A short downtime before we hop on the plane to return to Gabarone. Yesterday and this morning gave us the opportunity to play tourist with a vengeance- we went to Victoria Falls yesterday morning, followed by lunch at the colonial Victoria Falls Hotel, went on a river safari in the Chobe National Park in the later afternoon and an early game drive in the same park thos morning. I keep having issues running the camera battery flat and having to manage memory space - coulnt find a new card here tho to be fair, haven't looked very hard.
Victoria Falls are throwing up an impressive quantity of mist thanks to the rivers being in flood, with the net result of a few glimpses of waterfall if you have some lucky moments. We hired raincoats to try to stay dry - this basically worked frpm the knees up except for the inevitable trickle down the back or front, depending on spray direction. Despite best efforts my camera got horribly wet, unlike others' it is still working.
At one stage, walking through pounding spray, I swore that my future travelling jacket will be an Offshore sailing jacket; that decision was compounded this morning, it was cold for the 5:45am start and my current jacket is anything but windproof!
Vicoria Falls Hotel is not unlike the Raffles transplanted, absolutely beautiful and very Raj. A great menu and wine list to match, we spoilt ourselves a little and I tried cajun crocodile tail with linguine and thai veges.... You can see that nouveau cuisine has infiltrated Africa. Very nice accompanied by a crisp South African white, must do it again sometime.
Sonya and I ( apparently) ran us behind time - we were a little taken by the monkeys whilst the boys were in the souvenir shop - so we didnt get to the Vic Falls markets, no matter, theres not that much room in the cases!
As far as the Chobe River safari & game drive go, well worthwhile despite feeling very much a tourist and packed in a boat/ buggy with many others. The park is showong signs of supporting excessive populations of most grazing animals, particularly elephants, and there is talk of cullling. At the moment all inhabitants look healthy thougj, and we saw an incredible range of animals, including the rare glimpse of a lioness with cubs.
The most annoying species is definitely Touristus telephotus, given that we all have only point'n'shoots we do not consider ourselves the same species - we are probably the related Touristus photographicus, which does not shriek, barge or block others' view half as much.
My photos are successfully downloaded but the laptop is now packed, so I will add a few albums later tonight when we hopefully have internet access in Gabarone.
Next week promises a few more visits to checkpoints, hopefully to the major commercial one to Zimbabwe near Francistown. Am getting quite a clear picture of where this strategy could go as far as borders go, so will confirm that at the southern borders next week then write it all up...... As they so, no such thing as a free lunch. :)