Mosi-Oa-Tunya: The smoke that thunders

Words cannot capture the awe inspiring grandeur of the Victoria Falls. The ever present roar of the thundering waters, mist hanging over gorges rising off an arid landscape carved by the Zambezi river snatch breath, soul and mind away.

Walking along the Zimbabwe side of the falls, the river fell over us in soft rain and made walking treacherous on the slippery stone path. A month or so after the rainy season, the main falls cascade down in unabated splendor. In a month or so a large part of the falls will dry up, so great timing on our part!

Discovered by Dr. Livingstone in 1850 and named in patriotic fervor after the great white queen Victoria, current nationalistic fervor to rename the falls by the Zimbabweans gives way to the lure of desperately needed tourism dollars: what if the tourists don’t come if the familiar name of this wondrous sight does not exist and evoke tourism fervor. In other words don’t mess with a good thing.

Lunch at the Lookout cafe overlooking the Batoka Gorge was spectacular. Great food and an even better view. Zip lining and bungee jumping off the legendary Cecil Rhodes bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia over the Zambezi river were pleasant backdrops to the water gushing below.

Memories of Chobe keep surfacing. A rare sighting of the African wild dog (an endangered species) killing an antelope, chased away by vultures, in turn chased away by jackals.

Edwin a beautiful two year old I met at a Namibian immigration post on Impalila island and tribal dancing in a tiny Namibian village where I encountered the sausage tree and it’s fruit for the first time.

Oh Africa!!

But the last memory as sleep claims me is of Mosi- oa- tunya, the smoke that thunders in my dreams.

Adios amigos till next time!

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