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Victoria Falls and Great Zimbabwe!

Honeymoon home

South Africa 1
South Africa 2

One thing you learn quickly in Africa is that border crossings are not easy and smooth. The people love paperwork, and you will get everything in triplicate. The Zimbabwe officials didn't want to let us in because we didn't know where we were going to be staying. We then had to buy road insurance even though we were already covered. By the time we finally made it to Victoria Falls it was getting late. Victoria Falls is a huge contrast to all the other places we had been. As one of the largest tourist destinations in Africa, it was very, well, touristy. We were offered drugs in the parking lot of the post office. There were bungee jumping and white water rafting outfits all over the place. And all the hotels were full. We went to six different places all full. I'm not sure if they actually were full, or if they just didn't want to cater to two very dirty and bedraggled people in a very dirty Defender. Finally the desk clerk at the Ilala Lodge gave us a room that had not been claimed. We had a wonderful meal in a typically British Colonial setting, and the next morning went out to the Falls themselves. Nothing can really prepare you for the sight of Victoria Falls. If you get anywhere close to the falls it feels like it's raining. The spray is intense. We spent the morning rubbing shoulders with other tourists and with the many baboons who pray on them in the park by the falls.

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Victoria Falls Again And again
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Another view And another Curio vendors

Then we headed South. The roads in Zimbabwe are paved for the most part, and I was sad that our off-roading was over. We stopped at several roadside curio vendors and spent a lot of money on souvenirs. Our destination now was the Great Zimbabwe Ruins but on the way South we came across the Gwaai River Hotel, which I had very fond memories of from my childhood. We stopped there and checked in at 3 in the afternoon, and spent the time relaxing and re-organizing the back of the Land Rover. The dinner options were fish or steak. Connie had problems with the monkey-gland sauce on her steak. It wasn't until much later that we discovered that monkey-gland sauce has nothing to do with monkeys and is more closely related to chutney. Just outside the hotel was a garage, and two old Land Rovers. A Series III 109 Safari and what looked like a Series II 109 pick up.

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Along the road south Caution! At Gwaai River lodge
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Our accomodation for the night Relaxing by the pool Z postcard!
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H postcard! B postcard! Lodging at Great Zimbabwe

The following day we headed South again, and arrived at Great Zimbabwe by evening. The 110 turned out to be a great highway cruiser. Great Zimbabwe is the remains of a great city that was inhabited between the 13th and 15 centuries by up to 20,000 people. It is the largest single ancient structure in sub-Saharan Africa. The stone work is magnificent, and the wall of the great enclosure is 30 feet high in places and 15 feet thick. We spent all morning walking around the ruins, but didn't get to see everything. Then we were on the road again heading South into South Africa.

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The Great Enclosure from a distance Impressive walls High walls!
Visitors at lunch