Saturday, 14 September 2013

Travel Blog Post and videos - - Zambesi River and Victoria Falls -- Anne Moyes

Welcome again to Anne Moyes with her latest African Episode - The Zambesi River and Victoria Falls


THE ZAMBEZI
The Zambezi is only half as long as the Nile, but it’s just as important in Colonial history because of its association with Livingstone and Stanley.  I’ve visited three different areas of the Zambesi valley, and can see why this river captivates all who are lucky enough to experience her magic. 

Victoria Falls - Image courtesy of Wallrife
Victoria Falls is locally named Mosi Oa Tunya, which means The Smoke That Thunders. It marks the arrival of the Zambezi into Zimbabwe, and the next 800 miles of it course form the border with Zambia.  When Henry Morton Stanley saw the Falls, he told his editor at the New York Herald, Have seen Victoria. Sell Niagara.  Some years earlier, Dr David Livingstone was the first European to set eyes on this wonder of the natural world, about which he wrote in March 1856, Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.

Helen, my sister-in-law Gail and I flew there for a long weekend. Harare’s domestic airport offers fewer services than Lincoln bus station, so we breakfasted on beer and crisps before boarding a small aircraft for the short flight, during which we were served more beer and yet more crisps.  Although we went in Winter, it was warm, the mosquitoes were busy every evening, and the town’s colonial origins were very much in evidence in the shape of elegantly styled hotels from which the Falls spray and roar can be experienced whilst
African Elephants - Image courtesy of Africa
enjoying afternoon tea in the garden.  Cucumber sandwiches, scones and of course, Victoria sponge cake were the order of the day.  In front of the Victoria Falls Hotel, the brown and gold liveried Pullman train was busy steaming up in preparation for its journey over the Falls railway bridge into neighbouring Zambia.  It seemed like the dawn of the twentieth century; only our digital cameras and Nike trainers signified the twenty-first.

We did all the proper touristy things, of course. A sunset cruise made for close-up sightings of elephants foraging for supper and crocodiles basking on the sandbanks. Our walk through the National Park was exhilarating: yes the spray does create rainbows, it does soak your clothes, and gazing down into that wall of water does make you feel dizzier than a heavy duty ride at a theme park.  A bucket list essential.  The following day, I walked across the bridge into Zambia, wondering how fearless the men were who had constructed this engineering masterpiece, and how mad the tourists of today are who bungee jump off the bridge down into the gorge.
 
Lake Kariba - Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The Lake Kariba weekend was a more amateur affair. After a week at the chalkface (literally – the blackboard still rules in the African classroom), Helen and I set off in an ancient Peugeot 305 to drive 200 km to stay in a lodge on the lake shore.  We were told that Master, the ‘houseboy’ would have the lodge ready and would cook for us, as well as doing all the domestic work.  What we weren’t told was that it would be dark by the time we arrived and that the last 5 km were dirt tracks through the bush.  Somehow, the Peugeot made it, we were greeted warmly and fed generously before tumbling into our mosquito netted boudoirs.  Saturday morning was a revelation.  Breakfast on the balcony overlooking the lake.  A manicured garden with a great brown dump of fresh elephant dung in the middle of the lawn.  A pod of hippos harrumphing with agitation as the serrated silhouette of a crocodile sawed through the glinting water.  White fish eagles circling purposefully above the aquatic activity. 
The drive to the Dam revealed to us the full wildness of our route the previous evening.  Helen was relieved that I didn’t wind down the window when we noticed a group of vultures gorging themselves.  She pointed out that whatever they were eating had been killed, and whatever had done the killing was as like as not still in the vicinity.  Helen was, however, much more agitated when we encountered a herd of buffalo.  Now, I only think of these creatures as suppliers of mozzarella cheese.  She assured me that African buffalo did no such thing, could not be domesticated, and if they took exception to your vehicle could do it and its occupants a great deal of damage.  We drove on warily.

Nyami-Nyami - Image couresty of ShonaandChrisOates.blogspot.co.uk
Kariba town, like Victoria Falls town had all the appearance of a place formerly important, but now in a state of decline.  The shops and restaurants had lost any inclination to welcome customers.  Our precarious clamber up to the dam wall was rewarded with a spectacular view across the Zambesi, its millions of gallons of water walled back into the lake – a feat of human control over Nature.  A statue of Nyaminyami, the river god who legend says will one day restore the Zambesi to its former course, stands guard on the first stone of the dam wall. 



My third Zambesi  expedition was even wilder.  Rifa is a wildlife study centre of Zimbabwean school children.


For a great blog post on this area, visit - http://shonaandchrisoates.blogspot.co.uk/2012_12_01_archive.html


Book recommendations - 


Title - Gazed on By Angels in Flight
Author - Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger
Genre - African Chick Lit
Amazon UK - Click here
Amazon US - Click here

SynopsisAfter years of exploration in rainy; mosquito-infested woodlands in Zambia; Scottish explorer Dr/ David Livingstone gazed on the mighty Victoria Falls and its astounding beauty for the first time. In awe; he reckoned such an amazing natural wonder must have been gazed upon by angels in flight. More than 150 years later; two vivacious and gorgeous models; Sofia and Coco; and a broadcast journalist; Jody; are drawn; as if by fate; to the magical falls where life will test them as the worlds famous Miss Victoria Falls pageant is underway. At the falls; David Livingstone discovered a magnificent scenic bliss. But can the breathtaking beauty of the falls conquer the challenges these three women encounter- Cocoa; with her mixed heritage; Sofia; with a secret that stole her innocence; and Jody; with her new love interest? Will the women emerge from this event with a more constructive outlook on life; or will they fold under their individual crises? Thrust in a paradise with wildlife and exotic plants; twenty Zambian models compete for the unusual crown during a two-week assignment in the beauty of the tourism hub-Livingstone.




Title - Victoria Falls The complete destination guide
Author - Jeremy A Waldron
Genre - Non Fiction/guide book

SynopsisIf you're planning on visiting Victoria Falls (ZAMBIA and/or ZIMBABWE), this guide is essential for determining where to stay, what to do, and how much it will cost. From budget traveler to luxurious romantic get-a-ways this guide covers it all!

There are few places on earth that match the spectacular splendor of Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls, commonly known as Vic Falls, is perhaps one of the most famous destinations in southern Africa. With its central location to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, it's no wonder why so many visitors to southern Africa include Victoria Falls into their itinerary. 

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is truly inspirational. Whether you visit during the rainy season - when the falls form the largest curtain of water anywhere in the world - or during the dry season, you will not be disappointed. 

With lush rainforests, a plethora of wildlife, and a handful of spectacular activities in which to partake, Victoria Falls is a definite, must visit, place of interest. 

Travelers to Victoria Falls want to be placed in accommodation nearest to the falls and have great views of its plunging waters. But which side is better for this, Zambia or Zimbabwe?

In this guide, Wild Safari Africa's Managing Director lists the vital points in great detail of what to see, how to do it, what it will cost and how to save money.

*Interactive maps to get your bearings straight


SOME GREAT YOUTUBE VIDEOS TO TEMPT YOU TO THIS WONDERFUL AREA


Thanks again Anne for your great contribution. It certainly looks like a beautiful area to visit.