“Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”
These nice but slightly gay words were chosen by David Livingstone to describe Victoria Falls after he saw them in the mid 1800s. Where better to take a road trip when our old friends Tom and Sally came up to visit us for a week. On our way back we would traverse Botswana and visit Chobe National Park and the Makgadigadi salt pans in search of large hairy animals.
But first we needed some choones. Sorted.
First stop: Bulawayo, where we used to live. We just stopped long enough to meet some friends and try on a pith helmet, before forging on to the falls.
The falls are found near the point where where Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia meet. At 108 m tall and 1.7 km long, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) because the spray raises 400m into the air, and can be seen from 40 km away, before it falls back down as localised rain that soaked us all to the bone. Katy won the wet t-shirt contest. There are rainbows everywhere. Even the moon makes “moonbows”. Maybe that’s what inspired Livingsone.
Taking high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, with amazing views of the falls and the bridge, Sally was in her element. It was all rather colonial.
After eating all the animals, we crossed the border to Botswana to look for leopards and other animals in Chobe National Park. We never found a leopard, but we did find ourselves surrounded by enough elephants and managed to give Sally a phobia.
At The Makgadigadi Pans Game Reserve and Nxai Pans National park we found eerie salt pans, baobabs and even got to watch lions and cubs.
The road signs in Botswana were pretty accurate.
Cheers Tom & Sally. See you in London!