If you draw a straight line and call these bottom parts of the continent ‘Southern Africa’, the showstopper in the region will certainly be this. The Victoria Falls. It was everything I knew of Zambia. It was the reason we were all here. I’ve heard it’s so big, so grand, and earth shatteringly beautiful. So was it? See for yourself:
It was around the end of February when I arrived, and this was considered wet season. The experience will be vastly different if you visit in the dry season, so I’ve heard. Both have pros and cons. Going in during the wet season, as I have, provided me with this thunderous sounds, and the waters from the falls making me soaking wet. They were selling rain ponchos at the entrance and I laughed at them, but just five minutes in, I had to come back out to buy those ponchos. Basically the splashes from the fall were hitting me like Muhammad Ali. I could barely open my eyes and no matter what I did, my camera was totally wet, I feared for its life. This strong falls made huge fogs and thus I could see nothing of the fall itself when I was close by. It was only when I was afar, and when I took a helicopter ride to the sky, that I saw all the spectacles.
I hear you can get much closer to the fall and see it very well during the low season, but the water falls aren’t as spectacular. I personally was glad that I visited during the wet season. I’d definitely recommend you take a helicopter ride here, while it’s pricey and only for 15 minutes. It gives you a totally different perspectives when you see the fall from above. It was one of those moments that made me feel how amazing the earth is, how small us human beings are. Vic Fall lived up to all its hype, and then some. I also enjoyed crossing over to Zimbabwe for a day. It has a totally different atmosphere, just by crossing a border. I actually really liked the Victoria Fall town.
Mostly I spent my time in Livingstone, the city near the Victoria Fall. I’ve visited its markets meet local people. Checked out local schools and curio shops. Most tourists who come to Livingstonr only stays inside huge campsite plus hotel area and only comes out to do wildlife tours and to visit the fall. But I urge you to get out there and see how the locals are going about their businesses. I like finding the extraordinary out of ordinary.
Malawi is probably the least popular country in East Africa. Most people only visit if they’re on their way to Tanzania by land. But while it’s true that Malawi falls short of the amazing wildlife when it’s compared to Tanzania or Zambia, its biggest drawing card is Lake Malawi. The biggest river in the country that dominates its landscape. This much I knew, but once I was there, I came to realize it’s Malawian people that makes the country so special. It’s somewhat cliche when you hear someone talks of a destination being full of friendly people. I personally haven’t been to many place where its people weren’t kind. However, even then I’d venture to say that Malawian people are one of the friendliest I’ve met in all of Africa. Meeting them around the lakeshore and examining their daily lives were a highlight of my time there.
I’ve visited Mzuzu on a local bus once, being the only foreigner in that broken down bus for two hours and that was really great. I loved being among the locals. I’ve visited markets, and met different Malawian people and they just made me appreciate this country more and more. Malawi might not be the place to be when it comes to wildlife(although there are some reserves), but I don’t think anybody can be disappointed when they leave this country. People are its greatest treasures.
As sun went down and darkness came upon Lake Malawi, a light, two lights, one by one they started to pop up by the horizon. Fishing boats were sailing out and starting their night fishing business. I enjoyed watching that scene, along with the stars on the beautiful night sky. Oh what a night it was.
..And that’s the end of part. 3! On part. 4 it’s time for me to step into the biggest travel destination in all of East Africa : Tanzania! I will take you to Zanzibar for some beach time, and onto Serengeti for the unmatched wildlife viewing! See you there!