The long journey to Victoria Falls

Not even a long bus ride can deter the spirit of 13 zags and one coug!

At 5:20am my Nintendo Wii (Hip Hop vine remix) alarm goes off. GOODMORNING for us here in Lusaka! Room 17 slowly starts waking up, climbing down their bunks and getting ready for the day ahead of us. Our bus to Livingstone leaves at 6:00am (hypothetically) so we all start to put a little hustle in our bustle. 

Before we leave, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are made and coffee is slurped down. The breakfast of champions. 

We all put our larger bags at the back of the bus and went around the side to get a seat. Courtesy, a friend we met at the beginning of the trip will be our driver and his best friend Andrew joined us on our journey as well.

Something I have noticed from our short time here so far is how important introductions are. Andrew was introduced so well by Courtesy, ensuring that he felt welcomed and comfortable with us on this journey. The introduction was so well that Grace Ehler barely made it on the bus as she was stuck outside while they were blocking the doorway.

Soon enough we are off on our 8 hour journey to Victoria Falls! Sights included a cement factory, a zoo with Ostriches and Zebras, and many small vendors along the roadside. 

The only stops we made along the way were for toll booths, police stops, and a single bathroom break. K3 per pee and it couldn’t have been more worth it. The plan was to break for a restroom every 2 hours, but us women understood the assignment. We wanted to get to Victoria Falls ASAP so we drank minimal water before and after the bus ride. Dee also led us in a dance during our bathroom break. Thank you for getting us moving Dee!

As we were riding on the bus, people started shoving sugar cane stalks onto our bus. It was simply crazy! We got enough stalks for everyone to have. We were peeling the stalks and chewing on the sweet sugar cane. Dee and I were chewing it but it took forever to eat all the way. We ended up putting some in trash that we just simply couldn’t chew any longer.

Bella soon came in clutch when she pulled out her JBL and started queuing up absolute jamssss! The set list was complete with Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Sean Kingston, and more! We started singing along and it kept the mood lively. 

After around 8ish hours we made it to Livingstone! We checked into our hostel at Fawlty Towers and split our group into a group of 6 and 8 zags. We all quickly changed to “get absolutely soaked” as Jeff warned us. We got back on the bus and headed to Victoria Falls! 

Before we entered the gates to the falls, we saw a baboon!!! It looked huge from the bus. 

We left the bus and started walking around the falls. Jeff joined us for the first part and we looked at Victoria Falls from afar. The beauty of the falls can’t be captured in pictures, but we attempted as Clare set up a 10 second timer photo of us all.

The second part of the falls Jeff collected all of the items that we wanted to stay dry and sent us all with Kris to get “soaked” by the falls. Ok sureeee Jeff, the only thing he needed to worry about was getting robbed by the baboons because apparently they like to take shiny and loose things. Jeff was surrounded by shiny and loose things.

Jeff was right, per usual. We got SOAKED. A natural shower if you will. Grace Ehler brought her phone to take pictures while the rest of us left ours behind to be bait for Baboons to attack Jeff. Rainbows, Bridges, Waterfalls, oh my! The sights were UNREAL. Grace was able to capture some beautiful photos and we are so thankful she brought her phone with us, although it definitely did get a little wet.

The majestic Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya in the local Tonga language, was the highlight of our day.

As we made our way back up, I for one was relieved to see that Jeff appeared to be healthy and had all of our stuff with him. No bamboo attacks today!!!

After Victoria Falls, we stayed around the area and checked out the small curio vendors that were selling stuff. They were very passionate in wanting us to purchase their goods. Some of us stayed strong and some of us gave in.

On the bus ride back we all sat in our drenched clothing dreaming of the Italian restaurant that Jeff had made reservations at for 6:30. We walked over at around 6:15 and started scanning the menu. We all ordered our food and in classic Zambian fashion, it came out about 2/2.5 hours later. We all enjoyed the meal and the company that came along with it. 

After dinner we went outside to order some gelato! There was a man at the gelato shop who we met that couldn’t figure out what he wanted to order. Therefore, Jeff ordered him a huge bowl with one of every flavor. We had a fun conversation with him and learned it was his birthday tomorrow!! We all wished him happy birthday and sent him off in his cab.

We then took our turn and ordered some gelato! So yum!! Time to hit the hay.

(hello to all of my friends at home I love and miss you all <3)

Grace Sikes, ’26

P.S. from Jeff to ZamZags 22: Caret three, y’all.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The long journey to Victoria Falls

  1. Heather Sikes says:

    I love reading about your adventures every day! Thank you for sharing your journey with us at home. So glad Jeff escaped the baboons!
    Safe travels to all!! ❤️

  2. Audrey Buller says:

    What a full and joyful day it’s been for you Zags and Coug! What a neat encounter with the birthday guy! Such a great example of what this experience is all about. Keep enjoying Livingstone and Fawlty Towers!

    Jeff: <3

    Mwane mwane mwane,
    Audrey Buller
    ZamFam 2022

  3. Kalie dyksterhouse says:

    Okay all of you close your eyes for a second, you too Jeff don’t think I know you’re peeking. Imagine yourselves standing in front of Victoria falls and how itty bitty you felt, like a little bug in the big world. Crazy mind blow right, now think of all of this crazy current flowing around you and how you’re the only thing standing still. That’s what your upcoming journey to Zambezi will be like. You are the ones observing while their inspirational worlds move around you, so integrate yourself by asking questions and staying still in the moment. Okay, open your eyes now before the baboons take your phones. Enjoy the little moments of feeling small, and remember the meals only get longer.

    Peace and mwane,
    Kalie zamfam 22’

  4. Mackenzie Flesch says:

    Your post completely brought me back! Last week I went hiking with four other girls from ZamFam ‘22 to a waterfall and it reminded us of our time at Victoria Falls. We stood at the base with our arms wide open while getting soaked but we could not have been happier! Keep embracing each experience and appreciating the relationships you’re forming. They are truly something special <3

    Mwane mwane,
    Mackenzie Flesch
    ZamFam ‘22

  5. Eva Palmer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredible experience at Victoria Falls! Your pictures and words take me back to that special place. Victoria Falls is only the beginning of this journey you are on, and if it was anything similar to you as it was to me, it might be the first moment you realize just how special this time is – to connect with the earth and the people around you. Just like the water you drenched yourselves in, let this entire experience consume you – it too will make you feel so alive.

    Alright, apologies for the deep talk. I can’t help myself when it comes to this program. I also swore I wouldn’t comment on every post, yet here I am. I am so excited for all of you!

    Eva Palmer – ZamFam ’22

  6. Virginia Ehler says:

    Hi to the ‘other’ Grace!
    Thank you so much for this post. I love what Kalie wrote about feeling ‘itty-bitty’ and being small. It is true. Small and yet significant!
    Let’s hope Grace E’s phone still works after getting wet, it wouldn’t be the first time. Ya know, we have things back home that she can use to protect her phone, and still take a photo, called, ziploc bags! lol
    I’m glad you all had fun bungee jumping and that you are safe and sound.

    So excited for all of you on this journey!

Comments are closed.