Earlier this week, I was sorting through one of my old hard drives and I found a bunch of files from my old HD video camera. One of which, was a full 2min video of the exact same jump, but shot from the bridge. I had forgotten that at the time, when I went up to do the jump, I’d handed my camcorder to the tour guide to look after for me.
Cruisin’ through the Zimbabwe highways (strips of tarmac laid through bare and dry surroundings), Chemical Brothers on the radio (thanks Nokia), the African outback goes pretty well with The Salmon Dance, who knew?
Today we’ve been out rafting on the Zambezi.
Hungover like you wouldn’t believe (we got in at 4am), we left the hotel at nine to traverse the gorge back down to The Mighty Zambezi (to give it its rightful name) which as well as being some 2500k long, also doubles up as the border between several countries, including this one that we’re driving on, Zimbabwe and that one over there – Zambia.
We start our descent 750ft up…
August 10th was a pretty special day for lots of reasons. But bizarrely I haven’t mentioned it anywhere in my Moleskine. Maybe I’ll put it together for another post. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do…
For the record, Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to and I would go again in a heartbeat.
The name itself resonates in a certain way.
Say it, out loud… Now.
What does it do to you?
I’m ashamed to say it but at the time of writing, the very word strikes fear into my heart. The recent history of the country has been tumultuous at best and at worst, close to civil war.
“That’ll never happen.” says Ralph, owner and chief guide of Ichingo lodge, our place of rest the night before. “The Zimbabwe people are peaceful and intelligent. That’s one of the reasons this whole thing has happened; they’ve been taken for fools and their reluctance for confrontation has meant this [situation] can carry on.
If you would have told me ten years ago that this was going to happen, I would not have believed you. Mugabe is smart. He’s a cunning politician-cum-dictator who has played the system and now isn’t going anywhere…”
“The trouble is… the smart ones. They leave, they don’t want to be here. The money they send back is the only thing that’s keeping the country going right now. But with no smart ones, there’s no real chance of opposition.
The only good thing is, Mugabe has no pretender; no protégé to carry on when he’s gone. I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens when he goes.”
Ralph explains that the average time in power for Africa is something like 18yrs; “When they get there, they stay there” he says.
As we head into Zimbabwe the following morning for four nights at Victoria Falls, staying anywhere is the last thing on our minds.
Plane: England -> South Africa
Plane: South Africa -> Zambia
Bus: Zambia -> Chobe River
Boat: Chobe River -> Botswana (for 45mins)
4×4: Botswana -> Chobe River
Boat: Chobe River -> Namibia
When we were told this challenge was to ride the Zambezi, all of the information we had been given (before our itineraries arrived), implied that we were to be staying in Zambia.
As it turned out, we were actually to spend the majority of our time in Zimbabwe. Not before however, we returned to Namibia for one night of relaxation at the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, situated right on the banks of the Chobe River itself.
Tonight’s treat? Speedboat Safari.
I’ll hopefully get some good photos… I can’t believe how much I’m really enjoying this camera.