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.
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.
Another boat trip and lots of things to see on the river..
This tiny baby seems to have pretty good use of its trunk, definitely checking us out with it.
Time to leave…
I do love the eyes and the ‘skin’ of the crocodile..
I do like silhouettes of baboons in trees with a pensive pose. Baboons are generally not very contemplative!
This is, of course, more typical.
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.
This crocodile was patient with us for a while and then had had enough.
some birds.. opened billed stork, cattle egret, african darter.
another attempt to capture a flying bird..
These birds are amazing swimmers. It’s hard to know when and where they will resurface.
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.
It is difficult to take a clear photo of the falls, so shrouded in mist it always seems to be.
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.
There’s a campground over there and to left is Devil’s Pool.
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!
If you look carefully, you can see a bungee jumper!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They have a well to pump their own water. They have vegetable gardens as well. They sell the vegetables as well as eat them.
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.
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.
It’s a nice way to leave Zambia.