Happy Friday everyone!
So last week I wrote about some of the more gloomy things about returning home from the diaspora (you can check that out here); and this week I thought it would only be fair to give a balanced perspective by highlighting the more important, positive aspects about being in Zim, which I love!
A year ago I spent my entire summer break at home, and one of my birthday treats was a trip we took as a family to the Victoria Falls. Would you be surprised if I told you that it was my first time visiting the Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, even though it’s pretty much a stone’s throw away from my city? I guess you can’t really fault me; our family trips seemed to have come to a slow halt one day and we just never really got back into it, you know, with the 1.5 million percent inflation rate and what not, lol.
Vic Falls was such an amazing experience right from the beginning and straight through to the end, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!! It will put a dent in your pocket though, but it’s totally worth it! Most people who visit Victoria Falls tend to stay in the lodges on-site, as we did. They give off a really authentic African feel and you definitely notice the difference between your regular home and your new place of stay – which is a plus. We booked our stay through Easy Holidays, and flights through Fast Jet.Airport welcome was insanely exciting! They sang and danced for all arrivals.
Upon arrival, we were offered free drinks while we checked in, and were also chauffered by bus to our lodge, as there were animals all over the compound and we weren’t quite ready to be embraced by them. It was intriguing driving down main roads and having to stop for elephants and deer to pass by – not a sight you get much of in the city. I could honestly write a rondedzero (composition) on Victoria Falls, but to avoid this, I will highlight three of my favourite things about our trip instead.
My sister and I woke up really early at 5 in the morning to begin our day with an elephant ride. I was quite skeptical about the entire adventure, particularly because just the week before, I had watched a video cautioning against riding elephants because of the cruelty used in training them to be submissive. Because of this, the first thing I asked was what method they used to train the elephants, and I was pleased to learn that all the elephants had been brought in as orphans and trained through positive reinforcement – a snack/treat every time they obeyed an instruction. I fell in love with our elephant Izibulo, who was super sweet and even struck different poses for our pictures when directed by the trained staff! We also got to see other wild animals on our ride and I was particularly nervous when we had to pass through shallow, rocky rivers on our elephants.
Of course the Falls themselves are the main star of the attraction, and cannot fail to be mentioned. We visited the Victoria Falls after first stopping by Gorges Lodge – another sight for sore eyes!
The third highlight of the Vic Falls was the Boma – the food and drum show event we attended to wrap up our stay. This has to be one of the most organised and exhilirating dinners I’ve ever been to in my life. As we arrived, we were each given a chitenge to wrap around ourselves, with an option too for face paint (dots on their cheeks for ladies, to symbolise the beauty of African women, and stripes for the men to define a warrior look). Each table/family was grouped and identified by a different village, and lively dancers welcomed us into the open-style venue. The dancers continued to entertain the crowd throughout dinner, which was buffet style.
After dinner, the show only got better as the performers brought small drums to each village and allowed us to play along to the leader’s instructions. The atmosphere was thrilling as each village competed to be the best and finally all came together in magical African rhythm. The night of dancing and drumming ended sweetly with some acapella singers serenading each village with their melodic voices. Incomparable!!
Now, before some of y’all slide in my DMs on some “So do you also wear animal skins at home Sasha?” and jump to some crazy conclusions about Africa and Zimbabwe, I’m going to make a disclaimer. We (including the entertainers) all wear regular clothing just like everyone else. The skins worn are put on to encourage a rich African atmosphere which both tourists and locals will enjoy. I’m sure you can see why this travel experience was easily one of the best I’ve ever had. Do you have any local travel destinations you love to visit? What have been your favourite travel experiences? Let me know, and I’ll see you next Friday for another post!