On day three of his trip around the world, Matt Lauer welcomed the “Today” show audience live from Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi river in Africa — at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is the single biggest curtain of falling water in the world. It’s twice as wide and twice as deep as Niagara Falls. At this time of year, fifteen million gallons of water rush over the falls every minute, and as Matt told everyone live on the air, it is wet there!
SURROUNDED BY spectacular scenery and the regular appearance of a magnificent rainbow, Matt took some time after the show to answer some of your questions about his trip. Read some of his thoughts below, and don’t forget to send more questions tomorrow morning about Matt’s fourth destination.
Jayson Silver from Delray Beach: Where do you stay in these exotic locations?
Hi Jayson. Well, the truth is we really don’t stay anywhere on these trips because we are constantly moving! There are some opportunities to check into hotels, but usually there is only time for a quick nap, a shower and maybe a bite to eat. The rest of the time, we are in transit to and from airports and planes. In fact, most of my sleeping is done on the plane — I am fortunate that some of the seats on the plane convert in to beds, so we have a mobile hotel! It is a shame that we don’t have more time — there are so many things I would love to see more of. I guess I’ll have to return to them when I have more time.
Lisa Gindy from Fairview, PA: Do you get any time off after your week-long adventure?
Well Lisa, despite the fact that this trip is very exhausting and it would be great to be taking a real vacation next week, I will tell you that you will see me on the air on Monday back in studio 1A. Getting back to New York and appearing on Monday is really the final “leg” of the trip. I think people like to see that I actually made it, and it is fun for me to get together with Katie, Al and Ann and share some highlights from my trip. However, as has been the case in years past, I may try and take a day or so off in the latter part of the week if I really need to catch up on some sleep.
Lauren from Harding: Do you pick out the gifts?
I have to be honest here. Given that I am in locations for such short periods of time, shopping is not always on the list of things to do! I do have a show to get on the air, and lots of preparation that is involved. I can tell you though, that I do put a lot of thought into what to bring back for Katie, Al and Ann. We have producers in each location in advance of my arrival (usually about a week before I get there) and I work with them via phone to pick the perfect gifts. They are able to scope out the shopping scene for me, and help to pick things that are indigenous to the area and interesting for the viewers. So while I do not actually buy the gifts myself, I am very involved in picking out things that I know my co-hosts will like.
Sandi Brooks from Vernon, Connecticut: Do you take a camera with you to take your own pictures on these trips?
There are so many beautiful sights on this trip — you could fill albums with great photos. I do not take a lot of pictures myself, but another member of our travelling party, our unit manager David Naggiar, is equipped with a digital camera to record some of the beautiful sites. In addition, my wife has been taking a lot of pictures, which I know will be very helpful when we are back home telling our family and friends about all of our adventures.
Linda from Knoxville, Tennessee: What is the difference in size between Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls?
Great question Linda. In fact, there is a pretty vast difference between Victoria Falls and our own Niagara Falls back in the U.S. Victoria Falls is twice as high as Niagara Falls, and twice as wide. In fact, a whopping 15 million gallons of water flow through the falls every hour, totalling 22 billion gallons a day! That is a lot of water!
Leesa in Belpre, Ohio — for her son Kyle: How many miles have you travelled?
Hi Kyle! Your mom tells me that you want to do a trip like this someday — that’s great! In the meantime, I suggest you spend lots of time in school studying about history and geography so you can pick some great destinations for your trip. So far on my trip, I have logged a lot of miles. Here is the rundown:
From New York to Hanoi, Vietnam: 9,340 miles
From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City: 700 miles
From Ho Chi Minh City to Hilo, Hawaii: 10,939 miles
From Hilo, Hawaii to Bilbao, Spain: 6,964 miles
From Bilbao, Spain to Victori Falls: 4,009 miles
Grand Total: 31,952 miles
Isn’t that amazing? I never dreamed I could make it that far in such a short period of time! So stay tuned for my next destination, and I’ll be looking for you on your “Where In the World is Kyle?” adventure!