Back down and over to Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Travel Blog

 › entry 93 of 98 › view all entries

Zambia has its border crossing on one side of the falls and Zimbabwe on Victoria Falls side over the 100year bridge built by the British many moons ago.  Leaving the immigration/police it was getting late in the day and I could see the customs official debating whether or not to stop and search us.  Too late in the day, too much like work, he probably confiscated and fined enough people for today. Happy day for us.

We saw Victoria Falls from the other side and walked about the craft area, time to pick up some gifts for family made from wood and had a look around the stone sculptures from the small to huge!  Locals outside of town would get together depending on who could carve which animal etc, and form a collective allowing them to get better prices from craft sellers.

  The mark up to use from the sellers were huge and part of the fun in bartering.  Up in Lusaka we had already bought more tribal masks for ourselves for an ok price and the best deal we got was a 60cm 32kg hippo made from Lead wood for 50USD (how many people can afford to carry that back home on a flight?  But we were shipping stuff by sea, so no problem). 

Zimbabwe has been doing better economically in the past year or so because they adopted the US Dollar as their national currency, ditching their own hyper inflated 100 trillion dollar notes.  At the ATM you could get USD so I topped up with some extra cash.  On a trip to the supermarket I managed to get a 2USD bank note, was a bit faded, here there are lots of forged USD notes floating around but I had never any trouble passing them on, I kept the 2 dollar note as a souvenir as well as getting a set of the old trillion dollar notes.

Victoria Falls has a lot of tourists and the fuel stations were empty, for now.  While driving out of town we got stopped by the police, BUSTED!  Speeding, 69km/h in 60 zone, we didn’t believe them to start with and checked our GPS track log.  In a continuing effort trying not to pay imaginary fines or getting fleeced Paulina and I said we would push it as far as possible which meant attending the local court in the morning, we had the time and it could be interesting(?).  The GPS confirmed we were speeding, just over the limit.  Paid the 20USD fine and I had to sign “An Admission of Guilt”, this was the second time I was busted for speeding in Africa (my third time caught for speeding will be some time later back in the UK in a hire van going to collect my bike, 32kg hippo etc from the docks in London.

Crossing the bridge to Vic Falls, in no mans land
  Ps. I managed to get away without paying that fine after a kindly worded letter as I was out of the country again!!) 

The police here were very pleasant, happy, probably because they had good jobs compared to the rest of the people.  One of the most sought after positions in African countries, I would say, is working on the borders forever transient people with goods and money to extort.  I remember up in Benin customs getting my bike Carnet stamped by the Big Man with lots of merchandise piled around him and I remember a hearing about a top Nigerian border official turning down offers to move much further up the tree to a top government job and refusing.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Crossing the bridge to Vic Falls, …
Crossing the bridge to Vic Falls,…
Victoria Falls
photo by: Biedjee