"The Smoke That Thunders" : the falls that are on the border of southern Zambia and Zimbabwe
When we were driving in the taxi from the Lusaka (capitol) airport, the first thing to be noticed was the dry dry everything. Of course they are in the dry season, so it makes sense. Lusaka is also a beautiful city that looks like an American suburb. There were strip malls! Boulevards! Street lights that work! It felt strange to be in such an organized city. Strange but good...
Amanda and I went to Livingstone, the tourist town near Victoria Falls and stayed at Faulty Towers, a nice hostel that we discovered, after an awkward misunderstanding of the joke behind our hostel and a Google search later, is named after a British comedy.
We drove the short trip to Vic Falls National Park in a truck with outside seats (the kind for safaris.) I thought it was appropriate for all the white people to be on display driving through Livingstone. I hope someone took our picture for a really prestigious magazine about cultural/financial diversity.
We signed up for the breakfast tour of the falls. Sometime in late morning we were anxiously swimming across a very cold Zambezi river. We reached the edge of the falls, marveled at the sights. When they showed us the "devil's pool" we were meant to JUMP into, Amanda and I began regretting our decision to pay so much money to fall off the edge of the world. Somehow, we decided to jump in and there we were at the top of Victoria Falls. After our swim, feeling brave, we had a surreal experience at breakfast. There was incredibly delicious food (a little bit of food on a really big plate, that always makes me feel like I'm in a fancy place, in my little head, extra plate space equals extravagance), white napkins, silver silverware, bacon, waiters and waitresses tuned to our every move. Money, blah. We snuck food for later.
The next morning was a scheduled elephant ride. Geez. The elephants were cute and scary. It made me wish I had been an explorer with my very own elephant (an explorer without the desire to colonize.) But I probably wouldn't really like it. When we were walking around Vic Falls admiring the greatness of water, there were at least 50 baboons strolling around like they owned the place and I would have appreciated some people-appropriate primate control… especially when I thought one was going to jump on me and almost started crying.
Northern Zambia was just as dry. We went to Chishimba Falls, more stunning vistas and the sound of loud water. We went fabric shopping. We had nshima and beans with our friends family. We call nshima posho in Uganda. Any way you look at it, it's an inexpensive, tasteless mush made outta corn that people use to spoon up a sauce or relish (like beans, meat, greens.) Its not half bad, just can't think of any other word besides "mush" to describe it.
It was exciting to be on an adventure in another African country. If you ever get the chance, take it. You're gonna love it.