A Travellerspoint blog

Chasing Rainbows.

Over the bridge and into Zimbabwe.


Next day we ate breakfast, had a swim, then took transport - Enock again - to the border. We then walked across the famous Victoria Falls Bridge into Zimbabwe.

As we were crossing the bridge, we were approached by people selling old Zimbabwe money from the time when hyperinflation went crazy. After some discussion and bartering, we bought some including a fifty billion Zimbabwean dollar note. At one time Zimbabweans were poverty stricken at the same time as being billionaires and even trillionaires. That is how worthless their money became. Transaction concluded, we walked on. Now someone was following us trying to sell us hippos. We even got him to take our photo on the bridge. After a lot of negotiation, we bought the hippos. Transaction concluded, we walked on. A man approached us carrying wooden elephants. After negotiations, we bought one. Our luggage was getting heavier, our wallets emptier. We did not want anything else, but then there was another man. We would not even look at what he was selling and he got angry and accused us of only liking Zambians, not Zimbabweans. We kept going; then there was another man and another man and another man. It was endless. Once we were over the bridge itself we noticed the trees were filled with Ververt monkeys. We were glad to reach the far side of the bridge where we hoped we would finally get some peace. We gave our passports to an immigration official. He returned them and waved us through. We were surprised no-one stamped our passports, but then what did we know.

View from a bridge.

Vervet monkeys.

On the bridge.

The two of us on the bridge.

Walking in to Victoria Falls Town we passed the Zimbabwean Falls National Park and a group of African singers and dancers. We kept going. As we neared the town more craft sellers appeared. I liked the look of the wooden carvings of the big five they were selling, but did not want to buy them at that point. The more persistent they got, the more determined not to buy I got. Eventually I said to one of them: "All I want is to get into my hotel and cool down." He asked me the name of my hotel. I told him it was the N1. He said I had walked past it and pointed it out. He then tried to insist I had to buy something since he had been helpful. I thanked him for his help, but pointed out that I most certainly did not have to buy anything from him. He followed us to the hotel. We ignored him and checked in.

Our room was very pleasant and mercifully cool, but we had no adapter so I went down to reception to get one. Then we wanted to use our safe. I went back down to reception and explained that the last guest had locked the safe and we could not access it. He said it worked digitally but if it had been locked I'd need the master key. He gave me that saying it was the only copy and that if I locked stuff in the safe then lost the key there was no way I was ever getting it back out. I went back to my room and discovered he had given me the master key to the safe next door. I returned to reception ....this went on for some time. I soon felt I had known the receptionist my whole life. Eventually we were ready to go out. We walked back towards the falls. Our entourage of sales people came with us. We tried to ignore them.

Our room.

It cost us 30 U.S. dollars each to go to the falls. The first thing we found was a David Livingstone statue. Again there were baboons everywhere. Then we walked to the first view point. It was amazing as there was a massive rainbow arching over it. At one point the sun went behind a cloud, the rainbow disappeared and the whole scene transformed. It was still breathtakingly beautiful, but different.

David Livingstone.

Rainbow Falls.

Same scene no rainbow.

Rainbow Falls.

More baboons.

Rainbow Falls.

Us at the falls.

On the Zimbabwean side of the falls you follow a trail with several numbered viewpoints. When we reached the main part of the falls there was lots of spray and it was hard to see the falls, though every now and then the spray cleared and you got a fleeting glance. We were quite happy about this as it gave us another perspective. We had an idea what it would be like to visit at full water capacity.

Nearing the main falls.

The falls through the spray.

Through the spray.

As well as taking pictures of the falls, we took some of the trails to get some jungle shots. At one point we startled a deer. It was different from the impala we saw later. I am guessing that it was a bushbuck though I am no expert on deer.

Jungle shot.



Big African Skies.

Jungle shot.

Jungle shot.

At one of the viewpoints we asked some people to take our photo and we got chatting to them. Later we saw them again; they were posing right on the edge of a sheer drop into the falls. Just watching them made me feel quite ill.

More shots of the falls.

More shots of the falls.

Dangerous posing.

What a view.

Us at the falls.

When we had visited all the viewpoints we made our way back towards the exit via a jungle path. There was a restaurant and some art work near the exit.

Art Work.

A well deserved rest.

We took a quick look at the dancers before heading home. All the craft sellers were waiting for us. At one point Peter who walks slow nowadays was surrounded by them. I was starting to feel quite angry about this. I roughly shooed them all away and we made it home where we had a relaxing swim.


At the pool.

That evening we ate in a restaurant called the Three Monkeys. Food sizes were ridiculously huge. We had the cheesiest four cheeses pizza I have ever had. It had so much cheese on it it was almost inedible. Still they did a great craft beer. Peter had the blonde; I was on the amber ale.

In the three monkeys.

I had a very restless night. Probably all that cheese. In the morning we went swimming. We had to check out by ten. When we left the hotel the man who had given us directions the day before was waiting for us saying we still had not paid him for being helpful. At this point it could be said I kind of lost the plot. I gave him a piece of my mind about constantly harassing us and from that point on I was rude, aggressive and nasty to every salesman who dared approach me. There is only so much people will put up with.

We had a quick stroll through the town then set off to visit the famous Victoria Falls Hotel. On the walk to the hotel we passed warthogs and lots of baboons.

Around town.

Around town.

Around town.


Baboon mum and baby.


Going inside the Victoria Falls Hotel was like achieving sanctuary. No-one bothered us there. We were left in blissful peace. The Victoria Falls Hotel was built by the British in 1904. It was originally meant to provide accommodation for workers on the Cape to Cairo railway. At first it was operated by the railways administration. However, in the early 1970's it was leased to the Southern Sun hotel group and became a luxury hotel.

As well as having beautiful historical rooms, the Victoria Falls Hotel has expansive green lawns, beautiful views of the Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray from the falls, a lovely swimming pool, ponds, flowers and a sculpture garden. There was another warthog on the hotel grounds. This one did not have any tusks.

In the hotel.

In the hotel.

View of the bridge.

In front of the hotel.

Warthog on the hotel grounds.

Sculpture Garden.

On the grounds of the hotel.

On the grounds of the hotel.

On the grounds of the hotel.

Hotel Pool.

We had lunch at this hotel: soup and salad, coffee and beer. We really enjoyed just chilling out here.

Our lunch.

Sadly it was soon time to walk to the bridge and back to Zambia. On the walk we passed some animals which I think were mongeese. We watched the dancers for a while before heading to immigration.



The immigration officer demanded to know where our entry stamp was. We told him we did not get one. He was not pleased. "At least you will have filled in the forms," he said. "What forms?" we asked. He was even angrier. Eventually we filled the forms we should have filled the day before and were stamped both in and out at the same time.

The bridge was as filled with salesmen as the day before, but we made it. Back in Zambia we had booked a cruise down the Zambesi River on the African Queen. Our transfer from the border stopped to pick people up at the Livingstone Hotel so we got to have a quick look at it after all.

The cruise was not very busy and the other people on it were very friendly. We had a chat, a lovely dinner, lots to drink and we saw hippos, crocodiles and impalas. It was called a sunset cruise but there was not a particularly great sunset. However, one of the women on the trip, Sue, whats-apped us all a picture she had taken of the sunset on the previous day. It was stunning.

Our Boat.

Drinks on board.

Dinner on board.

A welcoming musician.

Other boats on the river.

A hippo.

A crocodile.

This is not my photo. It was given to me by a lady called Sue. It's beautiful.

Posted by irenevt 20:08 Archived in Zimbabwe

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Ah.....that's more like it, hubby pushing the boat out with two jugs of beer....and spectacular pictures with the falls and the tame baboons, they have similar tame apes ( in reality Macaque monkeys imported from Morocco) on the rock of Gibraltar, but tourists are forbidden to feed them on penalty of a big fine, they have specialist handlers and diet.

Technically, I'm a Turkish millionaire, my mum returned from holiday there, many years ago, and gifted me a souvenir million Lira banknote at the time of hyperinflation.

by Bennytheball

Hi Benny, the baboons were very placid but apparently they will steal food off people and get aggressive if there is food around. They can give you a nasty bite, so it is definitely not a good idea to feed them.

We taught in Turkey for a few years. I remember my husband earning his first million lire, which was at that time around 400 pounds. We took a photo of him holding all his notes. It was quite funny.

Those jugs of beer were excellent by the way. Thank you for visiting.


by irenevt

The little Vervet monkeys are really cute. I loved your rainbow pictures. Sounds like a great day. The falls are magical.

by Beausoleil

The trees were filled with these monkeys. There were lots of them. We were really lucky to see the rainbows, too. Thanks for visiting.

by irenevt

Those over-persistent hustlers drove me mad too, and I think they get even worse if they spot that you've bought anything from one of the others! But you had a great walk by the falls, I see, and have some wonderful rainbow shots! You're right about the hotel being a haven, we loved our stay there :)

by ToonSarah

The sellers just left you alone more in Livingstone except at the bridge and the museum, so you could escape for sanity breaks. In Victoria Falls it was just constant which really got to me after a while.

by irenevt

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