By Lebogang Mgiba
After a long seven days of being kept in suspense, we were finally told the destination for our SoulProviders weekend away. We were going to Zimbabwe! Since we only found out on the day of our departure, we didn’t have much time for the news to sink in before jumping on a plane and flying off to what would be the weekend of a lifetime.
Each year, Sarah-Jane ‘SJ’ Boden, our CEO takes us away as part of our long-term incentive program at SoulProviders. SJ believes that we all need to experience the wealth of countries and cultures in Africa, right on our doorstep – and it’s not only a way to encourage people to travel, but her way of saying thank you for all the hard work we do throughout the year and to reward our loyalty.
Anyway, if you think Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga is hot, then you need to visit Zimbabwe. It. Is. HOT! When we arrived at Livingstone Airport (Zambia), the thirst was killing us, but we were all a bit scared to drink the tap water in this new country, since the last thing we needed was to get sick on Day 1.
Our shuttle from the airport took us across to Zimbabwe, with its rich history and culture, and our awesome tour guide, Shadrach, kept us entertained all the way. As he talked us thorough the sights, the word ‘activity’ kept popping up and it started to sound quite funny. Actually, it became the ‘word of the weekend’. It turns out that Zimbabwe is a tourist destination and, in an attempt to earn a living, the tour guides are keen for visitors to participate in all sorts of ‘activities’ with a hard sell from the minute you hit the tarmac. Luckily, we already had an ‘activity’ waiting for us at 16:00 – a sunset cruise.
I’ve never experienced anything as beautiful as that cruise along the Great Zambezi River and it was then that I realised we really do live on an amazing continent, which deserves to be explored. What made the experience even more special for me was that I could share it with the people I love – my colleagues. There’s a time and place for solo travel and this wasn’t one of them.
Back on land, I was blown away by how exquisite The Kingdom Hotel is. It’s actually quite therapeutic, because of the nature, the waterfall and the absolute tranquillity.
And then there was the joyful moment when I received my hotel key and a piece of paper with two magic words written on it saying: ‘free Wi-Fi’. Before we arrived, I was so worried that my selfie stick would have travelled all the way for nothing, and of course, word on the street has it that if it’s not on Instagram, then it didn’t happen!
On Friday, I thought Friday was perfect, but Saturday was out of this world. Victoria Falls was absolutely mind-blowing in every way. Just looking at the waterfall and going past the rain forest makes you start to appreciate nature on a different level. For someone that’s pretty terrified of heights, I think I did well. I took it all in and even had a moment of silence just to absorb everything that was going on. I decided that next on my list of Things to Do will be swimming in Devil’s Pool – a rockpool that hovers at the top of the falls on the Zambian side…NOT!
Besides exploring Vic Falls, we had an amazing bonding session, shared heart-warming stories, great laughs and we ended our night by partying together until dawn. And if you were wondering what exactly went on…as the saying goes: ‘What happens in Zim, stays in Zim’.
I hope I’ve made you jealous enough to experience this wonderful country for yourself. You won’t be sorry.