From Main Camp in Hwange, we were picked up by Fortune who drove us to the Victoria Falls Airport in the hopes that we could check in our luggage before running into Victoria Falls town for a few errands and some lunch. Unfortunately check-in wasn’t open, and the airport didn’t have any storage for our luggage, so we headed back to the Victoria Falls Hotel who thankfully hooked us up with storage for our luggage there whilst we ran around.
Now under a time crunch, like we were in the Amazing Race, we raced into Telecel to sort out some phone lines, ducked into Edgars for a belt for Jim (and experienced the first power cut of the trip, albeit a brief one once the generators kicked in), and dashed through a sudden downpour for Lindani to get to Bata for some shoes for the wedding. We then dripped ourselves into Shearwater Café for a hasty lunch, scarfing down as much as we could of the most gigantic chicken and mayo sandwiches (well Erin valiantly polished hers off, which we were all extremely impressed by!) just in time for Fortune to arrive again to take us back to Vic Falls Hotel to grab our luggage before heading to the airport.
The surprisingly gigantic chicken and mayo sandwich at Shearwater Cafe, Victoria Falls.
Our flight on Air Zim to Harare was relatively uneventful, and we landed safely in the country’s capital. Our hotel transfer had not arrived, so after a phone call to the hotel to find out where they were, and being told they would be about 20 minutes, we waited in the airport whilst the boys each downed a cold Zambezi beer (any opportunity!).
Our transfer finally showed up, and about 20 minutes later we were dropped at The Meikles hotel in Harare. After Lindani negotiated a room upgrade and inclusion of breakfast, we dropped our bags in our rooms, freshened up, and then headed to the nearest Chicken Inn to grab some dinner. For those not in the know, Chicken Inn is kind of an institution in Zim! In fact, there are a whole chain of “Inn’s”…Bakers Inn, Creamy Inn, Pizza Inn, and Chicken Inn. They’re all a must try 🙂 Anyway, after gobbling down dinner back at the hotel, the boys headed out for drinks with the groom, his brothers and uncles, and us girls turned in (well I finally squeezed in a yoga session, and promptly dosed off in Savasana before dragging myself off the floor and crawling into bed). It was Christmas morning in Australia so at about midnight I managed to Skype my family to wish them a merry Christmas, and then once Lindani and Jim got back in at around 12:30am, we skyped them again so he could also wish them a merry Christmas before heading back out again.
Christmas morning we breaked-fast with Jim and Erin, before heading back to our room to digest, and then we were off to our friends’ place (Vani and Fungai) for Christmas lunch, with a stop on the way of course to grab some cake and wine so as not to come empty handed to Christmas lunch!
Although it was the first time we weren’t with either of our families for Christmas, we felt so warmly welcomed by Vani, Fungai, their two gorgeous kids, Rowan and Nadia, and Fungai’s parents, that it was the next best thing to being with our families.
Also wishing Fungai’s Dad a belated happy birthday on Christmas Day 🙂
As always with Christmas, we ate ourselves into stupidity, and when it finally came time to leave, we said our goodbyes and practically rolled out the front gate. So it was back to the hotel room to do nothing but get horizontal and let our bodies digest yet again! The Coultons (Jim and Erin) lunched at The Meikles with other friends who had also come over for the wedding, and so after their 5 or 6 course Christmas lunch they too were practically comatose, and no surprises that a very tame night was spent digesting by all!
The next day was finally the wedding that we had ultimately come all the way over for! Once again, we breakfasted with the Coultons, before heading back to our rooms to get snazzied up and wedding ready. Although the invite said 12pm start, at the suggestion of the groom, we headed off to the venue (Wild Geese Lodge) at around 12:15pm. Even then, we probably made our run a bit early with the ceremony only starting at 1:30-2:00pm, but at least an early arrival meant we got good seats! 🙂 Nonetheless, once the ceremony started there was plenty of showmanship particularly from the groom and groomsmen making their way down the aisle.
The ceremony went off without a hitch, and the desired goal was achieved. With no objections, the happy couple, Taf and Tinashe, were finally hitched! (sorry for the poor quality of photos, but I only remembered to take my phone).
One of the bridesmaids
Taf (groom) displaying his showmanship
Tinashe (Bride) and Father of the Bride
Bride and groom
After the ceremony we milled around, catching up with old friends over drinks who had come out to Newcastle for University but are now back in Zim, or Namibia, or Dubai. From there we finally headed into the reception where, as most Africans know, the real wedding begins! We were treated to more showmanship with the bridal party’s steps as they entered the reception, and so signalled the start of the party.
There were a number of VIPs in attendance, including ministers S.K. Moyo, and Sithembiso Nyoni, as well as the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa. But I think the novelty of the night was definitely the table of white people (otherwise referred to in Ndebele as amakiwa), with Lindani being the token black person of course at our table 😉 The MC made sure to pull us up specifically to dance on our own in front of the other guests (and probably much to the amusement of everyone else!). But all in good fun, we danced the night away and it was around 12:30am by the time we left the venue to head back to the hotel…with Jim, Erin, myself and Lindani literally being the last people to leave the reception!
By the time we made sure everything was packed and ready to go for the next day, and we crawled into bed at 2:30am, we knew it was going to be a tough morning the next day getting up at 4:30am for our 7am flight to Bulawayo…yes, crazy!
It ended up being a bit of a rush as Lindani and I had booked our flights on Air Zim, but their computer system had been down for over a week, and therefore we still needed to get to the Air Zim office at the airport to pay for our flights and pick up our tickets. We ended up managing to scramble through check-in, and security in time to board the flight though, and finally we were off to Bulawayo, where the air is so much sweeter 😉
Peace and love xo