Springboks and Fuzzy Ducks: Snippets from an African Diary

Friday: drove east through Etosha to the other camp at Namutoni, a German fort, spotting another male honey-coloured lion and its kill (a zebra), a two-toned herd of zebra with their stiff upright brush-like manes trotting together shoulder to shoulder (we have now seen so many zebra  we are very nonchalant, barely glancing at them as though they were herds of cows), wildebeest, springbok sheltering from the heat beneath the spreading trees, a falcon, flocks of Egyptian geese, a couple of giraffe heads down and legs splayed around a water-hole and two spotted hyena – it’s like writing a shopping list – but still no elephant! Continue reading Springboks and Fuzzy Ducks: Snippets from an African Diary

‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’

It was the culmination of a three-week overland trip through five countries in southern Africa. The one place I had yearned to visit during the 12 years I lived in neighbouring South Africa and the place that had Dr David Livingstone saying in 1855,

No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight

Of course we now know that the falls were known to the Kololo people living in the area in the 1800’s who described it as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ meaning ‘the Smoke that Thunders

I arrive at the Zimbabwean side of the falls, which appears to have been untouched for the last 25 years. There is no commercialism here. Apart from a distant hum and some fine wisps of mist drifting upwards you would never know that you were so close to one of the Wonders of the World. There is a wooden kiosk where I buy my entrance ticket and nothing else, no map, no information guide and no refreshments other than a local hawker selling the usual selection of cans of cold drinks opposite the park’s entrance. A relentless sun burns down.

Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls

As I battle my way through the untamed foliage the noise is both exhilarating and deafening; any conversation is impossible. Suddenly the falls come into view. Such a spectacular sight it literally takes my breath away. I get wet, I get dry and I get wet again. I stand as close to the edge as I dare, overlooking the mighty curtain of water from the Zambezi River cascading over the basalt rock cliffs, the columns of ‘smoke’ rising, and a myriad of rainbows forming. Such power. Nature at her most magnificent.

My heart lifts. I have a broad grin on my face. This is why I travel. ‘Hakuna Matata’ my friends. All is well.