Flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg was uneventful and upon arrival i was picked up by the hotel shuttle. I had picked a hotel close to the airport as i was flying out the next morning to Victorias Falls. I have been to Johannesburg before and had no desire to stay there longer than i had to.
I had made a (small) bid on a business class upgrade with South African Airways and won, so flew in a bit of style. This wasnt really necessary since the flight is only about 1,5 hour but hey, its holiday so why not.
Entry into Zimbabwe was incredibly smooth and quick – only smiling people all wishing you welcome. I made a bit of a mistake though with the visa. There are several options for visas and i chose a Univisa which allows entry into Zimbabwe but also into Zambia. It does not however allow entry into Botswana for which you need a seperate one.
You can also get a double entry visa which is was i should have gotten as I intended to visit Botswana. So strong advise is to have clear in mind what you want to do and then get the most suitable visa. Because i had a Univisa, I needed a new visa getting into Botswana and yet another one when returning to Zimbabwe. Easy enough to get the visas but more fees than was actually necessary.
At Victoria Falls i was picked up by the lodge (Pamusha Lodge). It was about 20 minutes or so from the airport and as you get closer, you can see “The smoke that thunders” which is the nickname for the Victoria Falls, considered by many to be the largest waterfall in the world (although its not the highest nor the widest).
Victoria Falls (the town) itself is very small and has very little to offer. There is a nice cafe in the center (Shearwater Cafe) who serve a great crocodile tail sandwich and its a nice calm place to chill out for a while. Its also right next to an unofficail taxi stand if you need a ride. Taxis were a flat rate of usd 5 to go anywhere within a 5 km or so radius.
The entrance to the falls are a 15-20 minute walk from the center. Be aware that once you have paid entrance fee and is inside the park, if you leave, you cannot get back in without paying entrance fee once again. There is no such thing as a day pass or 24 hour pass.
There are a couple of tours available, and as i like sailing, i joined a river cruise on the Zambezi river. The good thing about this was the freen Gin & Tonioc (all you can drink hehehe) The bad thing was the wildlife or rather the lack of it. It was a nice enogh cruise with a great sunset, but not much wildlife to be spotted.
I also went on a helicopter tour over the falls. Also known as “flight of angels”. This name originated from the phrase coined by David Livingstone when he first documented discovering the falls: “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in Their Flight”.
The flight is a bit expensive at around usd 150 for a 12 minute flight BUT is well worth it. The sight of the falls from above is absolutely stunning.
I wanted to go visit Chobe National Park in Botswana so had to find a way of getting there. Being a solo traveller its always more difficult (read more expensive) at somewhat remote places, so i started asking around for options. I managed to get a taxi option down to around usd 80 but the lodge where i stayed found that a bit expensive so the owner offered to give me a ride for 50. Be aware that taxis might give you a good price, but they will drop you off at the Botswana border and from there you will have another 15-20 km to go.
There were very few tourist around so I was unable to find somebody who would share the ride. The lodge owner was a lovely guy and was ready on time to take me to Kasane. The drive goes through Zambezi National Park and it takes about 1 hour to reach the Botswana border. Entry is swift and after another 20 minutes or so you are at Kasane.
I stayed at Waterlily Lodge and that turned out to be a great choice. The staff were great and very helpfull in organizing game drives and a river safari. The boat ride here was far superior compared to the one i went on in Zimbabwe. They also arranged for me to return to Victoria Falls together with a german couple and for this i only paid usd 30.