Congratulations! You’re now 24, you’ve finally visited Africa, you’ve finally checked Devil’s Pool off your list. What’s next?
Zimbabwe, a name I’ve thought about thousands of times. Why? Erm. Fair question, I’m not sure really. Maybe the hyper inflation, maybe Victoria Falls, maybe because of the owl sculpture you bought in Australia that sits on your dresser that marked “Made in Zimbabwe”.
So it began with a bit of chaos. I’ve always remembered my flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is at 0700 on 26 September. On 26 Sep, I got home at around 0030 and thought I should do online check in, bath, and pack. Instead, I realised my flight is at 0230, and I’m arriving Ethiopia at 0700. Fabulous! I stuff all sorts of junk into my suitcase within 10 mins and took a taxi to the airport. Miraculously, I’ve only forgotten my ballerina, slippers and nail clipper. I call it a success lol
Arriving in Harare, I stayed with a super nice couchsurfer for 2 days and we went to Lake Chivero (See here) and saw the FIRST GIRAFFE of my life!!! That’s love at first sight guys ❤
We almost saw a rhino too!!! Arrrrrrg!!!! That would be amazing. Nonetheless, we saw some funny ostriches, zebras, baboons, all sorts of antelopes. So you see. In Hong Kong we don’t have such things as animals. (Sort of..) And I had a HARD TIME when I first face that much of animals. I. JUST. DON’T. KNOW. THE. NAME. OF. THE. ANIMAL! Ouch. Okay I know there’s such thing as antelope. But in Chinese you’re classifying them by size and place. So a steenbok would be “Small antelope” in Chinese, eland would be “big antelope”, a waterbuck is “African big antelope”. Come on. You have to admit it’s WAY more efficient!
To save a bit of time time, I chose to fly to Victoria Falls on my birthday so I can do gorge swing even though I couldn’t make it on time for Devil’s Pool in Zambia. Guess what. Oh right. Delay. 3 HOURS DELAYED! THANK YOU!!! One piece of advice for anyone who are planning to go to Zimbabwe. Trust everyone and everything EXCEPT TRANSPORTATION! (#1)
Landed in Victoria Falls at 4pm, I rushed to find a company that allows me to do the gorge swing since most have closed for the day. For fuck sake I don’t want to miss it!! Okay. Fine. I’m a little too desperate. But that’s really the only thing I want for myself.. 😦 I MADE IT!!! I totally recommend Wild Horizon (See website). They are efficient and provide a wide rage of services too! I spent 95USD for the gorge swing and other company would offer other spots like bridge swing. Yeh it’s not the cheapest thing but it’s so much fuuuuuuuuun!
Although everyone was saying the Lookout Cafe (See here) is a must-go, I find it MEH. Maybe because I’ve seen everything while I did the gorge swing HAHAHAA
As they recommended falling with the back would be the most exciting, and so I did. The price is (almost) breaking my neck and I coudln’t get up properly for the whole week (and hence missed the white water rafting!! DAMN!!!!!!!). Despite my funny situation, I went to Zambia the next day for the long-awaited Devil’s Pool.
Devil’s Pool is located on the Zambian side. Sitting on the edge of the Victoria Fall have been on my list for at least 5 years, and I have finally done it!! Again, I went with Wild Horizon and it was 95USD including breakfast and transportation to Zambia. I’m so glad that I did it because there’s only a very short period of time you can visit the Devil’s Pool each year during the dry season. And even so, it’s not guaranteed it’s a good day to dive in this magnificent and mystical pool.
The island itself has nothing much to offer but the loo definitely caught my attention. lol
Back to the Zimbabwean side of the fall, I finally got a chance to wear my Qipao and the view is simply stunning. It’s like traveling back in time..
Zimbabwe is breathtaking. Yet, most of the people struggling to survive in this country. While I was visiting the Victoria Fall train station, I met the janitor of the station and he told me how fucked-up the railroad company is. It’s partially government-owned but it’s been 11 months since all workers paid absolutely nothing for their job. Once you go on strike, they will arrest you and put you in jail. You can stay in the company’s accommodation, but they charges double for what you can get in the village. This is simply sick..
The janitor then brought me to his friend, the in-charge of the steam train, whom, unsurprisingly, also received absolutely nothing for his work.
It’s very hard to believe how a daily run, partially government train can be so crooked and I felt so sorry them.
While Victoria Falls is one of the most popular tourist spots in Zimbabwe, life is so different for tourist and locals. Especially after visiting Chinotimba, one of the villages of Zimbabwe. I’ve became friends with the guard of Shoestring Backpackers (see here). He loves Africa. He loves Zimbabwe. He was so eager to show me how people actually live.
I visited his family and had a blast with some of the kids in the neighborhood. Struggling with life, kids in Zimbabwe never give up learning and believe the importance of studying. Zimbabwe has one of the highest, if not the best literacy rate, in Africa. For the little they have, they are kind, have a big heart, and friendly. I am super thankful for all people I’ve met in Zimbabwe!
That girl in Qipao