zambia_vicfalls_pix1.jpg (12291 bytes)

in Mukuni village

zambia_vicfalls_pix2.jpg (10552 bytes)

a long walk in the dry season

zambia_vicfalls_pix3.jpg (13561 bytes)

a rainbow in morning's light

zambia_vicfalls_pix4.jpg (8104 bytes)

Sitting on the edge


VICTORIA FALLS.......... I didn't know what to expect from Patrick, the Zambian woodcarver, who went with me to Livingstone -- at his own invitation.  He'd been nice to me, but he ripped me off when I placed an order for a giraffe.  He was from Mukuni village, outside Livingstone.  We drove directly to Mukuni upon arrival.  Patrick's mother and sister lived in a round hut inside a round thatch fence.   It was like being in a "National Geographic" spread. 

I dropped Patrick off at his brother's and then went looking for a place to stay.  Livingstone was a prime location to catch malaria.  I wanted screens or mosquito netting.  So, I was relieved that I never got an invitation to stay with his family.  Besides, traveling with a car, I needed to find secure parking.

As for Victoria Falls, it was simply astounding.  Traveling all ove the world can leave one jaded -- but this was still stunning.  It was dry season and you could walk way out on top of the falls to get to the water.  Not a good judge of distance, I'd say it was at least half a mile past the sign that said, "Beware of Crocodiles".  (I didn't see any.)  In rainy season it was a totally different experience with an additional half a mile is gushing water into the gorge.   You couldn't see anything because it was like walking in a rain cloud with so much mist.

Now, this was no American tourist destination.  Seated at the edge of the falls, you couldn't see any buildings in any direction.  There were two towns nearby (Livingstone in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe) but the site was pure nature in all its beauty. And, there were no fences keeping me back.   I stood in the falls about twenty feet from the edge.  Then, I sat along the cliff and watched the water throw itself over the edge.  When it hit the bottom, a lot of the water turned into mist that could be seen for miles away from the falls.

There was not a lot between Livingstone and Lusaka.   There were a few towns but it was mostly savannah bush and desolate villages that I couldn't imagine living in.  It looked like there should be giraffe and zebra roaming in the area, but the only game I saw were the monkeys and baboons around Livingstone.

Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.