One of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. These falls, the world’s largest, produce so much mist, that their name in the local language means “smoke that thunders.” We entered the National Park and took a walk through the rainforest along the bend in the river to see the falls and feel the mist coming off the spray.
To refresh, we headed to the Victoria Falls Hotel, an historic property, near the falls and the old railroad station. Done in a traditional English colonial style, the hotel porch overlooks a garden with a view of the 100 year old bridge across the river. Afternoon tea, with hot chocolate for Boy, and lots of cakes, gave us the energy to continue our explorations.
Boy has been collecting key chains from our travels and was keen to search for one from Zimbabwe. At the local craft market, he used all his bargaining skills to negotiate for one with a price to match his pocket money. This was no small task, as there were many craft vendors, and much activity. Zimbabwe has no local currency, but uses the South African Rand and American Dollar, instead. American Dollars are much preferred! And prices reflect this. Boy had to stand firm when challenged that as an American he must have American dollars to spend, which he did not, as we have been traveling for months. He found a lovely carving, and with the threat of walking away from a high price, was able to get it for what he was willing to spend. The vendor was most impressed at the speed he can now do the math for currency conversion.
We also had a chance to work on some music skills this week. Dinner and a show at a restaurant called, The Boma, Place for Eating, included an African dancing demonstration and a drum lesson. After the performers did a drumming show, they passed out drums to the audience and taught us a few basic rhythms. Changing the speed and order of these rhythms produced wonderful music. Boy thought this was the best part of the day.
We ended our stay with a cruise on the Zambezi River (far upstream from the falls), where we were able to see a family of hippos swimming in the river. Off to South Africa, tomorrow.
Schoolwork by the waterhole