Author: Yellow Duckie
If you are heading to view Vic Falls thinking that it's only the falls that's attractive, you are definitely in for a surprise at the amount of activities they offered to keep you busy! Google and you will find tonne loads of company offering a wide list of activities while you are there...for all "Heart Rate".

There are quite a number of adventurous activities and one must take pre-caution. I did have a list of activities which I have selected to fill our time however, we did all except one, the micro light flight....

I am going to highlight one of the activities we attempted and literally expose our life into the risk of being swept by the current of the falls down into the ravine. Just case you are wondering, no, it's not the microlight flight, it was something more subtle which we did not realize the risked involved until we were there.... it was the Livingstone Island Tour.

The tour is only operated by one company and you better make sure it's them that is taking you them if you opt to swim at the Devil's Pool. One way to tell that it is the right operator is that the tour usually starts off at the Royal Livingstone Hotel ( a 5-star luxury hotel that is quite worth a visit). The tour runs at a scheduled hours and limited amount of people are allowed at one time and tour usually includes breakfast or tea depending on the time you select. Mind you, this tour is only available during summer where the water level is low.

I have seen loads of picture about the Devil's pool and the idea of swimming at the edge of the pool sounds appealing hence I have decided to pick this activity for our little adventure by the falls. Little did I know the danger involved in it. The tour started of with a boat ride to the Livisingstone island, the place where Dr livingstone first set eyes on the fall. Upon arriving the island, you will be led through a path way of white sand surrounded by tall bush grass. Slowly the luxury tents erected for the scrumptious breakfast is revealed, I must admit that it was quite a nice surprise. I thought we were to have a picnic breakfast by the river bank on the ground.

Toilet by the bush with a full view of the Zambezi River - Livingstone Island

The tour itself very interesting, you will be brought close to the edge of the falls and a brief history of Dr Livingstone was told. So far, the trip is still pleasant. Then the exciting part came, for thos we opt to get a dip at the Devil's pool, we will be swimming across the current across to the other side. Yes, swimming the current. Although the water seems to be calm but trust me when you are in it, it's a whole lot of different story all together.
View by the edge of the falls at Livingstone Island

The guide that led us to the devil's pool was professional however, somehow we swam of the course (obviously when you are less than 100 m from the edge of the falls, you tend to swim upstream) and end up in the part where it is deep and not having anything to hold on to. With the gentle current swimming up towards the edge, we got panic. The guide managed to pull together but by that time all the energy was drained from me that I find it difficult to even hold on to the rocks properly. In case you do get wash of by the current just remember they have a rope that you could grab hold of before you get to the edge but in the state of panic, I am not too sure if you could actually reach that "safety" rope.

I was in such a state of shock that when we eventually got to the devil's pool, i gave that a miss and the thought of swimming back to the shore was horrifying. It was such a pity that we did not enjoy the scrumptious 5-star breakfast when we finally made it to the river bank and was in the state of shock for 2 hours! Just glad to be alive!

That's why we decided to cancel the microlight flight and stick to the boring sunset River Cruise along the Zambezi River which by the way includes dinner and free alcohol on board!

This is not to discourage you but just a word of advise on what adventurous activities you decided to embrace.
Author: Yellow Duckie
On our first day in Livingstone, we decided to go over to the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls. Under the scorching heat of the midday sun, we were crazy enough to consider walking across from Zambia to Zimbabwe.

We took a cab from our guest house which is around 7K from the falls to the Zambian border post and it cost us about 50K Zambian Kwacha which is equivalent to around 10 USD.
Zambian Border Post - Exiting Zambia heading towards Zimbabwe

From the Zambia's border post, we took a stroll along what was known as the "No man's land" as we literally left Zambia and it is still quite a distant to the Zimbabwean Border Post. I must admit that although the heat was unbearable, the walk was rewarding. Actually you don't have much of a choice as I don't see any cab around the border post that would take you across to Zimbabwe.

A gentle reminder, if you are returning to Zambia for the night, do ensure you have a double entry visa for your re-entry, that is if you are required to have a visa for entering into Zambia.
View of the Zambian Side of the fall by the bridge

The journey begins... on your left, there is a dock where many daredevils took the plunge from the bridge into the ravine hanging by the rope wrapped around their feet...bungee jump.

As we approach the Zimbabwe side, you can find vendor selling soda and water. Taking picture is is to be done with caution, as of in many African countries. I took a shot of a duka (small shop) with the huge tree next to it and out of a sudden i hear a loud voice calling out to me asking me what I am doing and that I should obviously pay. They were rough... and having been in Africa long enough, i was not threaten by his rowdiness and simply shake it off by saying "Is this how you treat your visitor?" . He mellowed down and eventually walk off, to my relieve that worked.

Upon arriving at the Zimbabwean side, we had to go through the border post (which looks like a run down version of Zambia's) before arriving at the Victoria Falls Park Entrance.

A note to those we need to acquire a visa into Zimbabwe, they charge 100 USD per entry at the border post, hence if you can, try to get the Zimbabwean Embassy in your country instead of at the border post.

If you are too tired to walk back to the Zambia's side, there are alot of cabs available after you exit the Zimbabwean Border Post. Most of them are willing to take you back to the Zambian Border Post at 5 USD (2,500 Kwacha).
Author: Yellow Duckie
For years i have been in Kenya, I never took the effort to visit the famous Coast of Kenya. I have briefly visited the North Coast of Mombasa however it did not really impressed me. I supposed coming from Asian where white sandy beach is abundant, taking a relaxing weekend by the beach was not top of my list of things to do in Africa.

Little did I know that a visit to the South Coast of Mombasa, specifically Diani, could be one of the most relaxing trip I've ever taken. Literally, forgetting all your worries behind with your favourite book in one hand and a pina colada in the other. And the scenery....absolutely gorgeous!

Camel the heard me...camel ride by the beach.....

As recommended, we tried the Baobab Resort, an all inclusive package where all three meals are provided and unlimited flow of beverages and alcohol available throughout the day. Perfect, absolutely perhaps.

There are three hotels in this compound and you have the choice of three hotel's amenities to choose from. What more can you ask for?

However, there is only one annoying custom about this hotel is that for gentlemen, you are NOT allowed to wear shorts for dinner. I mean like who would bring a pair of long pants to a tropical beach vacation where it is more than 30 degree Celsius outside! They are pretty strict about it, so guys, just bring one to so that you can dine in peace.

Souvenir Market

All I could say is that I am glad I did make an effort drop by this place while I am still staying in the continent. It is an absolutely must!
Author: Yellow Duckie
Although Turkey was not our first choice for this year's Easter Holiday break, I am glad we did end up in this mystical and beautiful country. Istanbul has always been to me, at least in my perception, a country packed with culture, intricate designs and mystical religious buildings. I must say, it is very much like that…

With only four days, I have to admit that the jam packed schedule did allow us to see quite a fair bit of Turkey and have a good dip of culture and cuisine. Upon arrival, we took possibly the cheapest mode of transportation from the Airport to Taksim: Tram. Although it is not exactly the most convenient (as you need to change line a couple of times) but it is the best introductory tour of the city. It leads you from the suburban right into the heart of the city passing by the Grand bazaar, the Hagia Sofia Mosque, the Sikerci station, etc.

Getting around in Turkey:

I was mesmerized by the beauty of Istanbul. Hilly landscape spread across the water all filled with intricately designed mosques and residential building. I felt I have landed in the novel I was reading which the story was based on life in Istanbul. I love the feel of the old ancient city

Of course, I did what all other tourist that flocked Istanbul do, visit all the MUST See places such as the Hagia Sophia (church converted to mosque), Blue mosque, the Grand Bazaar, etc. I’d like to highlight those that caught my interest (apart from those famous landmark):

1) Gloria Jeans’s house coffee – Hard to believe but the house coffee at Gloria Jean’s was something out of the world! It seems to be infused with fruit…somehow I couldn’t quite put my finger on what has been added! You can find Gloria Jean’s at the airport.

2) The Fish Burger (Balik Ekmek) – You can find them easily at the Eminonu. The fancy boat where you see them docked by the waterfront is where you can get these delicious fish on bread. Cheapest meal! Cost only 4 TL.

Balik Ekmek - with lemon sauce

3) Stroll along the busy Egyptian Market - Market place has always been a fascination to me. It is at the marketplace where you get to see the life of the local. However, I must admit that this is pretty much "commercialized" for tourist. Don't miss the Grand bazaar which is equally nice except that there were more souvenirs than food.

The copper Turkish coffee pot

Cheese sold at the Egyption Market

4) The intricate designs of the building and even the souvenirs - I must admit that the motives, pattterns and brilliant colour used was intriguing and captivating.

Sikerci Station

5) Gozleme - Turkish pancake which is really thin and stuffed with toppings of your choice. I love the one with Potatoes!

Author: Yellow Duckie
As a resident of the East Africa Community, I suppose one could not miss the famous island that draws millions of beach lover to its shore each year. Afraid that it was over rated, I did not put too much hope about what I am going to experience. After all, I came from Asia, the tropical island where they boast of clear blue water and colourful coral beds.

Upon arrival at Zanzibar town, I was greeted by a familiar warmth and humidity. Without having to waste much time (since I am here only for a night), I headed straight to Nungwi, apparently the best coast in Zanzibar. It's about 70 mins drive from the Airport.

As we draw close to the coast, the weird thing is that you will not see it because you will have to go through a dense "forest" of settlement (village). One would not think that there is a nice emerald water sea beyond the villages. Finally, we arrived at our hotel and I am not too sure if this is the paradise I imagined.

Respecting the local culture...

The coast line is packed "shoulder to shoulder", one resort after another as far as your eyes could see. However, I was mesmerized by the turqoise water and white sandy beach (which is only less than 500m from the shore). The rich turqoise colour of the sea is "ever green" even at night when under the presence of light, you can see the turqoise colour. I find it quite amazing. I guess they don't call this East Africa best beach for no reason.

Since I only had a day, snorkelling was the only activities I had in mind and it was a major disappointment. It was near Kent Mar and it has absolutely nothing but dead coral bed and some colourful fishes to lighten the gloomy atmosphere. Spent rest of the day relaxing, strolling along the beach front looking at some paintings and curio for sale and deciding which restaurant for dinner.

Local Fisherman coming on shore with the catch of the day

Your choices...

Dinner.... I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT eat at the BLUE SEA...bad food....

The next day, I headed of to Zanzibar stone town to stroll down history lane. Go through the tiny lanes as it reveals its mysterious self to you. You will find the famous Lamu wooden craved doors, tiny curio shops and the historical landmark.

Local girl sitting by the doorstep

Enjoying Octopus stew by the road side...