateau.  However, in the wet season, now, water drops magnificently down the gorge, while mist raises up from bottom, making you soaking wet.  The droplets of water falling down on the observers rival that of the thunderstorm in Dar.  Within minutes, you are soaking wet, but the sun is so intense within minutes you are dry again once outside of the mist.
The famous explorer David Livingstone found, stayed and died of malaria in this place, and therefore the town is named after him.  Livingstone, the Victoria Falls town in the Zambia side.  The city is quite like Lusaka in terms of the level of westernization.  Many Shoprite and Spar markets, and despite being a famous tourist destination, the annoyance in the streets is quite negligible.
I stayed five days in Livingstone.  Known for its adventures, I thought there would be many things to do, like Baños in Ecuador.  However, Africa is not Ecuador, rafting costs 150, Bungee costs 160, many others cost even more.  I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, but I had quite a few good days with the little money I got, and became friends with some really good people.
The Angel’s Pool.  It’s more famous counter part, the Devil’s Pool, is the area right above the Victoria Falls by Livingstone island where people can swim during the dry season when the current isn’t as strong.  However, this is the wet season, swimming there probably require a barrel, so it can possibly break your fall when the current sweep you down the gorge.  Going through the upper Zambezi in any of those places are actually prohibited, but that doesn’t mean the “guides” won’t take you there.
Normally, you pay alot, then people take you to Devil’s Pool on a boat.  That is the legal way.  It’s boring and not adventurous.  The adventurous way is after a few hours of admiring the fall at the park, you go up the river and one of the people waving at you will take you walking, swimming, and crawling through rocks, currents and other obstacles to the Angel’s Pool for really cheap, depending on your negotiation skills.
Probably the sketchiest thing I have done since coming to Africa, I enjoyed every moment of it.  It’s the ultimate adventure in Vic Falls.  No harness, no straps, just you versus nature.  Your prize for winning is standing over the actual fall and being able to admire it’s beauty from so close.  Then you get to jump into Angel’s Pool.
The next day, some locals took us to a place down the gorge.  There is a river beach, an area where the current circulates, but never gets too strong to sweep you away.  Most of all the scenery is splendid.  The sand was hot no one could stand on top of it for more than 5 seconds.  The water was the perfect temperature because it was constantly flowing.
No one knows the way there except the two locals we know.  Even after we got there, still no one knew.  We traveled through dirt roads and thatched roof village huts.  Some good songs were played in the car and everyone sang.  I even had to zipzap down a bunch of switchbacks to get down to the secret spot in my flip-flops.
We stayed there long just chilling.  Afterwards, we drove back in the late afternoon singing.  It was a good day.  Especially it was free.  That evening we bought chicken and beef and sausage because we wanted to barbeque before everybody start leaving the next day.
The search for charcoal was quite a journey but we obtained everything from spices to spiced rum.
The barbeque was quite a success.  The food was superb and everyone had fun.  I knocked out early, while some went out.  One of the British got mugged at 3AM at night, when he lagged behind, which put a dent on a good day.
The next day no one did much, except we went to a high tea which the price had hiked to twice as much as what some of our friends told us.  The high tea is an all you can eat cake and tea.  It is quite British and it is in a 5 star hotel located in the Mosi ao Tunya national park.  So occasionally you can see giraffes and zebras.  I haven’t seen hotel that nice, well, since ever.  I also don’t know why people would stay in such places when they go to Africa.
Everyone’s last day came and so it was also one of the British’s birthday.  However, I had to go the doctor to take a piece of tree out.  The hospital was quite an experience.  First, the doctor wrote an essay on a paper just about my predicaments.  Then after an hour of writing, he took me to a room and started filling up a needle of anisthetixa.  I said it’s just an infected tree piece in my foot, I can handle the pain but he numbed me anyways.
It took 1 second for him to cut out the tree in my foot.  Didn’t clean the wound, didn’t even give a bandage.  I could have done it with a dirty fork for the same result.  At last he prescribed me some painkillers but he prescribed it to the place I’m staying instead of my name.
We drank for Ben’s birthday.  Then we were off getting wet watching the lunar rainbow at the fall.  There was no power for most of the day, so some of the gas stations were out of business.  Taxis ride on the E line.  We had to push our taxi in the end because he ran out of gas.  Getting splashed wet at the fall, I thought I had a pretty good few days despite not doing rafting, Bungee or any of the activities that cost alot.
In Africa, you miss the last place you have been.  I have said that many times, but this time, I’m going back to the first place I have been.  Hooping on the cheap plane ride back to Johannesburg, the airport was surprisingly awesome and they even serve food on the one and half hour plane ride.  The plane slowly descended and goodbye Zambia.


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