Looking for my leopard

"Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight."

These nice but slightly gay words were chosen by David Livingstone to describe Victoria Falls after he saw them in the mid 1800s. Where better to take a road trip when our old friends Tom and Sally came up to visit us for a week. On our way back we would traverse Botswana and visit Chobe National Park and the Makgadigadi salt pans in search of large hairy animals.

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m49!1m8!1m3!1d3613631.095720626!2d27.4046406!3d-21.0793189!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!4m38!1i0!3e0!4m5!1s0x1ec7c9a4b99c35a5%3A0x8fcbc4e2d29fda05!2sVivo!3m2!1d-23.043242199999998!2d29.2766931!4m5!1s0x1eb553f3a8738f73%3A0x1d2d555c3f07ed7e!2sBulawayo%2C+Zimbabwe!3m2!1d-20.17219!2d28.581159999999997!4m5!1s0x194feff9da0bf2f9%3A0x8b054663df18d568!2sVictoria+Falls%2C+Zambia!3m2!1d-17.924353!2d25.855894!4m5!1s0x195a9dc0331a2e35%3A0x23f9e2c759c3bc2e!2sKasane%2C+Botswana!3m2!1d-17.8166667!2d25.15!4m5!1s0x1952eb5fe25e4e8f%3A0xf791a1c6158822b0!2sGweta%2C+Botswana!3m2!1d-20.205589!2d25.260151!4m5!1s0x1ec7c9a4b99c35a5%3A0x8fcbc4e2d29fda05!2sVivo!3m2!1d-23.043242199999998!2d29.2766931!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sza!4v1396548389858&w=600&h=450]

But first we needed some choones. Sorted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n4YURQWt-c First stop: Bulawayo, where we used to live. We just stopped long enough to meet some friends and try on a pith helmet, before forging on to the falls.

IMG_1524

IMG_1582

The falls are found near the point where where Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia meet. At 108 m tall and  1.7 km long, Victoria Falls is the world's largest sheet of falling water. Locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) because the spray raises 400m into the air, and can be seen from 40 km away, before it falls back down as localised rain that soaked us all to the bone. Katy won the wet t-shirt contest. There are rainbows everywhere. Even the moon makes "moonbows". Maybe that's what inspired Livingsone.

IMG_1766

IMG_1791

P1140656

IMG_1802

Taking high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, with amazing views of the falls and the bridge, Sally was in her element. It was all rather colonial.

IMG_1824

IMG_1594

At the Boma restaurant Sam ate the meat of 10 different animals! mmmm... animals. IMG_1732

IMG_1689

After eating all the animals, we crossed the border to Botswana to look for leopards and other animals  in Chobe National Park. We never found a leopard, but we did find ourselves surrounded by enough elephants and managed to give Sally a phobia.

IMG_2009

IMG_2001

IMG_1981

IMG_1979

IMG_1887

IMG_1908

IMG_1937

IMG_1951

IMG_2237

At The Makgadigadi Pans Game Reserve and Nxai Pans National park we found eerie salt pans, baobabs and even got to watch lions and cubs.

IMG_2212

IMG_2059

IMG_2065

IMG_2087

IMG_2113

IMG_2178

The road signs in Botswana were pretty accurate.

IMG_2051

Cheers Tom & Sally. See you in London!

IMG_2061