Victoria Falls – David Livingston’s Smoke that Thunders – remains one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Little has changed about the Falls themselves since my last visit in the 1970’s – apart from becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1989.
Vic Falls town on the other hand has changed drastically. Commercial adventure activities have taken over and you get very little for your precious US$ in what was once little more than a small settlement. A can of Coke Light that would cost R7 in South Africa costs the equivalent of R16 here. In a hotel, the price is triple that and at US$35 per person, the buffet at the hotel where we stayed was beyond my means. Or should I say I couldn’t justify R577.50 for one meal. For one person. Without drinks.
You can’t not visit the Falls, get sopping wet in the Rainforest and take a photo or two as you peer through the mist at the spectacular sight, but it was the ordinary people around the falls who commute across Victoria Falls Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe that made me realise how hard life must be for the locals who live in these parts.
Africa as a continent is full of resilient people who accept their lot with a shrug and get on with it. This post celebrates these ordinary people, rather than the beauty of the Zambezi River from every conceivable angle, dropping to astonishing depths below.