Sunday 29 June 2008 - Monday 30 June 2008 70 °F
Mbuti! Hello from Zambia.
Unfortunately I'll have to make this short, as there about 10 people waiting for this computer. We made it safely to Johannesburg after about a 45 minute delay coming out of Paris. Not bad for a 10 hour flight. We stayed that night in Benoni, a small town about 20 km outside of Jo-Burg, so we really didn't even see the city. The next morning we caught a quick flight to Livingstone, Zambia to meet Crystal and begin our trip.
I'll fill in the details of Livingstone later...
Today we visited Victoria Falls. It was simply spectacular. Impossible to put into words. We first hiked around to catch some panoramic views of the falls, then down to the bottom of the canyon to a point called the "Boiling Pot" at the bottom of the falls. Here we were basically within yelling distance from the Zimbabwe border, and looked up huge canyons to see the top of the falls which was entirely covered with mist. The force of the water coming off the falls created a powerful whirlpool that looked, well, daunting.
After hiking back up and taking in an improvised lunch of bread, cheese and apples, we headed to the top of the falls. There is a trail that takes you along the opposite ridge line of the easter cataract. It is absolutely impossible to put into words how beautiful... its by far the grandest piece of nature I've ever witnessed. Imagine 5-6 niagara's stacked side by side and then the same on the opposite side. Then double the amount of water flowing over... that might, perhaps, come close. Just walking near it left us completely drenched head to toe. Stupendous!
Afterwards we headed to the other side, behind the falls. Baboons are indigenous to this area, and they live in the upper part of the falls area. Curious creatures. They're very familiar with humans, and are not at all afraid to investigate and loot what looks interesting. One came up to us and took a plastic bag that had Steve's camera in it. He took it away, untied the bag, and looked inside and began weeding through. The most bizarre thing I've ever seen. Crystal and Corre started frantically searching for stones to through at it, and in a moment of desperation Steve decided it best to impersonate an alpha male baboon. It worked, he ran off and left the camera. Steve was quite pleased with himself, and we're all so proud. A moment not to be forgotten, I would pay $10 -or 300,000 Zambian Kwatcha- to have that on film...
Have to go for now, more to come later.