Again thank you for your help in planning and arranging our holiday to Victoria Falls. We are now back in the UK, back with cool temperatures and plenty of rain. Already I miss Africa, and we have been home just 3 days.
With this email, I wanted to let you know how things worked out. Interestingly, upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, we were greeted by the inefficient handling of crowds, not to mention clearly corrupt airport officials. While waiting towards the end of a long queue, one of the airport officials walked the line asking each of us our nationalities. When I said US, he told me $30 usd for visa. The same was true for all other nationalities. Upon asking Dave and hearing British, he said it would be $55 usd. Given his expression and mannerisms, this was a clear example of corruption. Dave told me that there is nothing to be done, that this guy looked like the sort who would not need much excuse to throw someone in jail. Finally after at least an hour, we were free to leave the airport.
The Kingdom Hotel is a lovely resort. Our room was located in a very ideal location for us. It was in a block of rooms away from the main areas, the room was facing inside onto natural pools. We enjoyed sitting on our balcony watching the bird life and listening to the burble of the small waterfalls between the pools. Some of the services left a little to be desired at the hotel though. The tea served in the restaurant was disgusting. They used urns for coffee, tea, and milk. It seems that no urn was ever cleaned so the tea tasted sort of like coffee, and Dave reported that the milk was not fresh. When I tried to get a few extra tea bags for our room. they did not get it to us for hours. Anyway, those are minor little things.
Our first day tour was enjoyable. Dave having been there before was a bit disappointed by the growth (but that is a sad reality everywhere). Anyway, at the falls, there had been so much rain that there was too much water - according to tour guides. The falls were roaring. We got soaked despite wearing raincoats. The areas which we could explore were greatly limited compared to what Dave recalls. To get to the boabab tree, one has to leave the falls grounds and walk the main road. We never went. At the falls, we could walked paths from Livingstone’s statue, along view points, through a bit of rain forest to Danger Point and a view of the bridge. Going across the bridge, besides costing a lot more money, requires going into town to register to go across.
After the falls, our guide took us to a homestead village ... not the one on the itinerary but to Monde Village. He preferred to arrive there unannounced so we would get a more realistic view of life in the village. There was an asian woman with Dave and me on this excursion. What a pleasant and eye opening experience. I thoroughly enjoyed going around the village with Crispen Ncube, our host.
We had a few hours between the village visit and the sunset cruise. Because the water levels have been so high, there wasn’t much coastal dry land for wildlife. Nonetheless, it was another wonderful experience.
On our free day, Dave and I walked to Victoria Falls. We spent the day there looking at the falls and exploring the grounds for birds. We had a pleasant lunch at the cafe near the entrance. It was nice that the we could walk to and from the falls.
Our departure on Friday went smoothly enough, though the queues at the airport again reflected the inefficiency and poor set up they have at the airport. The return flight went smoothly without incident.
Again thank you for your assistance. Also now my credit card company has worked out the payment problems, and I have paid off the balance.