Our group left Ngala Reserve yesterday, taking a short flight from Kruger National Park to Victoria Falls. We’re staying on the Zimbabwe side of the falls at the classic Victoria Falls Hotel, founded in 1904 as one of the first modern hotels in southern Africa.
The hotel is just a short walk from the falls and has a beautiful view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, which spans the Zambezi River to connect the towns of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Livingstone, Zambia. It was completed in 1905 as part of a rail route. It now accommodates foot, bicycle and motor vehicle traffic between the countries.
Last night we took a sunset cruise on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River. It was a very different environment than those of the Cape or the greater Kruger National Park area, and we had a great time learning about the animals in this riverine ecosystem. We saw hippos and learned about more than a dozen colorful bird species we hadn’t yet encountered on this trip.
This morning we went to the falls for a close-up look at “the smoke that thunders,” or Mosi-oa-Tunya, as they’re known locally. The falls gave off so much spray it seemed to be raining cats and dogs. It was difficult to take good pictures at first, but as the morning progressed the winds calmed and we got a clearer view of this breathtaking force of nature. It was a truly spectacular sight.
After our walk, some of our group went on helicopter flights for an even closer look, while others relaxed at the hotel, walked through the town, or visited an elephant refuge for an elephant safari.
(This post was written by Kathryn Kingsbury, Ujuzi’s communications coordinator, who is on a two-week safari with Dickerson Park Zoo.)