Travel Diary: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Day One

© Penelope Haque – All Rights Reserved – Overcast skies at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The humidity hits me the moment I took my first step out of the plane.
This is nature’s steam bath on a grand scale.
The misty white line visible from the airplane’s window on approach is not all that great after all.
With the hot weather, light showers … oh well, Victoria Falls vapourises, hence the effect of a sauna.
The wait in the airport was gruelling. Not needing a visa, I whisked through quickly, feeling sorry for the long queue of people sweating like a pig waiting to part with USD 55 for a lousy impression of a rubber stamp. Not long thereafter, I felt sorry for myself waiting mindlessly for more than one hour for the 7 others before I could get on with the airport transfer.
© Penelope Haque – All Rights Reserved – Interior of the arrival and departure halls of Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe

Arriving an hour 10 minutes late at the pre-appointed meeting point, the group had proceeded to Victoria Falls; a piece of information I discovered twenty plus minutes later after walking around the camp site with more than 20 kilos on me. I finally asked around and was told by another travel company to wait outside a dorm as he was a zillion percent sure that the Intrepid guy will be back. True to his words, the Intrepid vehicle rolled into the camp site some 5 minutes later. 
© Penelope Haque – All Rights Reserved – the Intrepid Truck rolls into Victoria Falls’ Campsite
I was quickly set up in my tent – yay! I set up a tent. ‘Pitch’ is the word, I think.
And double yay! I was told that I needn’t share it as a few folks were dropping out later; given that this is a 2-part group/tour that stretches 15 days in total.
I’ve been rather lucky to date.
On my second leg of the 17 hours 35 minutes flight, I had 4 seats in a row to myself.
Drowning a packet of Lemsip Max, a 650 mg paracetamol (yes, a tat of paracetamol overdose here) and two antibiotic tablets, I slept like a baby for 6 hours, waking up only for a quick dinner and at takeoff and landing.
Upon arrival, my hotel pick-up told me that my room had been upgraded to a suite – great! – and my flight to Zimbabwe was again a row of empty seats.
The thing is, none of which was actually an empty row, just that the occupants decides to vacate them. Though I had written about discrimination earlier, in cases like these, I seriously don’t mind being treated like a leper!
OK. Other than pitching a tent, I actually showered in a communal shower. Well, I’ve done it on 4×4 trips and my possum conservation in Victoria, Australia days, but I guess this is rather different. Praying all the way that there’s hot water and the shower looks decent, I decided to jump in early before it gets dark and eerie and before it gets all slimy and wet. Thank God for the hot water, but let me tell you this: it pays to have less than perfect 20:20 vision. Most baths and toilets do look decent in my half blind state. 
So, here I am sitting in my tent with the door flap open (risking mosquitoes and malaria) waiting for everyone to shower before we make our way to Mama Africa for dinner. I am of course fighting sleep; nothing to do with tse tse fly but an aging body struggling with jet lag.
© Penelope Haque – All Rights Reserved – my humble belonging {and “sustenance”} … whoops! rain drops at the ‘entrance’ … but I need ventilation!


6 thoughts on “Travel Diary: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Day One

  1. for some strange reason had always a fascination with zimbabwe, esp the zimb whites and how the are coping now post land grabs…

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