So we had our first safari under our belts, now we were ready for the rest of our Zimbabwe adventure and it did not disappoint! After our amazing encounter with the elephants, we headed back to Victoria Falls where we would remain for the rest of our time. Our outstanding guide/driver, Wilson shared so much of Zimbabwe’s history and culture on our road trip back. We made a stop at a fantastic little market. Now I consider myself quite the master of bargaining and haggling when it come to these types of markets. I come by it honestly, my grandma and mom are pretty much self proclaimed professional “garage salers”–is that a word? Even I was impressed by these vendors and their sneaky tactics. I think my favorite ploy was when I would agree to buy something from one vendor and he would take the item and walk me over to someone else saying, “Here you go, my friend will wrap this up for you.” I would follow said friend, who of course had his own collection of things that he was selling. Said friend would then kindly suggest that I take a moment and peruse his wares in case I find something I would like to buy. It took me second to catch on to their scheme. Bravo, I say, bravo! These vendors are quite “creative”. We walked away with some amazing deals and some even cooler souvenirs.
Our home away from home was amazing. Everyone had their own room, every room was furnished with a lovely bed surrounded by a mosquito net, the bathroom was stocked with insect repellent and sunblock, and we had our week supply of malaria meds. Okay, clearly we were not in Kansas anymore.
Zimbabwe is what is called a high risk malaria zone, which just means that it’s smart to have a mosquito net and even smarter to routinely apply insect repellent so as to not get bitten by a mosquito. We were set!
Next up was the sunset cruise sailing down the Zambezi river! An amazing relaxing journey where we spotted hippos peering out from the water and enjoyed the beautiful vista of a Zimbabwean sunset while dining on some delicious cuisine. It is at this time that we realized that Auntie Jen had enjoyed a little too much sun during our safari. The even funnier part of it all was that the sun only got to one side of her face. Knowing the huge superhero fans found in this family, it should not surprise you to learn that Ben quickly nicknamed Jen -“Two Face” and even made a lovely documentary of her origin. He’s quite talented in the world of video making.
Then it was another early morning rise for Elephant Day. I have to tell you, if it weren’t for the very coolness of the activities we were doing, there might have been a lot more complaining about how early we were having to get up every morning. But alas, elephant riding was on tap for the day, so no one was complaining!
We arrived at the reserve and were introduced to our elephant. We got to use the
opportunity to snap a few pics with the elephants. One in particular was especially flirty. As I stood to pose for a picture, to my surprise the elephant’s trunk rose up behind me. Almost as if it was wrapping an arm around me…you know the way a boy does when he is trying to make the moves on you. Needless to say, I was more than startled. Then we began our journey. Our guide provided great information about the habits and diet of the elephants. Most impressive is how the elephant would grab a full little tree with their trunk and take it with him as we continues on the path and would nibble at it along the way. Our elephant’s name was Jock, Jen and Ben’s elephant’s name was Emily. Probably our favorite part of the day was at the end of the journey when we got to feed the elephants. What an amazing ride!
Next up…zip lining over the gorge and the Zambezi River! Yes, everyone and I mean everyone zip lined the gorge including 79-year old Papa Leese. Rob and Ben both wore our 360 camera to capture the craziness. Personally, I’ll admit it, I was a little freaked out, but how was I going to sit this one out when the 14 and the 79 year old were up for the insanity. We laughed after it was all over as I narrated the thoughts going through my head, especially when I told Ben and Jen that I smiled the whole time. I smiled, not because I was enjoying myself but because my face was frozen in that position. I wasn’t even aware that I was smiling until they had unhooked my harness and I was on land again. When I relaxed, so did my face and I realized that I had been smiling the whole time. Everyone else loved it and Rob and Ben even did the gorge swing! Next up…the Lion Walk and the helicopter ride over the falls!