From Capetown we flew up to Livingstone to check out Victoria Falls! We had an evening boat tour on the Zambezi River, during which we saw crocodiles, lots of birds, and hippos. And here my fear of hippos began. One of them actually jumped out of the water menacingly about 10 feet from our boat, prompting our guide to speed up the boat and get us out of its path! Even though hippos are not meat-eaters, they are responsible for A LOT of attacks on humans because they are so territorial. Yikes.
|Group shot with our elephant friends!|
The next morning was an adventure packed day, the day I was probably looking forward to the most! We started off our morning with Elephant Back Safaris, a company that cares for orphaned elephants from Zimbabwe. We learned about the elephants, and then took a one hour tour around the reserve, each of us on an elephant! Most elephants had one guide and two people on them, but Grace and I both volunteered to go solo with the guides. My elephant’s name was Shikombi, and Grace rode her daughter [conceived when Shikombi left the reserve for 10 months with a bunch of wild bulls] Sheverruka. It was a great morning! After getting off the elephants we all got to feed them treats. My elephant was super hungry, and I had to show her how the bag was completely empty after pouring the remaining crumbs into her mouth!
|A safe distance away from our afternoon shower at the falls!|
Now visiting Victoria Falls is extremely different if you go during the dry season, in fact if you go at that time there is barely any water at all, just a bit over on the Zimbabwe side [the pictures are crazy!]. Luckily we visited right at the end of the rainy season, so the falls were full force. We had massive ponchos on, and still managed to get very wet. It was like taking a shower. Small children were preventing their parents from heading into the thick of it because they were so scared of how loud it was. The original name of the falls is “Mosi-oa-Tunya” meaning “the smoke that thunders,” and whoah was it loud!
|scariest 30 seconds of my life thus far... but pretty incredible|
|hoping that the bush would conceal us from the notoriously bad vision of the rhinos|