Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To Crew the Emirates A380 or not to Crew the A380 that is the question?

Well I have to say that the rosters the Dolly with the Trolly has been getting have been getting worse and worse. Endless turnarounds, more night flights. The Augusts roster was so bad I have not botherd to publish it here!
Thia is in the news:
‘When the Emirates’ A380 entered into service almost four years ago it was set up as a separate fleet. However in the past few months there have been issues that have affected our operation in a way that could not have been anticipated. The decision has therefore been taken that A380 crew will be given additional training so that they will be able to operate on both the A380 and the B777 aircraft. Cross qualifying A380 crew will provide a greater degree of flexibility and enable crew to be fully utilised on either aircraft type. Cross qualifying A380 crew will involve 5 days training. Once training is completed A380 crew will be available to be rostered duties on B777 aircraft.’ So was the ‘Cross Qualifing to be a one way street. A380 crew to fly 777/380 only? No, within days EK announced applications were open to all crew to apply to convert to the A380 but there is Lots to think about.......Not flying the A330/40 so no Africa’s like Entebbe, and I like it there. Limited routes...think, think think! Should she stay or should she change now?

What would you do??? Comments as usual. x

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Air Emirates Economy Class Menu Dubai-Johannesburg-Dubai.

Menu on EK 761 Dubai to Johannesburg.
Savoury Snack;
Honey Roasted Chicken.

Blueberry Muffin.

Tea & Coffee.

Arabic Cold Breakfast; Edam cheese, minted labneh balls, olive and crudites.

Fresh Fruit Salad.

A choice of either Plain Omelet with lamb sausage, sauteed potatoes with onions and herbs, mushrooms and tomato

or Scrambled egg, turkey bacon, hash brown potatoes and mushrooms.

Croissant and Tea or Coffee.

Menu on EK 764 Johannesburg to Dubai.

Beef Pastrami, with three bean salad.

Roast Chicken Breast. Penang sauce, new potato wedges, broccoli and peppers.
Baked Hake, with Cape Malay sauce, basmati Rice, brinjal and marrow ragout.
Lasagna al Forno, with grilled vegetables.

Coconut and Pineapple Cake.

Cheese & Biscuits and Tea & Coffee.

Continental Breakfast.
Orange Juice.
Fresh Seasonal Fruit.
Tea & Coffee.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Air Emirates Crew Rota /Roster July 2012.

July 2012, Crew Roster. Cut & Pasted.
30-SAT Day Off
01-SUN  06:15 EK 855 DXB 07:45 KWI 08:25 77W 01:39
01-SUN EK 856 KWI 09:40 DXB 12:15 77W 12:45 06:30 01:34
03-TUE  00:35 EK 705 DXB 02:05 SEZ 06:45 345 07:15 06:40 04:40
04-WED 07:30 EK 706 SEZ 08:15 DXB 12:45 345 13:15 05:45 04:30
05-THU XX Day Off
06-FRI XX Day Off
07-SAT 12:45 EK 843 DXB 14:15 DOH 14:15 332 01:00
07-SAT EK 844 DOH 15:15 DXB 17:05 332 17:35 04:50 00:49
08-SUN  13:40 EK 923 DXB 15:10 CAI 17:00 772 03:50
08-SUN EK 924 CAI 18:30 DXB 00:10(+) 772 00:40 11:00 03:40
10-TUE  07:00 EK 837 DXB 08:30 BAH 08:45 332 01:14
10-TUE EK 838 BAH 09:50 DXB 12:00 332 12:30 05:30 01:09
11-WED  13:20 EK 025 DXB 14:50 GLA 20:00 343 20:30 10:10 08:10
12-THU 20:45 EK 026 GLA 21:30 DXB 08:00(+) 343 08:30 08:45 07:30
14-SAT XX Day Off
15-SUN  09:20 EK 725 DXB 10:50 DAR 15:15 345 15:45 07:25 05:25
16-MON 16:00 EK 726 DAR 16:45 DXB 23:20 345 23:50 06:50 05:35
18-WED XX Day Off
19-THU XX Day Off
20-FRI XX Day Off
21-SAT  07:35 EK 211 DXB 09:05 IAH 16:25 77W 16:55 18:20 16:20
23-MON 18:05 EK 212 IAH 18:50 DXB 18:45(+) 77W 19:15 16:10 14:55
25-WED XX Day Off
26-THU XX Day Off
27-FRI 13:10 EK 765 DXB 14:40 JNB 20:50 77W 21:20 10:10 08:10
28-SAT 21:35 EK 766 JNB 22:20 DXB 08:20(+) 77W 08:50 09:15 08:00
30-MON XX Day Off
31-TUE 20:40 EK 512 DXB 22:10 DEL 02:45(+) 773 03:05

Air Emirates Cabin Crew Rota/Roster for May 2012 and June 2012.

May 2012, Emirates Rota /Roster.
May was a case of Sickness and Holidays!
1 May= DXB- Jakarta-DXB. no one would swap!
3/4/5/6 May =DO, and horrid days off as not feeling well.
7 May, DXB-SFO, but had to call in sick as very unwell with an ear infection!
I was then off sick untill 17 May 2012. and even then on the DXB-DAC-DXB flight on 17 May my ears were painful.
20 May = DXB-KWI-DXB.
23 May = DXB-MAA-DXB.
then I was on holiday, but did not go away, had a 'staycation', that makes a change.

When the Emirates A380 started flying , almost four years ago now! It was set up as a separate fleet, and the crew worked only on the A380. In June we were informed that A380 crew would start to work on the B777. This has been called 'Cross Qualifing'. This may effect my Rotas in the future? will have to see.....
June 2012.
4th June, was down to go to Dallas, but swapped and went to Seattle instead! it was great and I visited the Boeing factory.
11 June =DXB-KHI-DXB.
12 June = DXB-MAA-DXB.
15/16 June= DXB-MAN-DXB
18/19 June =DXB-LGW-DXB.
23/24/ & 27/28 June= DXB-GLA-DXB.

Air Emirates Roster for April 2012.

Rota / Roster for April 2012.
London calling....3 Londons in a row so swapped one for a Manchester.
31-SAT 7015 06:30 EK 015 DXB 08:00 LGW 12:30 77W 13:00 (09:30) (07:30)

01-SUN 13:40 EK 016 LGW 14:25 DXB 00:25(+) 77W 00:55 08:15 07:00


03-TUE XX Day Off

04-WED XX Day Off

05-THU 7015 06:30 EK 015 DXB 08:00 LGW 12:30 77W 13:00 09:30 07:30

06-FRI 13:40 EK 016 LGW 14:25 DXB 00:25(+) 77W 00:55 08:15 07:00


08-SUN XX Day Off

09-MON 7015 DXB MAN



12-THU XX Day Off


14-SAT 6161 05:30 EK 161 DXB 07:00 DUB 21:15 332 21:45 10:15 08:15

15-SUN 22:05 EK 162 DUB 22:50 DXB 00:25(+) 332 00:55 08:50 07:35


17-TUE XX Day Off

18-WED XX Day Off

19-THU XX Day Off

20-FRI XX Day Off

21-SAT 7211 07:35 EK 211 DXB 09:05 IAH 16:25 77W 16:55 18:20 16:20


23-MON 18:05 EK 212 IAH 18:50 DXB 18:45(+) 77W 19:15 16:10 14:55


25-WED XX Day Off

26-THU XX Day Off

27-FRI XX Day Off

28-SAT 7512 20:40 EK 512 DXB 22:10 DEL 02:45(+) 772 10:00 03:05

29-SUN EK 513 DEL 04:15 DXB 06:10 772 06:40 10:00 03:25

Emirates Cabin Crew Roster for March 2012.

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck.

Cut and pasted is March 2012 Rota / Roster,

01-THU XX Day Off

02-FRI 12:05 EK 572 DXB 13:35 Kolkata 19:15 332

02-FRI EK 573 CCU 20:30 DXB 00:30(+) 332 01:00 12:55


04-SUN 13:50 EK 923 DXB 15:20 Cairo 17:25 772

04-SUN EK 924 CAI 19:00 DXB 00:30(+) 772 01:00 11:10


06-TUE  08:55 EK 775 DXB 10:25 Durban 17:10 332 17:40 10:45

07-WED 17:55 EK 776 DUR 18:40 DXB 05:20(+) 332 05:50 09:55


09-FRI XX Day Off

10-SAT XX Day Off

11-SUN XX Day Off

12-MON 08:55 EK 434 DXB 10:25 Brisbane 06:40(+) 77W 07:10 16:15


14-WED 07:40 EK 434 BNE 08:25 AKL 14:35 77W 15:05 04:25

15-THU 17:30 EK 435 AKL 18:15 BNE 19:00 77W 19:30 05:00

16-FRI 20:00 EK 435 BNE 20:45 DXB 05:25(+) 77W 05:55 15:55


18-SUN XX Day Off

19-MON XX Day Off

20-TUE  06:55 EK 841 DXB 08:25 DOH 08:30 773

20-TUE EK 842 DOH 09:45 DXB 11:45 773 12:15 05:20

21-WED 6725 09:20 EK 725 DXB 10:50 DAR 15:20 345 15:50 07:30

22-THU 16:05 EK 726 DAR 16:50 DXB 23:20 345 23:50 06:45


24-SAT XX Day Off

25-SUN  08:20 EK 606 DXB 09:50 KHI 12:50 77W

25-SUN EK 607 KHI 14:15 DXB 15:10 77W 15:40 07:20

26-MON 08:05 EK 747 DXB 09:35 TUN 12:50 345 13:20 08:15

27-TUE 14:20 EK 748 TUN 15:05 DXB 23:55 345 00:25 07:05


29-THU XX Day Off

30-FRI XX Day Off

31-SAT  06:30 EK 015 DXB 08:00 LGW 12:30 77W 13:00 09:30

01-SUN 13:40 EK 016 LGW 14:25 DXB 00:25(+) 77W 00:55 (08:15)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Sweni Trail, Kruger National Park. Our Journey through Limpopo Province, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe June 2012.

June 20th -24th 2012.
Today we had a short drive from Eiland Spa to The Kruger National Park entering at Phalborwa Gate. Driving through the park we made our way down to Satara Camp planning to arrive at 15.00. This was because I had booked us onto one of the Wilderness Walking Trails that are run by the South African Parks Board. This would be the second time I have participated in one of the trails, in 2005 I did the Metsi-Metsi Trail and had such a wonderful time I was really looking forward to the most popular walking trail in the park, The Sweni Trail. Driving through the park, the first thing I notice was the scarcity of game. We hardly saw a thing, not even Impala, but I was not worried about the lack of Game as we had days yet?

The Gate into The Kruger National Park.
The Wilderness Trails.
There are currently 7 wilderness trails in the Kruger National Park. The first trail was Wolhuter, this was established in July 1978 in the south western part of the KNP. The trails were so popular that almost immediately two others were opened namely the Olifants, and the Nyalaland. Bushmans started in 1983 this is situated in the south western corner of the KNP and neighbours Wolhuter trail. Metsi Metsi was built north of Orpen dam on the eastern side of the well-known Tshokwane picnic site. The Sweni Trail was started in 1990, it is situated near Nwanetsi and it is one of the most popular of the trails.
Booking the Trail.
Booking your chosen trail is easy, if you know what to do! On the South African Parks web page, find the Kruger Park, follow this link
You can book on line or by telephone. The trails can be booked 11 months in advance and that was what I had done. There is always competition for the popular trails are they are very good value for money. Be careful when searching on Google etc as many South African Tour companies who sell the trails come up on the search and this works out a lot more expensive than booking direct with ‘SAN Parks’.

The Wilderness trails start on either a Wednesday afternoon to a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon to a Wednesday morning. Ours was starting on the Wednesday. The Trails are three-nights, with the two days in between spent walking. When you get your booking confirmation you are advised the starting point for the trail, it will be at one of the rest camps. It is at the designated rest camp that you book into the reception where the trail departs. So we had booked into Satara Camp Reception, then went to find our trail ranger and the rest of our group. The booking in at Satara was quite unpleasant with the reception staff rather surly and not welcoming, just demanding a massive sum of money from me! ( I was not expecting it), It turned out to be park entry fees and a ‘Wildcard’ fee, all in all it came to over £200.00. No money left for the curio shop when we had finished the trail then!

Our Rangers were called Tambourine and Job, they were waiting for us in Satara Camp Car Park. The trails have a maximum of 8 walkers and I think the minimum age is 12 years old. You need to take all your drink (alcohol & soft drinks) with you and any other food that you specifically like, for example if you want a particular breakfast cereal then it is best to take it with you. This is because the food that is provided at the camp is simple and wholesome. The meals are prepared by a cook in the camp on either an open fire or a gas stove. As the camps do not have electricity.
The Huts on The Sweni Trail. Kruger Park.

Once the 8 of us had assembled we set of in the KNP open safari vehicle to the camp. Located, as are all of the wilderness camps, within a wilderness trail area and far away from normal tourist activities. It was late afternoon when we arrive and met the Camp Manger/ Cook and Bottle washer, Jack.
The trail camps are rustic and spartan. There are four huts at Sweni. As expected our huts were basic A-frame thatched buildings, with a single bed on each side, linen and towels are provided. With net and wooden shutters, each hut had a small veranda. There are no electricity or power generators. The ablution facilities are communal. The good thing is that the bathrooms consist of flush toilets and gas geyser showers, (the old Rhodesian style wood burners have been replaced). The camp is lit at night by the paraffin lamps are there is not electricity or generators. The best bit about Sweni camp is that it is located in a beautiful position, with the communal social area (lapa) with its thatched roof and open campfire area overlooking a watering hole, today the watering hole was taken up by a very noisy Hippo. This area made for great game viewing during our three day stay. When we arrived at the camp we were given time to unpack and settle in then our trail leader, Tamborine gave us our full briefing on the camp rules, general routine for the next couple of days, what to expect, safety aspects and answered questions from our small group. It was then nice to tuck into our first meal prepared by Jack, have a few beers and sit round the camp fire and chat. When it was time to go to the huts, I had forgotten about the lack of electricity and took ages digging around in my case for stuff, reminding myself to be more organised in the morning!

inside the hut


The next day it was an early wakeup call from Jack at the crack of dawn with hot water put into the bowl outside your hut. There was also a cup of tea and a rusk on the Lapa if you wanted. Then it was into the vehicle for a drive out to where our walk would commence. We walked at quite a good pace across the flat savannah, only stopping for the simple breakfast that was in our backpacks. We did not see any animals, not during the drive or on the walk. Also the guides did not talk to us, or rather only spoke to us in a condescending abrupt manner, trying to make fools of us by pointing out how little we knew about the Bush and animals! It was as if we were out for a humiliating Army style march through the bush. It was not what I was expecting, or what I had experienced before when I did the Metsi-Metsi Trail. At late morning we returned to the camp for our Brunch and a rest. Enjoying seeing the animals come down to the waterhole to drink, this time seem to pass very quickly and soon it was time to get back into the vehicle and drive out to a spot for a sundowners. Then on the way back to the camp, we had an odd experience. Out guides said we had a puncture, they said we had to rush back to the camp to repair the tyre. There was a lot of stopping and kicking the left wheel. Back in camp, it was dark by then, we offered to help mend the puncture....but there was no need as the tyre was not punctured! It was all very odd.  
Walking in The Bush

Our snack from the day packs

Sundowners on the second night

Sweni Camp

Sweni Camp

Sweni Camp

Sweni Camp
Sundowners the first night

ready for tea

the bathroom at Sweni Camp

Once again, Jack had cooked a meal for us and we sat down to enjoy his cooking. But Job and Tambourine helped themselves to so much food that there was very little left for the guests. Then to top that Tambourine started to shout, and I mean SHOUT at me to pass him the ‘Greek Salad Dressing’. Remember it was dark the only light coming from the paraffin lamps. I passed one of the many salad dressings to him, unfortunately it seemed that it was the wrong one. Once again he shouted at me to pass the correct one. How I managed to pass him the salad dressing and not through it all over him I don’t know! But I told him very firmly not to talk to me in that manner, he seemed a little taken back, he needed to be....his tip had been getting smaller all day, now it disappeared!
The second day was basically a repeat of the first day’s activities. Again we drove out to a spot from which we walked. The guides seemed a little more pleasant today, actually asking us what we were interested in and answering questions in a positive manner. Chatting to the family of four who were with us on the trail it appeared that prior to us leaving camp that morning, they had had a word with Tambourine about his attitude.
We enjoyed another afternoon of game spotting from the camp before driving out to a dam for our sundowners. Here a loan Hippo did his best to frighten us away opening his mouth as wide as he could, slapping the water and grunting at us. Just as the sun set a Rhino and her calf came down to drink, at that moment we could see Hippo, Rhino and Elephant, but it was to dark to get a good photo, so such magical occasions have to be committed to memory.
We enjoyed our last night in camp knowing we could have a lie-in in the morning, well until 0700, as on the last day you do not walk but prepare to be taken back to your pick up point. On the drive back to Satara we saw Hyena, with pups and a Lioness.

Reflecting on Sweni Trail. The main thing about the Kruger Park Walking trails is the solitude and opportunity to experience the Bush, I am sure all the trails in the KNP fulfill this requirement. We saw very little game whilst driving through the Park, and whilst out on the walking trail, I found this concerning. It may have been bad luck, after all the animals are wild. However I do have concerns about the numbers of animals in the Park, as I do feel that they had visibly reduced since 2005. The park is under threat, Human population growth, Poaching, the controversial removal of the fence between RSA and Mozambique all playing a part. I do have to say that I was very disappointed in my experience this time, it seemed to have lost something. Our guides were not the best Job was pleasant enough but Tamborine cannot be recommended, he was a very unpleasant individual. I think it was his attitude that has coloured my experience of this trail and I would recommend the trails to anyone who enjoys nature and the outdoors, I just hope that you get a good guide as they really do make or break your experience.

For us, that was it, holiday over! So now it was a mad dash drive from Satara in the KNP to Johannesburg airport to get the flight home. (we did it in 4 hours). Bushlore must have been tracking us all the way as their rep was at the airport to meet us and take the car from us! Well done Bushlore! So Africa, till we meet again.....good bye and THANKS!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Our Journey through Limpopo Province, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe June 2012. From Victoria Falls to Eiland Spa South Africa via Itumela Camp, Botswana.

After the rest, relaxation and indulgence of the past week, it was time to hit the road for a long drive from Victoria Falls to Tzaneen in South Africa. After much studying of maps and discussion with local experts, the decision was taken to go back via Botswana crossing at Kazungula, then into South Africa at Martins Drift. We left the hotel at dawn meeting our first road block: an enormous herd of buffalo as soon as we left the hotel grounds. The Kazungula Boarder opens at 06.00 and we arrived at 07.00. The customs officer was sleepy but efficient and the crossing took about 25 minutes. Once in Botswana the Veterinary dips started again and we were in and out of the car to dip our feet and any shoes you had in your possession. 

We stopped at Nata Lodge for breakfast and noted the large new lodge being built on the other side of the road; it was just being thatched and looked good. We arrived in Palapye by about 16.00. The town of Palapye was a lot larger than I had imagined it would be and had a large selection of hotels, lodges, B & Bs and guest houses. We followed the signs to Camp Itumela, there were a lot of signs and just as well as after crossing the railway tracks I was beginning to feel lost! Upon arrival at Camp Itumela it turned out to be a leafy oasis in the dust bowl that is Palapye. We did not have a reservation, but that was not a problem, when we arrived there was plenty of room. The camp has camping facilities and a lot of these plots were in use by ‘Overland’ companies. It also has cabin type accommodation with en suite facilities, that’s what we had. The room was basic, but warm, comfortable and clean. The shower was fantastic! The bar was good with a lively atmosphere and the food, a set meal was good. All in all it was very good value for money.

The rooms at Camp Itumela.
The Bar / eating area at camp itumele.
The next day it was another early start and we arrived at the Botswana / South Africa border crossing at Martins Drift. The service was quick and efficient on both sides of the boarder and once again we crossed the Limpopo River, this time it had water in it, back into Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Limpopo River from Botswana to South Africa

ATKV Eiland Spa From the Road. 
Driving to Polokwane, we went to the big Pick n Pay to get shopping for the next couple of nights. Then headed along the R71 to Tzaneen. We went through some beautiful scenery on this route but did not call into the town of Tzaneen its self as we were making for The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve.
When planning the route, I needed a place close to the Phalaborwa Gate of The Kruger Park for a couple of night’s relaxation. I noted The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve on the map and saw that it was listed as ‘hot springs’. I really struggled to find any further information and the Google search brought up The H M Hotel & Spa in Phalaborwa, it looked good but it was not what I had in mind. Then under the information listed about the nature reserve I saw there was a Spa there and after more searching found the ATKV Holiday Resort of Eiland Spa.
Located on the banks of The Letaba River, Eiland Spa was perfect, because of its location it is sunny and warm all year. It is a large resort with lots of different accommodation options, including camping. The accommodation is in round self catering huts. I booked a ‘RD 2’, we had a fully equipped kitchen on the veranda with a cooker and fridge, twin beds in the bedroom, with TV and AC, and a bathroom. Outside was a sitting area with table chairs and a BBQ. On the resort its self there was lots to do. There a few naturally warm mineral pools, one with a slide and a very hot indoor hydrotherapy pool, with steam room and sauna. A Mini golf course, bowling green, fishing lake, rugby pitch, tennis courts, horse riding. There is an onsite shop, and it was not overpriced but did have limited supplies, a restaurant, ice cream parlour/ fast food outlet as well as what looked like conference facilities.
The accommodation its self is basic but it was comfortable and clean. The resort did look at little run down, there were a few chipped tiles in the pool and the decor was stuck in the 1980s, but at £15.00 per person per night, it was fantastic value for money. It was a good choice for a few nights to stop and rest and do very little.

RD 2 Hut at the ATKV Eiland Spa

Hot mineral pool, Eiland Spa

At the fishing Lake?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Our Journey through Limpopo Province, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe June 2012. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Today it was a case of crossing borders. It was very cold on the river as we travelled by speedboat back to the Namibian Boarder post at 08.00 to be stamped out of Namibia. Then crossed the Chobe River to enter Botswana at Kasane. It was then a very short dive to the Botswana / Zimbabwe Boarder. Now we left Botswana for the second time today and prepared to enter into Zimbabwe.
Where to today????
Botswana Boarder
The Zimbabwe Boarder from Zimbabwe.

Taking any car into Zimbabwe needs a little preparation, as I stated earlier if you are hiring a Car and then want to cross a boarder out of South Africa, you will have to organise this with the hire car company BEFORE YOU TRY TO CROSS as you will have to show the customs officer the following;
  • A letter of confirmation from the hire car company, with your name on it, allowing you to cross boarders.
  • The Certificate of Registration in respect of the vehicle you have hired, make sure you check that it is the certificate for the car you have hired and has the correct Registration number, engine number ect on it BEFORE you leave the car hire office!
  • A letter of Authority from the bank / financial services if the vehicle is still under finance.
  • Also to go into Zimbabwe you have to have two reflective warning triangles that conform to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) placed at the front and rear of a vehicle in the event of a breakdown. According to the published guideline, the triangles must bear a serial number, name of the manufacturer and year of manufacture. All vehicles must carry an SAZ-approved fire extinguisher in a visible and accessible place in the cab of the vehicle as well as red and white reflectors. White reflectors are to be used at the front of the vehicle and red reflectors are to be used at the back of the vehicle.
At the Zimbabwe boarder we had fees to pay;
First the basic Visa Fee, $30 for a single entry visa, each. Then the fees for the car, the Tempory Import Permit, The Carbon tax, 3rd party insurance, and something on a blue Express Cargo Clearing Services (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) paper , it all came to US$ 305.00. So dully fleeced of all our US Dollar we entered Zimbabwe. We were stopped at our first road block about one mile past the border, where a plain clothed police man checked all the paperwork that had cost us $305.00 then nodded and waved us on! Welcome to Zimbabwe.

The road to Victoria Falls was a straight tar road and it was in a good state of repair. In less than an hour we arrived at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. This lodge is located a little way oou of the twom of Victoria Falls. Prior to my visit, I found all of the hotels in Victoria Falls to be quite expensive. On arriving in Victoria Falls it was apparent that I need not have pre booked as there was a lot of accommodation available, ranging from a basic campsite and back packers lodges to the grand Victoria Falls Hotel. However, Check in at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was easy and they let us check in early. The room was fantastic, it was over two floors with a sitting area and balcony looking out over the watering hole and small bathroom downstairs. Then a large bedroom with 4 poster bed and full bathroom with Jacuzzi bath on the top floor! We had been up graded to a suite, and it was very nice.
I was in Victoria Falls to visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Victoria Falls and to meet friends. One of whom was doing a bungee jump from the bridge that separates Vic Falls from Zambia.
From the hotel we drove the short distance to The Victoria Falls National Park, as we were tourists we paid the tourist rate in US $ to go to the park. Once through the gates you follow the path and walk to the falls. We followed the route that starts at the statue of Davis Livingstone, then made our way along the path, seeing the falls from all the view points. We had hired large rain coats and an umbrella and although they looked ridiculous, with the volume of water that was cascading over the ridge and the spray that was produced, we would have been soaked to the skin without the garments. With my feeble writing skills I am not going to describe the falls, plenty of authors have done that. All I will say is that it is a sight every one of us should see before we depart from the earth, so just go! (it’s what credit cards are for!).
Victoria Falls

The reason you go to Zimbabwe?
I stood at the view point overlooking the bridge whilst my friend did her bungee jump. If your want to do a Bungee then this has to be one of the most spectacular paces in the world to do it. Above the Zambezi River, with the falls behind you. Then we walked round on over the bridge to congratulate her on her fantastic achievement achievement. No visa fee was charged to cross the bridge, in face we did not have our passports but it was not a problem. From the bridge we had a good view of our next destination, The Victoria Falls Hotel.
This Edwardian-style five-star hotel, was built in 1904, it is fantastic and the buildings are almost as iconic as the Falls that are visible from its veranda. It is set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, with Warthogs trimming the green lawns. It provides the most tranquil of places to have Afternoon Tea, or rather ‘High Tea’ as it is called here. Best of all is that the falls or “Mosi-O-Tunya” in the local dialect, are clearly audible and visible from the hotel as you tuck into your sandwiches, scones and cream.
The Grand Victoria Falls Hotel
The ambience of the hotel is steeped in that history with the interior decorated in the gracious Edwardian style of Zimbabwe’s colonial era. The artefacts and paintings on the walls reflect and tell the history of this unique part of Africa, with particular reference to the building of the railway from Cape Town to what is now Zambia. It is very much part of the unrealised “Cape to Cairo” dream of Cecil John Rhodes. I loved the crockery with its symbol of the Cape to Cairo on it.
Cape to Cairo Milk Jug
It is not clear, but this one is a Sphinx, a bridge and a Lion.
The Tea was as traditional as if you were in London! But the setting was 100% better than even the best London establishment. We got through the selection of sandwiches and had more, all delicious. The Scone layer, with clotted cream and jam, then the deliciously sweet cake selection. All served with a Zimbabwean Tea and a glass of bubbly stuff. Absolute heaven! The ambiance of the setting cannot be under estimated, and all for $15.00 per person. 
Afternoon Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel

The falls as seen from The Victoria Falls Hotel

Cape to Cairo by Train???

Or flying Boat from Southampton, BOAC.....

Reluctantly it was time to leave and go back to our hotel for a few G and Ts as the sun set over the watering hole. Basically the end to a perfect day in a perfect place, I will be back!