A short but busy week on the Zambezi River has ended. In the city of Livingston. We managed to visit not only the Victoria Falls itself (now is the dry season, the waterfall's power is approximately 20-25%), but also took a swim in the Devil's Font itself. This is a natural depression on the very edge of the waterfall on the Zambian side. The current in the Kupel is not so strong (this is the trick!), although a meter nearby there is a powerful flow of millions of tons of water. Below, a rainbow shines against the backdrop of a roaring waterfall. Anyone who can swim can swim in this Font (you have to swim several tens of meters against the current to get to the Font from the neighboring island), but again at your own peril and risk. There are many people who want to shake off the adrenaline. The queue to take photos at the Devil's Font is impressive. Each extreme athlete is insured by 3 local people: one holds his legs, the other stands with a rope at the ready; the third, standing on the very cliff, takes photographs . This photo is not mine, from an advertising brochure. Swimming wasn't terrible, but all my legs were bitten by small fish. This is such a fish massage.
For one day I managed to go to the neighboring country of Botswana on a safari in Chobe National Park. You can see all the local big five: lions, elephants, buffalos, hippos, giraffes. I also had a chance to photograph crocodiles, antelopes, leopards, as well as numerous birds.
The time has come to fly back. From the hotel in Livingstone, across the Zambian border, you can take a taxi to the Zimbabwe immigration post (tax is $15), and then to Victoria Falls Airport - $30Bridge 1912, border between Zimbabwe and Zambia across the river Zambezi.
Upon arrival, you are again greeted by a small tribe of dancers and singers who want to perform songs for you about a happy flight for your money.We go to the departure sector. In front of you is a huge hall with numerous registration desks. They looked at my 10 kg suitcase and backpack reluctantly, regarding it as hand luggage.
Next we go to pre-flight inspection. The employees work quickly, smoothly, there were no special queues. At passport control there is traditional relaxation - they work slowly, I would even say lazily. The border guards are in no particular hurry. But the Germans and their other linguistic brethren are in a hurry somewhere. In general, it must be said that among the foreigners, residents of Germany, Austria and France predominated. There were also Americans, British and the ubiquitous Japanese. There were very few Russians.
After passport control we find ourselves on the second floor, where there is a clean area with shops and cafes. Restaurant was open, but there were no visitors yet (12 noon). Duty free stores represented our general store with a minimal selection of alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, chocolates. Prices are above average. The souvenir shops were crowded. Everyone was trying to use their remaining rands, kwachas and dollars. The prices were off the charts: a modest refrigerator magnet – 12 dollars, a large postcard with a view of the waterfall – 4 dollars, etc. The toilets were clean with a refreshing aroma.
At one jet bridge stood the A-330-343 "Eurowings Discover". Soon it will fly to Windhoek (Namibia), and then to Frankfurt. Registration number D-AIKH, the plane is 18 years old, until April of this year it flew for Lufthansa. An Airlink E-195 from Cape Town recently landed, passengers walked across the field to the ground floor of the airport. After some time, the E-145 “Fastjet” took off for Johannesburg.Our A-320 plane, registration number ZS-SZJ, landed.
The plane is 8.7 years old. Soon boarding began through gate No. 9. It must be said that there is no air conditioning in the airport towers, so it is very stuffy in them and in the jet bridges. Our board was greeted with cool air. My seat is 18A. This time the plane was 80 percent full. Traditional safety briefing by staff and our airliner rolled out onto the beginning of the runway. The takeoff was smooth. The plane turned over the airport and the airfield with the airport terminal was clearly visible from the left side. The rainy season was beginning, it was cloudy low, so after about three minutes the airbus had already emerged behind the clouds.
Immediately after gaining altitude, maintenance began. Again, like last time, a full lunch with hot dishes, wines, juices, colas, tea and coffee. The flight attendants did everything quickly and accurately. In 30 minutes everyone was fed. The trays were collected, the people were silent. And our plane was already crossing the border of Zimbabwe and South Africa. In any case, on my smartphone in the Maps Mi application, I caught the point of our flight. After the red and scorched earth of Zimbabwe, cultivated fields and farm “circles” of crops that had different colors appeared.
The toilet was as clean and comfortable as on the previous flight. That's why I didn't take a photo of it.
An hour after takeoff, the commander announced an imminent landing at O.R. airport. Tambo Johannesburg. After 15 minutes, our A-320 smoothly landed on the second, farthest runway of Africa's largest airport. disembarkation.
Soon we, the passengers, moved along the boarding bridge and numerous long corridors of the airport to the border control zone. There were not many people there, but the border guards “worked” slowly. Three of the 10 cabins were operational. It took two or three minutes for each passenger. And the people kept arriving. A large crowd formed. After that, three more booths opened.
Those flying with luggage walked to the transport carousels. The rest again walked through long galleries into the arrival hall, passing by the small Duty Free and baggage search centers of various airlines. From the moment I got off the plane to the arrival hall, 45-50 minutes passed.
Well, my flight has come to an end. South African Airways gets an A with two pluses from me. Well done! Everything was strictly on schedule and with excellent service, considering the flight time - only 1 hour 20 minutes. This time, Johannesburg Airport earned a B-minus due to the “relaxation” of border control officers. Victoria Falls Airport received exactly the same rating from me for the stuffiness at the boarding gates.
Next my path lay to Cape Town. But that's another story.
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