Thursday, October 18 -- After breakfast, we experienced our first view of Victoria Falls from a helicopter. The gorge into which the water falls seems like a mere slit from the air. There was not as much water as you normally see in pictures because we were there in the dry season. But they are still quite spectacular and seeing them by helicopter is a must.
Afterward, we toured the falls from the Zambia side, which are not as long as the Zimbabwe side, but have the stunning Devils Chasm. We were then transported to the Zambia border and into Zimbabwe for our stay at the Stanley and Livingstone Hotel, and joining us there was the last members of our group, Mary Anne and Steve Hegedus. The 8 of us were the only guests at the hotel. This was the height of pampering and spoiling. We each had our own private chalet which had a tastefully furnished living room, a large master suite with sitting area, and a huge bath with claw foot tub and large shower.
The hotel itself was built in 1999 in the old Victorian Colonial style, and they spared no expense. It was beautifully done, and the main dining areas and each of the chalets faced onto a private game reserve with a lake right in front. All day, various animals would come down to drink. The highlight was the family of elephants who came every evening to drink and bathe, then go into the dry area to throw dirt all over themselves. It was very entertaining. In fact, it was all so perfect, we didn't plan any activities for the rest of the day. We all just either hung out at the pool, in the public areas, or in our chalets and watched.
The food and the service were all the very best.