After two days in Lusaka, I packed my bags and headed for Livingstone – home of the world-famous Victoria Falls and supposedly the highest volume waterfall in the world. Despite this distinction, I didn’t visit the falls the day after I arrived, deciding instead to sleep in and chill out for a much needed day of rest. I stayed at Jollyboys in Livingstone, a really cool backpackers hostel in town, complete with a swimming pool and restaurant. I read for half the day, then met some Japanese JICA (Japan’s equivalent of Peace Corps) volunteers and hung out with them the rest. I barely left the Jollyboys compound.
I did visit Victoria Falls the following day. I’ve never seen so much water in my life. The flat, somewhat boring drive to the falls is deceptive – all of the sudden you see huge spouts of mist rising into the air and you know you’ve arrived. Walking into the park, from several hundred meters away you hear the primordial roar of the waterfall. You finally see it and think, “how can that much water pour down from a single place?” And then the water fall continues – for another 1.7 kilometers. Being the wet season, the volume of water was even more than normal and at times we couldn’t see it at all because of the intense spray. In fact, the spray was going so high that it was raining from a blue sky in the forest next to the falls. At one point we crossed a bridge and a solid sheet of water hit us the entire way. We were soaked, but loved the experience.
Unfortunately Victoria Falls broke my iphone camera despite my best attempts at keeping it dry with a plastic bag. I did take some pictures before walking through the spray though.
After seeing the falls up close and doing an hour-long hike to The Boiling Pot on Zambezi River, my travel companions were set on bungee jumping. They wanted me to join them, but having done it once in New Zealand, I didn’t feel the need to prove myself again. Adding to my misgivings was the fact that the rope on this particular bungee famously broke last year, plunging the jumper into the water. Check out the YouTube Video here if you haven’t seen it yet. Of course this didn’t happen again, but I’m sure everyone was thinking about it as they took the dive 🙂
While everyone was bungee jumping, I was busy bartering with Zimbabwean trinket-sellers. In Lusaka people told me to take clothes to the market to trade, so I brought an extra white T-shirt today to see what would happen. Sure enough, they wanted the shirt for a copper bracelet so I made the trade. They also wanted the flip-flops off my feet, but I told them I needed these to return home. Last but not least, I bought a 50 trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe for a whopping $4 US. Unfortunately it’s worth nothing because Zimbabwe uses US dollars these days, but I can now say that I’m a 50 trillionaire.