Prior to joining the cruise on the Zambezi River, we had a bit of time and I may have gently pushed for tea time at the Victoria Falls hotel as I was having some withdrawal from sweets and the cake tower seemed right up my alley. Helen was from England and New Zealand so tea was an easy sell to sit on the veranda of the old colonial hotel looking out at the manicured gardens leading to a view of the falls.
It was a pleasant, albeit expensive, tea. I did have a bit of an issue when they wouldn’t take my credit card, saying that the machine didn’t work. I was skeptical – the credit card machine at a hotel doesn’t work? Helen paid cash and I inquired at the front desk about the credit card issue as it is a highly rated hotel. Well, here’s where is got weird – I would be able to charge – they would convert from USD to SA Rand via a SA bank. So my charge would be converted manually at the hotel rate from USD to Rand (hotel rates are always bad for traveler) and then my credit card would convert from Rand to USD – got that?! Yes, me too, this was not exactly easy as you are paying twice to convert (or more if your credit card charges fx fees) and I wonder how many people even argue or question this? Anyway, this marred the tea time a bit as I wanted to treat Helen and she had to pay instead.
We would board the boat early and secure a nice table along the rail for a good view on the lower level. The sunset cruise included a snack tray as well as drinks. As we were full (or me anyway) of sweets, we gave our tray to the other end of the table as a sign of peace since they were mad we wouldn’t move for them and give them the full table when they arrived late (one man complained the whole time, really dude, great example for your grandson – you showed up late and wanted to move the old lady with a cane and me, really? we were here first!)
The cruise was quite relaxing, the waters calm as we cruised down one way seeing hippos, birds and some fishermen.
Nothing fancy or crazy, just a nice relaxing trip on the Zambezi River until people started yelling and pointing that way. So of course, everyone stands up and shifts to that side of the boat only to be told by the captain to move as we were a bit tipsy. What caused the screams? Not the hippos but seeing a lone elephant enter the water to cross over to the other side. It was at this point, I realized the water wasn’t that deep as the elephant wasn’t swimming as it had in Chobe -Botswana.
The humor ensued as all of the photographers were trying to get that photo – the photo of an elephant walking in the water under the setting African sun. So here we are, me included, directing the elephant to walk faster to align under the sun, hoping this guy would move out of my way, and also hoping the captain kept the boat in this position – we had that photo to take!
And with that photo, our cruise and our time in Zimbabwe ended on a good note – we started the day on an elephant sunrise ride, flew over the falls in the afternoon, had tea time and now a relaxing cruise on the Zambezi. I was really enjoying the sundowner (drink) watching the sunsets in Africa each night -can it get any better than this?