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The pith helmet visits Vic Falls.

Game Warden

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The last night of my stay in Vic Falls was at Ilala Lodge, perfectly situated for the Falls, (indeed one can see the mists and hear the roar from the hotel room) - it's just a short five minute walk from the Park entrance and so donning my trusty pith, with its modern twist, the Rayban sunglasses, I set out from reception to explore one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Literally you cross the road in front of the hotel, walk a hundred metres down the road, turn right down a track, (which wasn't signposted), cross the old railway line and there you are, in front of the main entrance. There are a number of curio shops in the car park, if buying anything, do so on the way out so you don't have to lug it round with you...




Once into the park, having forked over 30 US$ to do so, everything is signposted and s easy to follow. A quick look at the large map with its numbered checkpoints and off you go. You don't need a guide, but it involves some walking: therefore take a bottle of water with you, it gets hot and muggy en route.


Checkpoint one is the Livingstone Monument...





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Illa lodge is where I stayed many years ago, the curio stallls are more recent.


both the beard and the pith helment look elegant around David Livingston's statue.


I much prefer the local name the smoke that thunders it has more meaning than Victoria Falls.

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There is a series of numbered viewpoints, all offering different views of the Falls and its surrounds, some more breathtaking than others, but what I can say is for the best view you need to be on the Zimbabwe side, rather than Zambian side.


From the Livingstone Monument, your first glimpse, and it's enough to make you gasp is at viewpoint 2, where you gingerly climb down some steps slick with spray for this vista...



Off all the viewpoints, number 8 is the most impressive of the main falls themselves: no photos can do it justice - they can't convey the power, noise, spray, at times overpowering humidity...




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From there, carry on down the path for views to Livingstone Island,



Horseshoe Falls,



Down past the Rainbow Falls, Danger Point and Eastern Cataract to end up with a splendid view of the bridge at Viewpoint 16...




There are various routes back to the park exit, shop and café but it's worth retracing your steps to get different angles of the Falls,




And some of the viewpoints become crowded so it's worth waiting a short while to have them to yourself. It's certainly an amazing sight - and takes in the region of one to one and a half hours to follow the whole route, depending on how much time you spend at each viewpoint, but by the time you get back to the café, you will be in need of something thirst quenching and cooling...


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Should have put the helmet to good use while doing the bungy jump.

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an empty pith helmet!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its 17 years since we visited but the memory I hope to be able to hold onto until they stick me in my box is simply walking the trails (Zimbabwe side) with our children (13 & 11) through all the spray, getting thoroughly soaked and loving every moment – when nature is so spectacular who needs anything else.

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@@Game Warden

I was a bit worried about the safety of the Pith at viewpoint 8, but I am glad to see that it survived.

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Few years since was in Vic Falls (2006 I think) . There is no doubt it is spectacular and it seems busier than previously which is good for Zimbabwe.



Glad to see you have some suitable, protective eye wear for The Pith :). He (?) is certainly getting around this year. ;)

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The falls are looking full and the pith is looking dashing with those shades. Well done!

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