Southern Africa – Day 19 – Lokuthula Lodge – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

It’s 12.30am, but I can’t sleep – the elephant are just outside the fence ( fence is actually not a good description – it is really a few medium size branches with gaps making a semi border around the campsite), they are splashing in the water and having a fantastic time, looking out the screen of the tent, all you can see is black shadows moving around – so close. LOVE IT!!!!

There is a lightning storm along the horizon which I can see for about a 270 degree, the wind has really picked up so we all cautiously check our surroundings before going outside and closing the awning up & putting the chairs etc away – better to be safe than sorry.

A few sprinkles on the roof top wake us – time to pack up the rest of the gear before it gets too bad. No showers this morning as I just couldn’t stand cold green bore water. The rangers arrive a 7, to ensure that we haven’t been attacked by the lions, and we give them a coffee and cake before heading out.

The rain gets a bit heavier – luckily, we left when we did – the rangers advised that the campsite is actually closed for the wet season and you could get stuck for a few months if not careful, you could see this by driving on the roads after only a small drizzle, the rains are actually late – and David was thankful for this, as the vehicle hasn’t any real recovery gear.

It is only about 135 km to Victoria falls, and we didn’t see anything special on the way.

The drizzle has stopped and the sun is out.

It’s only 10.30 so we check where the accommodation is, then head into town to find some fuel. Ok no fuel, and cars parked for km’s on the side of the road in queue – no one is in them as they are not sure when any will be supplied yet. This is a concern. We haven’t refueled since we left Botswana!

We park & head to a café for morning tea before browsing the shops (curios). We kept getting asked to buy Zimbabwe money for souvenirs – we were offered a 50 billion dollar note ! – back in the late 90’s they had a currency crisis where their inflation rate was the 3rd highest in the world ever. The largest note printed was a 100 trillion dollar note issued between 1980 – 2009. There was 83 of them.

In the tourist info centre we meet a couple from Brisbane who need to get to Bulawayo – they have decided to leave the car & train it – no fuel.

We book into the lodge and find out that the 1 thing I wanted to do – go to Boma dinner & dance is only 200m away!

After dragging all the photo equipment in, we walk over to the Makuwa- Kuwa restaurant & viewing platform for a few drinks – 2 frozen strawberry daiquiris went down a treat!

Dinner was at 7pm, and as we walked over you could hear the employees singing – they are dressed in their show, traditional gear… As we entered, we are given a “chitenge” (like a sarong) to go over our clothes – which was good as they are all creased!

We started with a platter of appetisers – crocodile tail- Brendan an I thought it tasted like turkey, impala, corn fritters & vegetable pie – David wasn’t keen, but when in Africa… we all tried them, and surprisingly it was quite tasty.

We next had a buffet of salads- nothing too different, here. Then came the Mopane worm… it is a fried/ dried out worm – about 4cm in size, with a sauce – if you can get it down you get a certificate. I was the first to go (David was going last- so he could chicken out if Brendan & I made faces) it was not too bad, but got worse as you constantly chewed trying desperately to swallow – it does not taste like chicken – I felt like I was on survivor doing a taste challenge.

Brendan went next (I was still chewing) then we guilted David into it… we all got a certificate- woo hoo

For mains we had Elan meat balls, Buffalo Fillet, Chicken, Kudu stew, Peanut Butter Rice, ( there was also guinea fowl stew, but, that had all bits of intestine in it – ( I just couldn’t go there) various vegies & sauces. David & Brendan enjoyed the Kudu best – I liked the Buffalo. I was very proud of David as he tried most things!

Deserts was a mixture of fruits, puddings, profiteroles – nothing outrageous.

We were entertained by traditional dancing & drumming – though the Chinese tourist’s participation was not scheduled- they are so rude – David was starting to steam up as they kept standing in front of him.

Once we finished dinner, we were all given smaller drums & now the crowd participation began – we happily banged away on the drums – badly & not to the correct beat. 

Then a little dancing, both David & Brendan had to get up into the circle and strut their stuff for a bit. It was an enjoyable night.

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