Days 229/230… Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th November
A trip to Victoria Falls. Not much water where the rainy season has not yet started. An impressive sight with Zimbabwe falls opposite. Walked over a suspension bridge a took shelter in the shady trees. Very intense heat. Many baboons prowling around. A short drive to the boarder with Botswana. The process was very smooth and all in one building for both sides. Just driving out we got pulled over by a customs officer who wanted to look in the rear canopy. Apparently the 48 cans of beer given to us as a gift from Lonely’s brother in law should have been declared and a fee paid of 500 Pula (£30). Tried to argue this it was a gift for personal consumption was fruitless and we had to got back and fill in a blue form with the customs officer who had signed the car in. The section where it stated the value for the goods was left blank deliberately and explained to officers that we had no idea what the value was when we didn’t purchase it ourselves. Perhaps the customs officer took pity on us but after all that delay, there was no fine to pay and we were on our way. Other vehicles stopped were being searched and emptied of their entire contents. I think we were lucky on this occasion not to loose the beer, pay a fine or have the entire contents of Greta out on the ground for officers to go through. Drove past elephants wandering at the side of the road. Very straight roads in good condition and hardly any traffic. Our campsite for 2 nights was Chobe Forest Camp set behind electric fencing and next to a watering hole. Saw elephant, baboons, impala and warthog. The cicada beetles are ferocious with their noise and plagued us by the campfire until we escaped to the tent for safety. Rob gets to sleep in the annex tent.
I confess that I didn’t think to declare the beers, and they were right to make us do so, but given that there were no signs at customs telling us which items we had to declare I felt that they were being overly harsh to us (and everyone else). Given that the officer outside was very grumpy about the whole matter I did get a bit stroppy… but then there was a South African chap who had been treated far worse by them than I which was oddly reassuring. Making my frustration clear to the lady behind the counter and how I was prepared to ditch it all rather than pay them anything she quickly and kindly let us go without a fee. Happy days