As disappointing as Botswana was, Zambia far exceeded expectations. I am sad I didn't spend more time here since the people are really friendly and helpful and the whole country has a really nice vibe.
After a very interesting border crossing via ferry, we arrived at Livingstone, site of Victoria Falls- one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
First a group of us went to the Falls and got absolutely soaked. Again, since we are in peak water flow, the entire span was not visible, but we were able to walk through the equivalent of a torrential rain storm, over a bridge, with upside down rain. At times it seemed like a death trap walking on mildewy paths with no guardrails preventing us from plummeting into the falls (people do die each year, usually walking across the top during low flow). It was so wet, loud and pretty- a great time that left us dripping wet, laughing and thanking Ziploc for protecting our cameras.We also walked 687 yds down steps to the Boiling Pot where the water from the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides met into a treacherous whirlpool. It was also a great view of the bridge we would be jumping off bright and early the next morning.
"The Big Falls Experience" seemed like a great idea the night before--- the opportunity to bungee, swing and zipline across the falls. I did all three, with 7 other crazy people (Billy, Sandi, and Sophie (Belguim), Val and Mark (Canada) and Andy and Ben(UK)), and will say it is a once in a lifetime experience, at least for me.
The bungee is 110 meters with a 4 second freefall, the 3rd largest in the world. I was shockingly calm about jumping off a perfectly good bridge, but that drop was pretty terrifying after the initial dive. Even more unsettling- the 2nd bounce which is way higher than you expect.
The swing, while sounding gentle, was perhaps equally scary since you fall for what seems like an eternity before swinging back and forth like a pendulum.
To celebrate we embarked on a booze cruise and a long night of silliness since it was also our farewell after 10 days of being trapped on an overland truck together.
I am now in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, after a 7 hour bus ride to catch a flight to Zanzibar tomorrow. The bus ride was actually very pleasant as I sat next to a woman working on a HIV/AIDS project in a fishing village with an 80% infection rate (amazingly sad!) and a high school history teacher who filled me in on all things Zambia and invited me back for visit. I just may take him up on it since I leave feeling as if I missed out on a lot more Zambian hospitality.