After finishing the border formalities of Zimbabwe we arrived in Victoria Falls. We went to the local office of the overland truck company for a briefing about the activities available. I signed up for four of them. The first was a bungi jump off the 111m (365ft) bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. The first jump wasn't too bad since I had done it before and it was frontward tied to the ankles. I guess in the heat of the massive adrenaline rush I volunteered to jump again but this time I requested to go backwards, they connected the cord to my chest and had me back up to the ledge looking over the Zambezi river and let my heels hang off.
Then the bungi attendant held my harness and had me lean back over the edge at a 45 degree angle. Then the count down from three and he let go and I fell. After the jump we had diner at Mama Africa's and saw a local dance troupe perform five or six dance routines and songs.
Lions paw and my foot
Another early start as we were picked up at 0630 and driven ten minutes outside of town to a lion sanctuary. Since we had such bad luck sighting a lion in the wild four of us went for the sure thing by signing up for a lion walk. I had my hesitations that it would be too much like a petting zoo with cubs. I was pleasantly surprised when we met the first lions; a pair of twelve month old brothers. These lions were more than big enough to kill a human and there form of "playing" was a bit rougher than we could endure.
We must have played with these two guys for at least an hour posing for pictures, petting them, getting them to jump in the tree and pulling their tails (I'm not joking). After we finished with these two we went to the other side of the sanctuary to see a pair of seven month old brother and sister and a fourteen month old. These guys were quite as playful but the fourteen month old lion would greet you by ramming his head right into you hip so you could pet him as he crossed by. The lion walk ended with a great breakfast in an open air dining hall that over looked the adjacent national park. At 1400 a big group from our campsite was picked up and taken out to the Batoka Gorge 300m down from Victoria falls. The first activity was the gorge swing which is a 70m free fall from the top of the gorge followed by a 95m swing to the other side.
The next was the zip line which I did tandem with Regina (a fellow traveler) which is 425m zip line with speeds of over 100km/h. The final and lamest activity was the fling fox. This one you were tied to you back and you ran off the ledge for a slow glide horizontally across the gorge 100m up.
Today started early.... AGAIN with a 0615 pick- up and transport to a local "airport". I emphasis the word airport because this was really just a section of cleared trees and burned grass for a runway. Regardless, we were there for a scenic micro-light flight over Victoria Falls. Until now I had only seen part of the falls from the bridge I bungi'd from.
The aircraft had something slightly larger than a lawn-mower engine and propeller attached to the roof. Nonetheless it had enough power to get off the ground pretty quickly and make it into the air for a fifteen minute flight over the falls which was tremendous. After returning to camp we met up with the majority of the group for a farewell breakfast. Of the original fifteen overland travelers nine of them were finishing up in Victoria Falls. Only six of us were going all the way to Nairobi. With the remaining people in town we headed out to Victoria Falls national park for a closer look at the falls. The hike took about an hour and a half and had some great vantage points. The original name for the falls was Mosi O Tunya which means smoke that thunders. It gets this name from the fact that the force of the pounding water of the world's largest waterfall creates a midst that shoots 300 feet into the air. This of course meant that some of the vantage points were basically being rained the entire time so full rain gear was a must.
Falls from the air