Today we slept in, wanting to make this an easy, relaxed last day in Zim. After a leisurely breakfast, we decided to head out one more time to the Lookout Cafe, to enjoy once more the breathtaking view over the canyon below the Victoria falls. We also wanted to check out the little curio stalls selling wooden and soap stone carved animals. We were still looking for a nice small soap stone zebra to take home.
Some of the animals we were desperately trying to spot in the National Parks also frequent the Lookout Café, in close proximity to humans. They have become so accustomed to it that Chris was convinced the Meerkat was actually posing for food.
After a nice cappuccino, we browsed the stalls but there was no nice zebra to be found. Despite the best efforts of the curios sellers to convince us that we actually wanted other animals, we just did not know it. Freedom, Trust, Tomato and Trump (their elf selected seller names …) tried their best but we declined. We walked back to town to the Elephant Village Shopping Center where there were many more selling stalls than at the falls. Sure and behold, Esther found quite a few small soap stone zebras that we liked and Esther was hard in bargaining her price. We know what we paid in Matopos for the elephants and the hippo, so there was no way we were paying three times the price here. We paid exactly the same. With few tourists around it was a buyers’ market.
After dodging further sellers we earned ourselves a quiet rest and relaxation in one of the small spas. A manicure and pedicure later we headed back to our car for a dip in our small but cold pool at Nguni lodge and spent a few hours relaxing.
The day was not over and at 3 PM we went to the old and established Victoria Falls hotel, overlooking the entire Vic falls bridge with a wonderful view of the bridge and gorge below.
They serve a very English tradition there called High Tea. For a surprisingly small fee (15 USD as of 2023, while a room for a night starts at 740 USD) they serve tea or coffee and an etagere of typical English cucumber and chicken mayo sandwiches, small cakes and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Yummy! Nice way to end our vacation.
Back at the lodge we had one more highlight before us. A dinner cruise on the Zambesi River at sunset. We were picked up and driven to the jetty along with some other tourists. That was the most of all tourists we have encountered here so far.
Boarding the tow decles ship, w set out into the setting sun, enjoying cocktails and a number of playful hippos grazing and playing in the river. We were amazed at how many there were. Mostly submerged but popping out their heads frequently. Despite looking so playful and harmless, those animals are the second biggest source of human deaths in Africa, after mosquitoes. They are very territorial and don‘t tolerate any infraction into their space.
We had a nice three course meal on board and another last spectacularly red African sunset. We will miss those back home!
On the drive back to the lodge we nearly ran into a small herd of elephants walking the streets in the middle of town. No wonder people have walls and electric fencing around their property.
Happily tucked in, all we have to do tomorrow is to pack up our things, hoping that the Vic Falls Marathon that‘s happening on Sunday does not disturb our journey to the airport and then head out for our flight home.
This concludes our journey blog. It felt those two weeks were packed with events and we made many interesting new friends. Maybe not the last time in Zim, definitively not the last time in Africa!