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3 Whirlwind Days at Victoria Falls

We arrived into Zambia on the afternoon of July 4th for our visit to Victoria Falls which was the last stop on our 3+ week Africa tour.

Livingstone, Zambia airport

Victoria Falls straddles the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The Falls themselves are in Zambia, but the best vantage point for viewing is on the Zimbabwe side.

We chose to stay on the Zambia side for a few reasons: 1, we couldn’t find non-sketchy lodging in our price range on the Zimbabwe side, 2 we could use points to stay at a Marriott on the Zambia side, 3, Zimbabwe was having money and safety issues, and 4, I thought more of our activities were on the Zambia side.

It turns out I was very wrong on that last point, and we would’ve been better off on the Zimbabwe side.  Every activity we wanted to do was on the Zim side, so we really never had a need to go to the Zambia side at all.  And since all the hotels weren’t near the falls, we had to pay for a taxi to and from the hotel THEN go through immigration on the Zambia side, THEN take a taxi across the bridge and THEN go through immigration on the Zimbabwe side which was quite time consuming and a pain in the butt.  In fact, I think I counted that we EACH got 32 passport stamps in 3 days just from crossing borders over and over.  Lesson learned.  Luckily we were able to get a multi-entry visa for each country or this would’ve cost a fortune!

Zambia border crossing

Lots of baboons hang out near the border crossings

Waiting to cross the Victoria Falls Bridge

Entering Zimbabwe on the Victoria Falls Bridge

Victoria Falls border crossing

Our hotel was great though so that part worked out well!

Once we arrived, we dropped our bags at the hotel, and headed to the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe for a proper high tea.  None of us have ever had a proper tea before and we couldn’t have picked a better spot.  We couldn’t see the falls from the grounds, but we did have a neat view and had grazing warthogs come by as well.  Not to mention pastries, petit fours, tiny sandwiches, and 4 different types of tea!

The Victoria Falls Hotel

You can see the mist from the Falls in the distance

The next day we were up bright and early for our day trip to Chobe in Botswana.  We were exhausted after that and had dinner near our hotel, then went to bed.

The next day was our last day in Victoria Falls and we still hadn’t really seen the falls!  Since we all wanted to do the swing jump, we headed to lunch in Zimbabwe then to sign up the kids to do their jump.  Unfortunately the only border officer handling entrances decided to leave right as we made it to the front of the line.  We assumed he was taking a bathroom break and would be back shortly.  About 45 minutes later, another officer finally came over and stamped us through.  The line was ridiculous at this point and we lost some precious time!

Victoria Falls town

After lunch, the kids went to do the Gorge Swing.  You can read more about that here.

And then after that, it was finally time to see the Falls!  They were magnificent!

The Falls are the largest in the world and span over a mile.  It isn’t one big waterfall, but consists of multiple falls.  At the park we started by seeing the Falls on the western side then walked east the length of the Falls till we hit the end of Zimbabwe.  Some areas were so wet that we ended up soaked by the end.  Words don’t convey how spectacular it was to be there seeing the Falls, and hearing the rush of water thunder down.

Western edge of the falls

Beckett trying to touch the rainbow

Beckett catching the rainbow. He didn’t find a pot of gold though. 🙁

The Eastern edge of the view from Zimbabwe

After our visit the Falls, it was time for me to jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge.

Then it was time to return to the Zambia side for dinner and packing.  The next morning, we headed to the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe and started our long journey home.

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