Victoria Falls markets itself as an adrenaline junkie’s paradise, and it certainly is. Yesterday was spent watching a few people bungee jump off the third highest bridge in the world (but the number one is in South Africa, where I will be jumping!) and wandering around the falls. The water is very low at the moment – perfect for white water rafting but not so good for fall viewing. You can see where the water would be flowing during the high season. The area around the falls is like a rainforest. It is so lush and green compared with the rest of the city, which tends to be very very hot and dry.
Today was much more action-packed. Early in the morning we were picked up for white water rafting the Zambezi. I loved it in Ottawa – how could I not do it here? The Zambezi has a notorious reputation. It was difficult to make the decision to raft after learning that a girl died on the river only last week. Our experience was much more tame — we even avoided tipping! The other boat wasn’t so lucky. They tipped and were sent careening down the river on a very intense Grade 5 rapid. No one was hurt and we all had a great time. The scenery is gorgeous (quite literally… the Zambezi runs through a massive gorge). We even saw crocodiles on the river, including an enormous croc that was sunning itself on a rock. It then slipped under the water, and we couldn’t see it anymore. Knowing that something that huge and dangerous can just disappear is quite scary! But no croc accidents either. At one point we were able to get out of the boat and ‘swim’ the rapids, and despite the risk of crocs, we all got in and it was probably one of the best moments of a fantastic day.
The worst moment of a fantastic day came right at the end. As I said, the Zambezi river runs through an enormous gorge (hence why the falls are there). In order to get out of the river at the end, you have to walk all the way up out of the gorge – the equivalent of a 70 storey building. After a full and strenuous day of rafting, hiking up a steep cliff face was not my idea of fun! The fastest time up the mountain has been 6 minutes, the slowest 2.5hours. I made it in a respectable 23 minutes and the fastest of our group was 13. At the end, ice-cold Cokes awaited us… shame that I hate coke. I stuck to water and all was well.
Tomorrow is ADRENALINE DAY. I’ll be abseiling, rap-jumping, ziplining and gorge swinging. Can’t wait to write about it… if I’m still alive!