Our next flight for Vic Falls was the next morning at around 9.30am.
Where am I coming from? Start part one here
Therefore, Harare Airport would be our bed and breakfast, literary.
The arrival section had leather seats sealed covered with clear polythene paper in rows. I quickly spotted a place I would sleep in for the next three hours or so because I was getting cranky because of hunger, fatigue and lack of sleep.
For about two or three hours and I was woken up by a start.
Didnt I switch off the lights? I was confused thinking I was in Nairobi.
It read around 5.30am.
But, the sun outside looked the one you see at noon in Mombasa or Nairobi.
Zimbabwe is an hour behind Kenya, and the idea that I was an hour late was thrilling. But, the sun was too bright. As it rose, my sleep scattered.
We had an hour to go before our flight and we went to the domestic departures section.
After checking in our begs, the airport attendants said we needed to pay taxes.
“Wait, what taxes?”
“You heve to pay theiya $15 taxes to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, then you will show it as you are about to board.”
“What happens if we do not pay?”
The other passengers at the airport stared at me in the just-pay-and-be-done-already look.
About 30 minutes later, we were pacing towards Air Zimbabwe for about an hour flight to Vic Falls.
Touch down: Vic Falls
And the place was/is HOT!
Let me explain.
It was way beyond 37 degrees.
The heat feels like its throwing pins on your skin. Wait, more like a hot iron on your face. The earth beneath was not helping either. My t-shirt at this point was digging dip into my armpits, sticky with sweat.
It is understandable, Zimbabwe is close to the Kalahari Desert.
Vic Falls is a small tourist town with an array curios shops, arts and crafts, galleries and plenty of high end hotels.
We drove in an air conditioned bus and the 10 minutes or so we pull up at the hotel we would be staying for that week.
The lodge was really nice, very clean rooms with an overhead fan.
The staff was also nice and kind. Their breakfast quite heavy in the protein side (bacon and eggs)
But nothing prepared us for the other guests who we would inadvertently share rooms with.
They were fierce, they felt like they they chewed your skin off. Not sucking like their peers back in Mombasa, Kenya.
These ones, particularly loved hovering over my head, ears and dived in, to bite off my legs.
Now imagine the overbearing heat and the army of flesh-eating mosquitoes.
And, no, there was no Air Conditioning, you would not dare open the windows as this would be inviting more of the ‘biters’ neither would you cover yourself with the sheets.
Despite the hotel spraying outside the rooms in the evenings with insecticide it did not seem to help.
The solution at the time was using the mosquito repellent lotion.
In desperation I bought one and smeared it all over myself. Bad mistake. It created a film around my body and made sleeping super uncomfortable.
The mosquitoes still attacked, viciously I think, to send a message that “no weapons formed against them” shall prosper.
That night, my body was a battle field, bored by the tiny insects (I think?) with welts forming all around my skin.
I thought of the two mosquito nets I had left back in Nairobi.
Fimbo ya mbali, haiuwi nyoka (A snake is not killed by a cane that is far away)
Next day, I went to the OK supermarkets and bought a $21 mosquito net.