Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flight of Angels

This is part two of your three part African honeymoon. To read part one please click on the following link.

You're on honeymoon in Africa - Cape Town to be exact, and you're having a wonderful, romantic time, apart from that little incident where you appeared naked at your hotel window in front of several dozen people innocently enjoying their breakfast. The police were very good about it all in the end. Quite understanding, and you were released on a good behaviour bond.

Next stop is Victoria Falls - "The Smoke That Thunders." There are few more romantic places in the entire world. An early flight from Cape Town, a quick change of planes in Johannesburg and before you know it you're descending into Victoria Falls airport, the spray from the falls themselves easily visible in the hazy middle distance. It does indeed look like grey smoke against the blue sky. You check into your room at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge which has great views across the bush to the waterhole and beyond. You've arrived in time for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River yet another highlight. Once again on the boat you toast each other with a glass of wine while you watch a small herd of elephants bathing in the shallows on one side of the river and a pod of hippos grunting and yawning threat displays on the other. Meanwhile the entire scene is washed by a blood orange sunset, and again, closer this time there is a tower of spray from the falls.

That night back at the lodge you dine at the Boma - an African themed restaurant attached to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. There's a great buffet meal and some wonderful cultural entertainment with African dancers and some superb drummers. There's also a little market, a traditional story teller who roams from table to table and a fortune teller You even pluck up the courage to eat a mopani worm which is a little like a witchety grub. They give you a certificate for doing this and you deserve it.

The next day is busy. You start off with an early elephant back safari. You have an early transfer to the venue where you meet your elephant and your mahout. There's plenty of time to interact with your ellie before you set off on a very scenic ride through the bush. More romance as you share an elephant. When you return you get to give your elephant his breakfast before sitting down to consume your own - cooked out there in the bush. It's a lovely thing to do.

In the late afternoon as the sun is dropping and the heat of the day is waning you are again collected from the lodge and taken to the Lion Encounter venue. This is really special. You walk through the bush with a couple of half grown lion cubs and several men who are there to control them if they become too playful. You can stroke them (the lions, not the men) as much as you like and they (the men, not the lions) will take some wonderful photos for you. It is a tremendous thrill and is soooo much better than Thailand's tiger temples. For one thing these lions are being rehabilitated for being returned to the wild. Human contact is gradually reduced until they are ready to go their own way. The Lion Encounter programme helps to fund this work.

The following morning you a have a guided tour of Victoria Falls. You stroll around the formed paths holding hands while your guide points out the many interesting features, though at times you can hardly hear him for the thunder of the water crashing over the falls. It's a dizzying sight peering down into the gorge and you find the sheer scale absolutely breathtaking. Something else you find breathtaking is the stupidity of the lunatics throwing themselves off the Victoria Falls bridge attached to a rubber band. You stand and watch several of these fruitcakes do their thing and wonder how much they are being paid to do it.

That evening you take a helicopter flight over the falls - "Flight of Angels" as it is known. This is truly incredible. You're hundreds of feet above the great falls with the Zambezi River stretching away into the distance and "The Smoke That Thunders" boiling into the gorge far below. You can clearly see well into four countries from here. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and this makes you keen for more African adventures. Later that morning you fly to Johannesburg to begin the last week of your African honeymoon.

To be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment