So I know that it really wasn’t ideal for me to leave you again after having just been away for six nights but I’m sorry my darling boy it just couldn’t be helped. You see the previous trip was for work and I was only told about in September and it was a great opportunity for me to see colleagues from all over the world, which is always special.
This trip to Victoria Falls was planned in June already and was my birthday present to your Dad. What made it extra special was that Dad had never been before, which is definitely one for the books as he had travelled all over the world and seen some amazing things. The dates were also booked to coincide with Dad’s mid term break.
We set off early on Friday morning with Mom’s heart very heavy at the thought of leaving you again but happy knowing that you would be well cared for, and spoilt rotten, by your Granny and Grandpa, and Gagga and Grandad who were sharing you over the weekend.
Walking out of the plane at Livingstone Airport in Zambia we were hit by a wall of heat. It was 38 degrees and felt like a hair dryer was blowing when the wind came up! Thankfully our beautiful lodge the David Livingstone had air-conditioning and a gorgeous rim flow pool on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river. Dad and I lazed around taking in the amazing view, watching hippos and elephants, and enjoying a Mozi beer. We then went on a sunset cruise on the Lady Livingstone which was so relaxing and gave us time to just unwind, take in the scenery and catch up!
Dad got his first view of the falls on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the rains hadn’t come so it was incredibly dry, a stark contrast to when I went in April a decade ago. But nonetheless still breathtaking. The rock formations and sheer magnitude of the face of the falls would have blown your mind. We took in the views from every angle including from the ‘boiling pot’ at the bottom where we watched the bungee jumpers – a crazy lot.
Although our walk around the falls was amazing our trip to Livingstone Island was the highlight of the trip for Dad and I. We travelled to the island on a small boat from the Royal Livingstone (a beautiful five star hotel which we cant afford) in a group with a honeymoon couple from the US and a well travelled Aussie, Joanne. Being that close to the Zambezi and seeing all the white water was incredible. The best was yet to come though!
We walked around the island guided by Calvin and Alpha Omega (no lies that was his name) and got to see the gorge from the opposite side. The view was no less spectacular and it was amazing to think that Livingstone had stood where we were when he first ‘found’ Victoria Falls.
Moving on, we made our way to the ‘Devils Pool’ so named as it is on the edge of the cliff alongside the Zimbabwean side of the falls. We had to swim across part of the river in a V-shape because of the current without any harness. There was a rope stretched across near the edge that you could grab onto if you got washed away, a little scary. Once across, we perched on rocks and got instructions on how to enter the pool, either by jumping in or bum-sliding. Dad was the first to take the plunge with a massive jump and Mom was second in the group opting for the far less adventurous bum-slide.
The pictures don’t do it justice. The noise of the water, mist from the falls, beauty of the rock formations all add to what has to be one of the most incredible experiences for both Dad and I. For me I conquered my fear of heights and Dad well, lets just say that he was spoken to on many occasions for being to close to the edge and for giving us all mild heart attacks!
After our swim back we were seated under a canvas structure as no permanent buildings are allowed on the island, and treated to a delicious three course meal served of course with the prerequisite Mozi beer. One of the wonderful things about travelling to another country is getting to meet people from all over the world. Our lunch was spent discovering more about our Zambian hosts and fellow travellers which was great fun.
As I said the trip to Livingstone Island was the highlight for us but for Dad and I just getting to spend some uninterrupted time together was the main attraction. We love you dearly of course but its nice to have some time to reconnect. Although we were away from you we thought of you often monkey and know that with your love of water, the outdoors and for things on a large scale you would love the place.
We will definitely be going back! Our plan is to take you in five years time in March or April when the river is in full flow and to do a helicopter flip to take in the amazing rock formations. So its a date that I look forward to sharing with you two boys.