Our base here is Masumu River Lodge. Spectacularly perched on a cliff overlooking the harbour and the lake, this Lodge has also been refurbished and its chalets, set amongst well maintained and planted gardens, enjoy stunning lake views. Some years ago Lake Tanganyika "sardines" were introduced to Lake Kariba. They thrived in its rich waters and, known locally as "Kapenta", they have given rise to an extensive Kapenta Fishing Industry, a large part of which is based here at Binga. The fish are attracted to the boats at night by bright lights and then scooped up in enormous nets. These boats are very photogenic in themselves and can be photographed either setting out or returning from their nocturnal sojourns from the harbour below the lodge, or even from the lodge itself. (Images 80 - 83)
From here we switched to road transport and set off for Victoria Falls, a distance of some 200 miles. Whilst the first part of the journey is not on the best of roads it is quite tolerable and the monotony is broken by being able to stop off at scenic villages and craft stalls spread along a great part of the journey. Once again the quality, variety and price of the handicrafts can prove a temptation too great to resist. The road passes by Hwange, which can be described as the jewel in Zimbabwe's Wildlife Crown. We had set off reasonably early and arrived at the Falls in good time for lunch which we took at the Lookout Cafe, famous for it's incredible views of both the Bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia and the enormous fissure which forms the Gorge into which the Falls drop. Walking out onto its balcony the origins of it's name become obvious because of the unparalleled views it affords. (Images 84 - 87) The younger members of our group had set their hearts on the Bungee Jumping, Bridge swing and Bridge slide, all of which can be viewed either from the Cafe or the Bridge itself. To access the Bridge one has to pass through Customs but this is a simple process to merely obtain a temporary access permit. A Passport or Driving Licence will get you through. There is normally a line of heavy vehicles waiting to cross this 100 year old bridge but they are obliged to cross one at a time thus causing a temporary holdup. The many Baboons that frequent the area make the most of this and can be seen making merry and sliding down the sloping canopies of the lorries in their constant search for an easy entry to the riches they are convinced lie inside. (Images 88 - 90)
The youngsters duly performed their death defying leaps of faith and convinced me that I was born far too soon or far too sensible because I cannot, for the life of me, understand what can prompt someone to leap into a bottomless pit with only the equivalent of a rubber band around their ankles.