After Southeast Asia, we were ready for a change. A big change. Well, there’s no bigger change while traveling than switching continents! So, let’s go to friggin’ Africa!
As you know, I have been to many countries. I have met many people and I have seen many things. But when I arrived in Zimbabwe, it was like everything I had seen before faded in intensity. This was it. This was the experience I had been searching for.
First off, we get off the plane in Victoria Falls and walked outside to traditional African dancers. I couldn’t have planned our entry better. We completely fell victim to their awesomeness. Bags were dropped immediately and we joined in. Accepting head pieces of joy, we laughed and screamed with excitement.
God bless you, Africa!
Since we lost our driver during the excitement, abandoning him with our bags, we needed to track him down in the parking lot. Eventually, we located him falling into the van, laughing and screaming.
Yes – it is our first time here.
We then headed into town, talking a mile a minute, and screaming at the sight of our first baboons. This is going to be amazing – AAAHHH!
Our driver (and his friend) were having a blast with Pam and I who couldn’t stop talking. They were particularly interested in our matching t-shirts which read “Same Same – But Different.” They had never heard of that before – clearly we were no longer in Southeast Asia!
Yes … we were wearing matching shirts.
“What does it mean?” they questioned.
Hhhmm, how do we explain this?
“It’s like Pam and I!” I answered. Leaning against her. “Same same – but different.”
They started howling with laughter. Yes – we agree. We also think we are super funny.
They then started joining in on the fun, giving us some African sayings.
“Hakuna mata,” they said. “No worries!”
Well tell me something I don’t already know … I love the Lion King! I just came from Disneyland for god’s sake!
“Oh we know Hakuna mata!” I said back. “In fact, we were just in Cambodia. Thank you there is Akhoon. Every time Pam and I said Akhoon, we sang the song!”
“Akhoon! Akhoon! Akhoon!”
Yes – once again – we think we are hilarious. And judging by their reactions, the rest of the world is starting to agree.
Eventually we arrived to our first camp ground! We settled into our dorm room for the next two nights and digested what was about to happen. We were coming down from our Southeast Asia high and needed a little time to process this change. We spent two days looking at each other and asking if this was, in fact, our life right now?
To numb the excitement, so we could actually sleep, we drank a bottle of wine with no dinner and went to bed. The wine also helped me because there was a MASSIVE spider in our room. I didn’t think I was going to be able to fall asleep knowing it was there. Better get used to it, I thought. If you are afraid of a spider, how are you going to sleep in a game park?
Mental note: I better keep wine with me at all times.
In the morning, it was on! Our first full day there, we had some exploring to do. Visit the second largest waterfall in the world? Sure, why not? I have nothing else planned…
I LOVE my life.
Victoria Falls was amazing! How could it not be? Waterfalls are incredible. Period.
After touring the falls, we headed to the Victoria Falls Hotel for lunch. Marian, the first girl we met on our tour, heard awesome things about it.
When we walked up, we immediately had some concern. First of, this hotel was clearly something special and expensive to stay at. Drenched from the falls, in plain t-shirts and shorts, we looked a little bit .. well.. “weathered.” But we were hungry and wanted some cocktails to celebrate our first amazing experience in Africa, so we pressed on! What are they going to do? Ask us not to come in?
Other than a few stares when we walked in, lunch was amazing! I had the best sandwich ever with a delicious glass of wine. Africa is so much more posh than I had imagined! Is it like this everywhere?
The next day, we had our pre-departure meeting with our group. We were pumped to meet our guide and all others on our tour! This was going to be our family for the next month. Hopefully, we liked everyone.
The meeting started at 4pm. Pam and I arrived, with a couple of the other girls, at 4:03pm.
We were the last to arrive. We frantically found some chairs and joined the group. “I hope this is the last time you are going to be late?” the guide declared. “Absolutely,” we responded back.
Seriously? Three minutes is late? That is well on-time in my books! I would have been fired along time ago if three minutes was considered late. This guy was going to be the worst.
He started getting into the timeline of the tour when he eventually clarified they were headed to Johannesburg.
Thank god! NOT our group! He directed us to the Cape Town group in the next campsite. A wave of relief swept over us. Me and that tour guide were going to have some problems.
Things were much more casual with our actual group. There were a few people still to arrive and the guide confirmed that some could not make it all. Our guide introduced himself as Dale. He was from South Africa and was easy on the eyes. This group kept getting better.
The next person we met was Linnea. Twenty years old, beautiful and absolutely hilarious! She was well into chatting with the group and giving stories of her last couple of weeks coming down to Victoria Falls from Nairobi. Her enthusiasm was contagious. She seemed so relaxed with the tour, as if it was just apart of her life now. I wanted to be there. I wanted to feel that way!
Charles, Lindsay, Jac and Kevin were also apart of the crew that came down from Nairobi. Charles was from Quebec (yay – another Canadian), Lindsay was from Florida and Jac from Australia. I met them that night and was super excited to hear more about what they had already seen! What should I expect? Is it crazy?
Linnea and Lindsay told a story about how on their game drive in the Serengeti, an elephant attacked their truck, putting a tusk through the window. Seriously!? This tour was legit. Africa IS going to be crazy!
They also spoke about a guy named Kevin on the trip who was no where to be found. “Just wait until you meet, Kevin!” they said. “He’s awesome. He’s a lawyer who left his job too like you. You guys will love him.”
Hhhmmm. Who is this Kevin? He sounds super fun! Pam and I love super fun people!
Day 1, and I was already regretting not being on the tour sooner.
That night we had a couple more drinks down at the campsite bar. More drinks to settle our nerves so we could sleep back in the dorm (the spider was still there). Oh boy. This is going to be amazing.
It starts tomorrow. Tomorrow we start camping!