Victoria Falls: Zambia and Zimbabwe; and a couple of other things

Well, this was my second time to Victoria Falls and I still didn’t get to Devil’s Pool.  The water level was much lower than previously but still not low enough for ‘swimmers’.

The hotel we stayed at was nice but it seemed weird to be there after being in tents in the bush.  The great thing about it is that it sits adjacent to the falls so you can walk there on your own anytime you want.  The giraffe and zebra here ‘belong’ to the hotel, but they are not tame.  They tolerate your presence but not too close.  One idiot tried to take a photo of his kids close to the zebra.  They tell you to stay a fair distance (they actually give you specific meters but I’ve forgotten).  He obviously didn’t care and encouraged his kids to get closer.  Sure enough, they kicked out at the kids.  They all thought it was funny.  Apparently, they have no idea how much power can be in a kick.  There are also giraffe on the property.  It is adjacent to the national park.

DPP_14040

DPP_14041

DPP_14042

DPP_14044

DPP_14045

DPP_14046

DPP_14047

DPP_14049

DPP_14050DPP_14051

DPP_14053

DPP_14062

DPP_14063

Giraffe live on the hotel’s property although they were not as at ease around people and stayed away from the lawns of the hotel.  But I did find this big boy.

DPP_14363DPP_14364DPP_14366DPP_14367

Another boat trip and lots of things to see on the river..

DPP_14064

DPP_14067

DPP_14069

DPP_14071DPP_14072

DPP_14074

DPP_14075

DPP_14077

DPP_14078

DPP_14079

 

This tiny baby seems to have pretty good use of its trunk, definitely checking us out with it.

DPP_14081DPP_14082DPP_14083

DPP_14085

DPP_14086

DPP_14088DPP_14089DPP_14091

DPP_14092

DPP_14094

DPP_14095

DPP_14096

Time to leave…

DPP_14097

DPP_14098

DPP_14099

DPP_14100

DPP_14103DPP_14106

I do love the eyes and the ‘skin’ of the crocodile..

DPP_14115

DPP_14116

I do like silhouettes of baboons in trees with a pensive pose.  Baboons are generally not very contemplative!

DPP_14110

DPP_14112

This is, of course, more typical.

DPP_14120DPP_14121

DPP_14122

DPP_14123

DPP_14124

DPP_14125DPP_14127DPP_14128

There are several ways to view the falls; this is one of them.  You can also take a helicopter ride.  All very expensive.  But certainly more dramatic since you can see just how wide the falls are which you cannot see from land.

DPP_14130

DPP_14131

DPP_14132DPP_14136

This crocodile was patient with us for a while and then had had enough.

DPP_14138DPP_14140

some birds.. opened billed stork, cattle egret, african darter.

DPP_14155

DPP_14142

DPP_14144

DPP_14147

another attempt to capture a flying bird..

DPP_14148

These birds are amazing swimmers.  It’s hard to know when and where they will resurface.

DPP_14149

DPP_14150

DPP_14152

DPP_14153

DPP_14154

DPP_14157DPP_14163

DPP_14174

DPP_14165

DPP_14166

DPP_14170

Some days you can see the mist from far away.   Although it is known by the world as Victoria Falls, it is actually called Mosi oa-Tunya, which means ‘the smoke that thunders’.  It’s also the name of the national park.

DPP_14171

DPP_14173

It is difficult to take a clear photo of the falls, so shrouded in mist it always seems to be.

DPP_14176DPP_14180

DPP_14182DPP_14188

DPP_14194DPP_14200DPP_14203

DPP_14206

DPP_14211DPP_14215

DPP_14218DPP_14220DPP_14225DPP_14226

Three of us ran over there just as the sun was setting and before the park closed for the night.  They were all so tolerant of our late arrival.

DPP_14228DPP_14231DPP_14234

DPP_14239DPP_14242

DPP_14264

DPP_14257

There’s a campground over there and to left is Devil’s Pool.

DPP_14272

DPP_14273

DPP_14276

DPP_14279

This is the bridge you cross between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It’s fairly easy to get across on foot; a slight delay in the immigration office.  But the trucks can be there a week!

DPP_14288

If you look carefully, you can see a bungee jumper!

DPP_14289DPP_14290DPP_14292

You can’t see it very well, but this is the the jumper and someone else who goes down and helps them return to the bridge.

DPP_14293

The mist on the Zimbabwe side is not so thick and wet.  On the Zambia side, you really need to wear a poncho otherwise you get soaking wet.  It feels like a sauna inside those ponchos.  I’d have done without it except for protecting my camera.

DPP_14298DPP_14299DPP_14301

Within the national park, there are eight white rhino that are guarded 24/7 by rangers.  They have radio chips in the horns,  I believe.  These are the only white rhino in Zambia.  Fortunately, they have had a couple of births.  The youngster here is an orphan.  The mother died (I forget why) but its been adopted by the other females.  I didn’t know that white rhino would do that but it’s not uncommon apparently.

DPP_14307

DPP_14309

DPP_14311

DPP_14312

DPP_14317

DPP_14319

The big male is quite interested in one of the females here but she hasn’t reached sexual maturity.. based on age of course.  While we were there, he made a couple of moves like he was going to mount her but she would move away.  Then after a few minutes she would back up to him again as if she was receptive to mating.  Then the same thing would happen.  So they don’t know if she is actually fertile.  Time will tell….

You can see them only with one of the rangers as a guide.  They always know where they are so you park your car and walk a short distance to where they are.  The group was separated at the time we were there so we saw four of the eight.  It’s quite an experience, being able to get so close to them, although the distance is still respectful.

DPP_14320

DPP_14321

DPP_14322

DPP_14326

DPP_14328

DPP_14330DPP_14332DPP_14336

DPP_14337

DPP_14338

DPP_14341

DPP_14345

DPP_14348

DPP_14350

DPP_14352

DPP_14354

DPP_14355

DPP_14356

DPP_14357

DPP_14360

DPP_14361

There was one more stop before we crossed into Botswana.  This school, founded by AWF, is in a very remote part of Zambia.  In fact, driving into the school, it was hard to know where they would be living.

The students sang a song for us.  The lyrics are original. sweet.DPP_14370

DPP_14372

DPP_14373

DPP_14374

DPP_14375

DPP_14376

DPP_14377

DPP_14380

DPP_14381DPP_14382

DPP_14383

They have a well to pump their own water.  They have vegetable gardens as well.  They sell the vegetables as well as eat them.

DPP_14384

The teachers live here and are able to bring their families to live here as well.  This has helped them keep teachers employed at the school.  The accommodations  are spartan but well constructed.

DPP_14385

DPP_14386

DPP_14389

It is such a pleasure to go to schools where all the students are eager to learn and happy to be able to show off their knowledge… that goes for all students, from the youngest to the oldest.

DPP_14391

DPP_14392

DPP_14393

DPP_14394

DPP_14395

DPP_14396

DPP_14397

DPP_14398

DPP_14399DPP_14400

It’s a nice way to leave Zambia. 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Victoria Falls: Zambia and Zimbabwe; and a couple of other things

  1. Sorry it has taken me so long to comment on your entry from the Falls.

    First up I love your zebra photos, it must have been a good feeling being on the ground with them and at the same level. It has to be the first time I have ever seen photos of zebra with buildings in the back ground.
    The young elephant you captured some lovely shots. I love 14078 where the calf is trying to drink what the mother is spilling.
    14122 of the Baboons. I like the perspective of this shot and you have clicked at the right moment as the baboon has shown his teeth, That might have been a fluke but a good one.
    I like the shots of the waterway, it looks so tranquil.
    Onto the Falls, I can see how difficult it must have been to take photos. I think I have read somewhere that there is times of the year when the falls aren’t flowing as much and the mist/cloud is not as prevalent. I wonder what months that is.
    You have really mastered shooting children, it must be the school teacher in you. I absolutely love 14395 and 14386 but I am not sure if it is a boy or girl.
    Can’t wait to see the rest of your trip.

  2. Thanks Sandra. I did love that little trunk searching out the drips. And yeah, seeing the teeth of the baboons was totally by accident! And the child was a little girl. Almost all of them have close cropped hair. I suppose it’s much easier to care for in such a rural setting. And the best months for seeing the falls and being able to do all the activities available starts in October usually. That’s when the water levels are at their lowest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s