We drove to Johannesburg from Pretoria and then flew to Victoria Falls – “The Smoke That Thunders”. Hello Zimbabwe! Oh my, the things we have seen since arriving here about 3 hours ago! In the middle of town there were baboons and warthogs (I think I saw Pumbaa) wandering freely. Is that crazy or what?
In town we saw a sign posted near an open market, filled with stall after stall of the same tired handicrafts….the funny thing about it is that ALL of the activities listed were taking place within 10 feet of the sign! After checking into Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (www.victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com), we had lunch on a terrace overlooking the watering hole where the animals come to drink. None of the Big 5 showed up, but we did see a couple of what we thought were gazelles or kudu or antelope – we were not such which they were since we were relatively new to Africa. (Note: they turned out to be impala)
We took a sunset cruise and I saw my first wild hippos there – all I can say is that Disney has it just about right. Those cute little ears on those huge heads just floating an inch above the water – just like the Jungle Boat ride at Disneyland. They certainly don’t look it, but they are widely considered to be one of the most dangerous large animals in Africa. There are even signs around that say ‘Beware of the Hippopotamus’. This is one of the things I love about travel. There are no signs like that in St. Louis – or Los Angeles for that matter. We cruised on and were rewarded with a spectacular and fiery sunset over the Zambezi River.
And get this — on that sunset cruise I met a group of women traveling from Cincinnati – half of whom knew my cousins that live there. Every day, I am reminded that is truly is a small world after all.