Victoria Falls was everything we expected (rightly or wrongly) Africa to be.
Poverty, wild animals in the streets, old, tired and worn out infrastructure, hot. It seemed to me that the place was empty of tourist and most things were well past their use by date.
However the people were warm, friendly and couldn’t do enough to see that we were having a good time. We were fortunate to have two excellent guides, who shared their personal stories and stories of their country freely. Everyone was optimistic about the future, and the changes that will take place after the next elections.
Interestingly, time and time again, it was mentioned to us about the use of the American currency. People were pleased that hyperinflation had been addressed, but felt a sense of loss about not using their own dollars. This made me think about the significance of having your own currency and what it means to a country. A bit like a flag and a national anthem – I guess its part of the identity.
The weather was hot and dry – exactly what we were expecting. After the weather in Cape Town it came as a shock.
Food was a struggle. Some of the local dishes were simply inedible (for me anyway) and the fruit and vegetables were poor quality (at least by Australian standards). I really missed my vegetables, and felt a lot better when I gave up and just ate the local produce.
The highlight for me – was camping out. I really enjoyed being out in the bush and by the river. Seeing Ros and Josh enjoying the animals in their natural habitat was also really nice.
For my friends in business, I’m told Tourism and Mining are where the opportunities are. And apparently, its not all that hard to get a start in either, nor does it require a lot of capital, you just need to know which officials to be in touch with – but there’s people who can help you with that.
With regard to returning to Victoria Falls – I’m afraid its not high on my to do list. It was a little to raw for me, and unless there is major investment in infrastructure or a business opportunity that comes my way (watch this space for a 4WD hire business in partnership with one of the guides), I don’t think I’ll be heading back.