“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Day 12 - Transfer to Zimbabwe

personal speedboat and captain!
Sad to go and even sadder to realise it was the last leg of our trip, we packed our bags, had another river-front breakfast and waited till it was time to leave.
Our transfer to the Vic Falls River lodge in Zimbabwe took 3 drivers, 2 passport checks and a speed boat! Yes, a luxury speedboat all to ourselves - we couldn't believe it. We had assumed we would be driving there, crossing the bridge over the gorge and north along the river - so you can imagine our shock when shortly after leaving the town of Vic falls, our driver pulled down a tiny track and let us out at a jetty. We were met by the captain, "Polite", and our bags were loaded onto a snazzy-looking, leather-seated speedboat and we headed upstream to the lodge. Awesome. We felt like royalty.
inside our tent at Vic Falls River Lodge!
chilling on the balcony of our tent overlooking the Zambezi
On arrival at the lodge, we were met by "Cuda", an over-excited new starter that spoke English with an American drawl and oddly repeated himself a number of times - we guessed it to be nerves. After a quick tour of the main lodge house, we were shown to our tent which has two showers, a free-standing bath and a plunge pool on the balcony! so we chilled there a while before returning to the open dining area for yet another luxury lunch. I'm down to only a single pair of trousers now... not through a lack of washing, but an over-abundance of good food, beer and wine. We retired to the bar area to blog a little and watch the warthogs snuffling in the grass on the bank, before deciding that our own balcony had a nicer ambience as well as a troop of baboons, monkeys and a family of about 20 mongoose running around.
Monster Baobab tree with grazing giraffe
Polite took us on a game drive at dusk, by sheer luck just the two of us, and we saw baboons, vervet monkeys, kudu, waterbuck, impala, maribou stork, warthogs, 4 giraffe, zebra, kingfishers, hammerkop and guinea fowl. No cats sadly, or hyena, but apparently they are rare here. Poached too much in previous years and so numbers are still low in the area. We were given interesting facts about Aardvark and their dens and taught the many uses of the awesome Baobab trees which stand like ancient guards over the bush - one of which they believe is almost 1,000 years old.
Polite picked a beautiful spot on the river for our Zambezi sundowners, watching the kingfishers and wishing we could stay longer. We now know that we had accidentally chosen the very best time of year to visit the river as the water is quite low and so you can see the dozens of small islands and dead trees that litter the riverbed. It was a lot to take in and one after the after the scenes kept appearing before us like something from a Rudyard Kipling book.
As soon as we arrived back at the lodge, we were told there were Elephants outside lodge number 5, so we jumped back in the truck and headed over there in the dark to spot Eles by torchlight - sadly they'd already gone when we got there, so we freshened up for dinner and Joshua escorted us back to our lodge for bed by 9pm. shattered, but happy.

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