Tag Archives: victoria falls
September 12, 2011

Thoughts on Zimbabwe

When we were in South Africa, planning our route northward, we discarded Zimbabwe as an option.  Wikitravel and Lonely Planet painted a grim picture of the country, warning us of empty gas stations, food shortages, dangerous animal on the roads, and health care nightmares. (We read somewhere that the best thing you can do if you’re injured or sick is to get the hell out of Zimbabwe as fast as possible.  For all intents and purposes, they claimed, there was no health care for tourists in Zimbabwe.)  We hadn’t been in Africa long and I’m sad to say that we succumbed to our own fears.

By the time we were ready to move on from Botswana, we’d met other tourists who passed through Zimbabwe and had long conversations with our Okavango riverboat captain and first mate, both from Zimbabwe.  Everyone assured us that, yes, Zimbabwe is still recovering and has its share of problems.  On the other hand, there are many worthwhile sights to see and tourists are very welcome.

As for the food shortages and gas scarcity, I got the impression it was much like going camping in the Alaskan wilderness: Go prepared and everything will be fine.

We did go to Zimbabwe, but only for a day and just to see the other side of Victoria Falls.  Turned out to be a memorable day, however, as we ended up going on an elephant-back safari ride, too.  Obviously we didn’t get to see a whole lot of the country, but I did learn a thing or two while we were there.


July 3, 2011

PV016: Elephant-Back Safari

Oksana and I spent a week in Livingstone, Zambia, next to Victoria Falls.  We made time to visit both sides of the park – Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Part of the reason we spent so long in the area was that I was trying hard to justify one of the many excursions one can do in the area.  Although Zambia is cheap, the tourism around Victoria Falls isn’t.

Even though we were way over-budget, I so wanted to take a helicopter over the falls or bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge!  I couldn’t see myself leaving this part of Africa without doing something unique.  Well, we got our wish!  On our day-trip to Zimbabwe, we hooked up with a tour agency called Adventure Zone for an Elephant-Back Safari!

Compared to the previous safari video I edited, this one came together so much easier.  (Probably because it recaps a 3-hour tour, rather than a 4-day/3-night one!)  We recorded our voiceovers in the courtyard of our hotel, which was a bit frustrating – if you hear someone sweeping the patio by the pool, try to imagine it’s an elephant swishing his tail as he walks through the bush…

I also want to give a shout out to Bra Tich, our Adventure Zone videographer.  Oksana and I both noticed right away how well-composed and steady his handheld shots were.  We requested his original HD camera files (instead of the edited DVD) for use in our video and got to see the editing room when they copied all 11GBs to our spare flash media.  I’m quite impressed with the operation they run from that small room; 4-6 edited videos a day, duplicated and delivered to any tourist who pays for a copy.  They’ve streamlined the editing process down to a state that I can only dream of…

Vic Falls Adventure Zone
Elephant-back Safari
Victoria Falls (Wikipedia)
Our tour review of the Elephant-Back Safari