Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Zimbabwe, Day 2

On our first full day in South Africa, we hit the Jo'burg airport for a mid-day flight to Victoria Falls. Upon arrival, we were met at the airport by our Vic Falls excursion guide, Nkue. He was very friendly and welcoming. He and his associate drove us and fellow safari-ers, some friends from Texas, to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. After checking in and getting shown to our rooms, we went out onto the balcony and noticed this welcome wagon - warthogs!

We were taking our preventative malaria pills, but I was glad to see our rooms had mosquito nets. Plus some skeeter spray in the bathroom, which I figured was part of the turndown service every evening - a good spray to kill off any of the little bloodsuckers. By the end of our Vic Falls portion of the safari, I had a total of 27 bites on the tops of my feet and ankles, but I didn't get them in our lodge room. In the pic below, you can see eight visible bites I had obviously been scratching. Itchy, itchy, itchy!

After a bit of a rest, we were driven to a neighbouring lodge on the Zambezi River, upstream of the falls, where we took a two hour sunset boat tour. It was just the nine of us in our two family party, plus two other friendly women, so we had plenty of room to spread out and manoeuvre around the boat for some great pics. We saw quite a few crocs and hippos, plus lots of other tourist boats along the way doing the same thing we were. The momma and baby hippo hanging out in the water beneath the bushes were probably my favourite.

When we returned to the dock, there were some local people singing, dancing and spewing fire. Back at our lodge, we had a lovely meal that included warthog, crocodile and impala. What you see on game drives is what they serve you for meals.

I thought the watering hole was a nice touch provided at our lodge. Below is a pic of it during the day as seen looking across the pool area. I appreciated the fact that there were at least four different view decks/heights to see the surrounding countryside. Then at night, the perimeter lights turned on and the watering hole took on an almost magical quality as elephants and other animals wandered up to get a drink.

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