I called for a taxi (again 10 USD) to go back to the B&B and a woman in very stylish clothes came to pick me up. I was almost sure she wasn't for me or would charge a heavy price for dropping me - her car was so good and she seemed well educated too. Wonder if there are not many employment opportunities in this part of the world or if taxi driving is a lucrative business????. Once back at the B&B, I relaxed a bit in the pool and then was ready to go to the airport. Alan dropped me back to the airport after a stop in the city where we finally found a working ATM. I also saw lot of run down English buildings in the city, remnants of a different era gone by?
Even though there are only 4-5 flights coming in to Livingstone daily, everyone is suggested to be in the airport at least 2 hours before. I wasn't sure if that was being overcautious, but looks like not. The airport by this time was going crazy and the queue was 1 hour long. I did figure out though, that since mine was the last one of those flights, I should have come just 1 hour before and it would have been fine. Since I came 2 hours earlier than my flight, I had got in with the whole crowd and so it took 1 hour for me to get through the queues.
Since I had a lot of time, I looked around the small airport to buy something local. There were 5-6 shops selling handicrafts, and I found an African print shirt which I liked. However, it turned out to be Made in China. That put me off so much that I decided not to buy anything! The flight back was uneventful, and within two hours I was back to the hustle bustle of the multi-million people city of Johannesburg. And this is how this weekend faded away...
The whole trip felt so short and wholesome; convenient and lazy. Its difficult to explain the feeling. One thing I should mention though is there are loads of activities to do there which I didn't.
Here is a list which I found at one of the travel agents - kayaking, game drives, helicopter and microlite rides, elephant and horse ride, bungee jumping, fishing and so on! And then you can walk along the edge of the waterfall if you enter through the Victoria Falls park on the Zam side (you have to stop much before the Devil's Pool though!) or just cross over to Zim side to get a good view of the whole Falls. Apparently, you cannot see the bottom of the falls during the high water season, but at this time, you could. Anyways so many more things to do, I wish I come back here again, with more time to be more lazy????.
The Avani and Royal Livingstone would definitely be the best (and most luxurious) places to stay among the options here.
My stay in Gloria's B&B, though not comparable, was good too. Gloria's is a single floor small convenient house, with its own pool and a couple of rooms at the back for guests, with gardens all around. It felt almost like staying with a family. Gloria ran the B&B, while Alan did the running around. And they had a couple of more people helping them run the place. They offer a complimentary pick up and drop off from airport also.
Gloria and Alan were very friendly and welcoming, and helped with all the bookings and answering all my questions. It was very interesting to talk to them too, as Alan was from UK and had now settled in Livingstone.
The room I stayed in was very clean and convenient. It had everything you need, plus an AC which you really need! At night though the power goes off, and they use solar power for a couple of hours. Though the AC does not work on solar power and it gets a bit warm inside. The pool outside was quite average though, it was just a place you could sit in the water, not really a pool for swimming. The rooms were so laid-back and simple, I could not help feeling why do we ever need all the flashy decor of regular hotels?
- If you have time, plan to visit the Falls for at least 4-5 days. There are loads of varied activities to do in such a convenient way - Stay at Royal Livingston or Avani if you have money to splurge - Book Devils Pool tour in advance as it always sells out - If you have, carry USD with you, as its convenient and everyone takes cash. Also, all these activities are quite expensive so carry enough cash - The whole area felt very safe and relaxed, so don't worry about safety much. Its all cool:)
This blog was originally published on 'TRAVELFREAK'