As I write this, it is 10:43pm. Mom is asleep surrounded by mosquito netting. I just killed two mosquitos between my hands and sprayed one with the bug spray. Our room is enclosed but the little b*****s get in somehow. Between 6 and 8pm, housekeeping comes in to spray our room with bug spray and put up the netting. On the plane ride here from Johannesburg, the flight attendant sprayed bug spray all up and down the plane after the passengers were strapped in. Not good for allergies but better than malaria!
Our lodge is located on the Victoria Falls property. http://www.victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com/ It is about a 10 minute drive from the actual waterfalls. The lodge is rustic and what you'd expect from a "lodge." There is a pool of water behind the lodge which is a great animal viewing spot. Our room is located on the second floor and our balcony overlooks the plain with a partial view of the pond. Running around the property near our room are baboons and warthogs. The guests are advised to close and lock their screen doors when they leave their rooms to keep the baboons out.
Yesterday we showered and washed out some clothes, then had an early dinner. The only clothes we have are the ones we wore from CA to NY and then again from NY to Zimbabwe. So, as you can imagine they are filthy and we have to wash out certain items every day. We would send our pants and shirts to the laundry but we have no other clothes to change into during the 24 hours the laundry takes. As of tonight, our luggage is still lost and we have worn our clothes for 3 days in a row. Mom packed her malaria pills, so I am sharing with her. Luckily I packed some Motrin and allergy pills in my purse as well as my camera and computer. Poor mom has only thong shoes to wear and we miss our toiletries like deodorant! Last night we had a lovely dinner in the bar area—I had noodles with mushroom and we both had a local beer. We went to sleep around 9:30pm only to be awakened by the neighbors who decided to wake up at 4:00am and talk loudly. Around 5:30am, I knocked on their door to let them know that the walls are paper thin and that we can hear every single word they say. They apologized and immediately quieted down. Mom went back to bed for a little while but I was fully awake by that point.
It took us about 10 minutes to get ready (no makeup, blow dryer, or choice of clothing makes it really simple! Lol) and we met the group for a one mile hike at Victoria Falls. We got some amazing pictures and video! The weather was nice and the scenery reminded me a bit of Hawaii. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/victoria-falls/ After viewing the falls, Mom and I were dropped off at a local market place (the 4 others in our group didn't want to go). It was quite an experience. We bought some souvenirs there all made in Africa. The vendors are aggressive and the whole thing was rather stressful. After shopping we went to eat at a local restaurant. I had chicken with peanut sauce and rice. Mom had beef in a spicy sauce. The food was rich and tasted great. We were advised not to drink the water, use ice, or brush our teeth in the water. Also we are not supposed to eat lettuce and other veggies where the skin has not been removed and that aren't cooked. Apparently there are parasites that we could get, like people sometimes get in Mexico.
After lunch, we took a shuttle back to the lodge and rested for about an hour before a 2 hour sunset cruise. On the cruise we saw elephants, hippopotamuses, and one crocodile all of which were really cool! When our tour guide picked us up, we were informed that our luggage had not arrived. Mom and I broke down and bought a shirt. The gift shift is expensive and limited but I just couldn't stomach wearing my dirty shirt another day. The other people on our tour all bought new clothes, so we were the last holdouts! I thought for sure the luggage would come today! We had a lovely late dinner at the lodge. I had mushrooms in a puff pastry (the mushroom here are so tasty) and Mom had a local fish which she said was very good. We washed it down with a local beer which tastes slightly like Stella. Mich and Chuck would like it I think.
Driving around today, we saw warthogs, a boar, and a couple of baboons fiddling with a sprinkler head. I have been on a quest to get a closeup pic of a warthog, but to no avail so far! It is such a trip to see these animals just out and about! Amazing! And at least the animals don't care how we look or smell! haha!
If you have a chance, Google Zimbabwe for the local gov't and country issues. It's interesting--there are cops in every corner.
I will try to get some more pictures on. I have a lot of great pics but it is time consuming to load them and we have been busy.