Attacked by a Baboon at Victoria Falls

Wednesday, December 28, 2011  at 6:58 AM
baboon victoria falls Zambia Africa
 A curious baboon watching us from the forest undergrowth.

Most wild animals in Africa are, well, wild.  They are naturally wary of humans and avoid contact, if possible.  The baboons around Victoria Falls in Zambia, however, have had one too many snacks from tourists (whether willing or unwilling) and no longer hold any fear of humans.  As Chris and I entered the National Park to see Victoria Falls, we did not realize this fact.  This led to a large baboon slowly meandering towards me as we confidently strode down the trail.

 baboon victoria falls Zambia Africa
He looks so innocuous, sitting quietly on the side of the trail!  
 
My uncertainty about the situation quickly rose, then panic struck as the baboon lunged towards me, grabbing at my purse, where he (rightly) assumed the treats were kept.  Off-balance, I toppled over and ducked out of my cross-body purse.  The baboon took off into the brush with Chris hot on his heels--besides our food, the purse also contained our passports, Kindle, art supplies and journals!  Chris was able to wrestle the purse away from the surprised baboon (apparently most tourists do not barrel after them into the underbrush) and rescue all of our possessions except the food, which the baboon successfully made off with.  A loaf of bread in exchange for our valuables?  I'll take it.

victoria falls Zambia Africa
I love the rainbow that the water spray formed where the water hit the rocks!

The rest of our visit to Victoria Falls was much more peaceful and we enjoyed several hours of watching the falls.  We visited during the dry season, so the water flow was at a low, but it was still very impressive to see!

victoria falls Zambia Africa
The falls lie right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe--we didn't cross to the Zimbabwe side because we didn't want to deal with another visa (plus we had only bought a single-entry visa to Zambia) but you can see Zimbabwe land behind us, across the ravine!

victoria falls Zambia Africa
After looking at the falls from the viewing locations, we found our way to the top of the falls.  Walking across the falls and playing in the river before the waterfall seemed to be popular with the locals but not with the tourists 

victoria falls Zambia Africa
Chris was braver than me and got right up to the edge of the falls!
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