A little bit of Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls

The final day of our southern African safari dawned, as had all bar one of the previous 20, a cloudless sky with the red orb of the sun rising through the dust haze. It had been one last 5am start, this time to get to the Zimbabwe border before the volume of traffic and people crossing it built up. It was a good tactic - we were through in an hour, instead of the oft-times 3-hour delay, and heading for one last hour's drive in Sonny the truck to Victoria Falls.

By the time we reached Victoria Falls town, Sonny had clocked up 780,000 km of driving through Africa, and would probably add more on. However, our 5600 km journey through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe was over.

When we arrived at our hotel, The Rainbow, a wave of nostalgia swelled up as we realised that this was the place we had stayed 22 years ago, when we first visited The Falls. That was when we younger and braver (the fair Nello did a 111m bungee jump off the Zambezi River bridge).

Nostalgia time
- the fair Nello's Zambezi Bridge
bungee jump of 1996

Devil's Cataract Falls

This time, we would be content to just wander along the length of the falls and enjoy the magnificent spectacle of Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders) as the Zambezi River plunges into a long sheer-walled rift.

Zambezi River above the falls

Classic view down the cataract of Victoria Falls

The falls through the forest

The Main Falls

In the mist forest

View through a gap to the Horseshoe Falls

The Eastern Cataract

Zambezi Gorge with bridge in background

Thus, with a final group dinner on the banks of the river, we bid each other farewell and headed our own ways - back to Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Catalunya, Korea and Hong Kong (and, in our case, eventually Australia). We had been a diverse group, but there were lots of laughs and shared enjoyment of the many sights and animals that we had seen. Thanks to you all for your great company.

Finally, a particular thank you to Justice, our guide and driver, who spent long hours behind the wheel, never missing a beat to get us to all the places we needed (despite Sonny the truck's best efforts at times to prevent that). Patient, calm and knowledgeable, he kept the "family" organised and taught us a lot about his Africa. Also, many thanks to Jojo, our food engineer, who kept us well-fed with tasty servings, prepared in the bush on the most basic equipment, as well as always having a smile and friendly word - "number one!".

So, in conclusion, to sum up the trip, I can but repeat the oft heard mantra from Justice - "Happy Days!".