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A half-day to see Victoria Falls from Zambia and check out the town of Livingstone.
I love crossing boarders, heading across the Rainbow Bridge with bungee jumpers dangling beneath, observing the cargo trucks loading up and trading supplies to bring to Zimbabwe’s crippled economy. If just popping across to see the falls there is no need for a visa. I was flying out from Zambia, though, and wanted the stamp, so went through the quick formalities.
The falls park on the Zambia side is much smaller than Zimbabwe, just a few viewpoints on the short trail. It was wetter and mistier than my visit in Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls’ name is Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘The Smoke that Thunders.’ Naturally there is The Shop That Thunders.
I proceeded down the highway to The Royal Livingstone Hotel. I chatted with an American tourist on the patio, he had just taken a boat out to Livingstone Island. I had been misinformed that it was out of season. I talked with the valet and he tried to arrange the boat for me but I was too short on time and the boat was still out with a second batch of hotel guests. Disappointing. There are tours offered by tour agencies out in Livingstone, and they presumably are cheaper, though for someone stepping across the boarder, jumping on a tour from the hotel is much more convenient and a luxury indulgence. Depending on time of day, some of the hotel outings offer meals on the island.
Compared to the Victoria Falls Hotel over in Zimbabwe, for a luxury experience you can’t go wrong with either. The Victoria Falls Hotel has a better view and felt more colonial, while The Royal Livingstone Hotel seems to have more activities and be better set up for families.
My time trying to get to Livingstone Island meant I had to bypass the city of Livingstone and headed straight to the airport.
It was a battle to get into the airport lounge with my Diners Club card, despite the Diners Club logo on the door. I wondered why the staff sat outside chatting…until I went it and felt like I had entered a frat house. A memorable end to a superb weekend.