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Monday, 01 March 2021

Catching Some Z's: Zambia & Zimbabwe - Page 3

Written by Richard Taylor
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The rains have been poor this year,they told me at the hotel. So the water level was not as high. By dry seasons end, the falls would be reduced to a relative trickle, referred to wryly, as The Victoria Cliffs.

I gave my cameras a last wipe and returned to the statue of Dr. Livingstone.

Thats it I guess, is it?I asked one of the security people.

Have you done Boiling Pot, Sir?

The Boiling Pottrail was a flagstone path descending through lush jungle fronds and massive spider webs, terminating by the rocky banks of the Lower Zambezi. Here, the mists couldnt penetrate, no ponchos were required and the only caution signs concerned baboons and why I shouldnt feed them. At the river’s edge was a fine prospect of the Queen Victoria Bridge and the tiny figures of bungee folk leaping off its span.

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Two hour later, Thomas called the hotel for my ride. In the interim, he sold me a necklace and a black rhino carving.

They are made in my village,he said, explicating on the local customs and the lineage of chiefs - the father of one family would be succeeded by the son of a different clan. I assumed there would be an occasional hitch in this affair, clumsy heirs toppling into Mosi Oa Tunya for instance, but I didnt pursue the matter and our talk turned to pap, or tshima as they called it.

Its tshima in the Nyaja language,said Thomas. The Tonga call it sima. There are seventy-two languages in Zambia.

An interpreter’s dream.

Back at the hotel, I laid the cameras out to dry on the dresser and after an hour of screams and flashing lights, they seemed none the worse for it. While they recovered, I chatted with Mapoma, the hotel tour director, about possible excursions to Kafue National Park. I was not optimistic. Except for the Intercape line, public transit was limited and private drivers, however amiable and efficient they might be, had cost me dear.

Why do you want to go to Kafue?asked Mapoma. We have Mosi Oa Tunya National Park right here. We have the white rhinos. We have everything but the cats.

He booked me for a three-hour tour that afternoon.

(Page 3 of 4)
Last modified on Monday, 01 March 2021

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