‘Welcome to Namibia’, said my phone as I entered Zimbabwe

I thought my phone had gone completely mad: within a minute or possibly two I got the following messages: ‘Welcome to Zambia’, ‘Welcome to Angola’, ‘Welcome to Zimbabwe’ and ‘Welcome to Namibia’.

The thing was that I wasn’t in any of these countries – I was in Botswana. In fact I had already been in Botswana for a few days, without any welcoming messages at all from my phone. But now I was in the north, on my way from Chobe National Park near Kasane to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

A look on the map explains the total network provider confusion: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana converge in Kasane, and Angola certainly isn’t far away (but still a bit too far to be welcomed into, in my opinion).

But I was on my way to fulfil a dream. Victoria Falls had been a mythical destination for me since I was a child and now I was on my way there. People talk about bucket lists these days. I don’t like to tick boxes on a list, unless it is a shopping list or similar; I like to have dreams and see some of them come true. What is life without dreams?

And magical it was. And fun, especially the helicopter ride I decided to take.

This was in January, so the water level wasn’t at all at its highest, but oh did I get splashed! Normally I’m terrified of heights, but for some obscure reason here I wasn’t. I stepped out as far as it was allowed to look down at the falling water masses.

On the way back to the lodge in Chobe the same messages were repeated. ‘Welcome to Zambia’, ‘Welcome to Zimbabwe’ (which I had just left), ‘Welcome to Namibia’, ‘Welcome to Angola’. But this time the correct one also appeared: ‘Welcome to Botswana’.

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