Rich and Cathy Decker almost didn’t make it out of the United States thanks to a Delta Airlines computer crash that grounded 2,000 flights the night before their departure to Africa. Early morning emails by Rachael, our VP of Operations and some re-juggled logistics had the Deckers back on track and seamlessly connecting to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls. According to Rich, “Rachael and Chris were terrific! I was so impressed that Rachael was giving attention to this at 6am. Wildland helped to fix the flight mess and the rest of our vacation was fantastic.”
Rich and Cathy started their time in Victoria Falls with a tour of the falls as well as a visit to a local village. “I found the village visit to be especially educational and moving. We spent an hour and a half with a mother and her three kids seeing where they cook, eat and sleep. I never knew that the kitchen was such a special place; it’s where mothers give birth and if they have the means, it’s where they take members of the family to peacefully die. Some of the children sleep on the bed but the older ones sleep on the dirt floor. It made me reflect on the lives of my own children who grew up with their own rooms and bathrooms. Powerful stuff. She told us that the huts were built round so there were no corners for the snakes to hide in. She was very welcoming and generous showing us her rondavel house.”
The Deckers stayed at Little Makalolo in Hwange National Park and at Ruckomechi in Mana Pools. “The food was fantastic. It seemed like every time we turned around, it was time to eat. Early breakfast, brunch, high tea, dinner; it was all fantastic. Our guide Leo at Little Mak was excellent, and Luke who works at the camp even brought out a guitar to sing Cathy a birthday song.
So many elephants on game drives! A highlight at Ruckomechi was when our guide Engilbert and chef Uncle Bob sang to Cathy for her birthday. It was a night that none of us will forget on the banks of the Zambezi! At night we’d hear all sorts of sounds from the bush. One night a leopard killed a baboon and it made a godawful racket and the next, the staff told us a lion had also killed something. I waited 25 years to take this trip and on a scale of 1-10 this was a 10.”
Your African expert,