Stone Houses and African Sunsets
The word Zimbabwe, roughly translated, means "stone houses;" the country was named such in 1980, after independence from England, because of a famous site of Shona (the local tribe) stone ruins located in the southern part of the nation.
My mother and I arrived in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, yesterday afternoon from Johannesburg. After a quick check-in at the hotel, a driver picked us up and took us to the local adventure tours operate where I proceeded to literally jump off a cliff. Yes, there was a cord attached to me in a contraption called the Gorge Swing, but the 4 second free fall was no less wrenching (video to come). After I was hauled back to the safety of the ground, we went back to the hotel for the Boma dinner, a traditional style African meal and entertainment. Though some of the food was too exotic for me -- from worms, a local favorite, to warthog and impala meat -- I did try some new things, like peanut butter spinach. After dinner, everyone in the place was handed a drum and we were walked through some beats until by the end of the show we were drumming along with the band (well…as well as a bunch of tourists could be expected to anyways).
Today, we woke up early for a day full of plans, beginning with a walking tour of Victoria Falls. Now, maybe I'm just naive, but I was not prepared to get soaking wet on a walking tour… We did not walk the entire trail since as you walk along the gorge, the lookout points become increasingly saturated until you can barely peek out from your poncho to catch a glimpse of the roaring water through the mist. So we took the route back, stopping to get some up and close pictures of monkeys and baboons along the trail. We stopped by the historic and beautifully designed Victoria Falls Hotel before lunch, then hurried to our helicopter tour of the area. This was the best helicopter experience I've ever had, and I've been on a couple -- we got great views of the falls and gorges, then flew low over the national park, spotting zebras, herds of elephants, African buffaloes, impalas, and hippos! Following this, we drove to a rural village to meet the chief of the tribe in this area and learn more about indigenous African culture. We learned more about the family structure of Zimbabweans, including that women are valued more highly than men since they tend to be more sensible (wow, opposite of Western culture, huh?). The day was concluded with some light dinner and drinks and watching the gorgeous African sunset. It was a long day, but tomorrow we head back to South Africa following a lion interaction in the morning. So far, Africa is incredible!
(I wore a black cowl-neck tank from Target, black and white tribal print pants from LF Stores, Steve Madden black scalloped flats, my gold hamsa necklace, and a gold fringe necklace from the Nomad Truck.)
All photography taken by me, portraits by my mom
Click to enlarge photos