Most people who visit southern Zambia come to see UNESCO World Heritage Site Victoria Falls. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, David Livingstone stumbled on the falls in 1855 as he spent four years traveling down the mighty Zambezi River and became the first white man to see the spectacular sight. Located about 5 miles from the town of Livingstone, Victoria Falls from the Zambia side is an awe-inspiring sight and this time of the year with the water on the Zambezi approaching record levels due to massive rain in Angola the volume of water falling makes getting to the falls like battling a gale force wind on the deck of an ocean sailing ship.
With all the rain and water I’ve been monitoring the weather north where I’ll head after Zambia. The situation for many locals looks grim. More than 50,000 have been evacuated from Mozambique. South of here and southeastern Malawi have seen record flooding with roads and bridges washing away. Roads construction or repair projects have been set back dramatically. And transport of food and essential goods to many areas has been difficult if not impossible.
Even worse, the political situation in Kenya is escalating to near civil war proportions with gruesome violence and massive riots making me question traveling into Nairobi in the near future. I’ve been repeatedly warned not to travel through the Congo and the portion of Tanzania below Lake Victoria, home to thousands of refugees from the Congo is reportedly a very dangerous place to travel and traffic through the area requires an armed guards and a convoy — all at a cost.
So as I walked across the footbridge above the falls and got soaked by the brute force and enormous volume of water falling I wondered how wet Africa would be as I continued travel. Hiking along the upper banks of the river in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park I was suprised to see the lack of guard rails just above the top of the falls. Later walking along the trail that follows Palm Grove Gorge I waited but failed to see adventure seekers jumping off a perfectly good bridge with a rubber band wrapped around their ankles. At Jolly Boys, Daniel a 25-year old German who had been working in a medical clinic in Uganda the last four months took the jump a few days before. He said his eyes were a bit sore after the jolt. And Lorenzo, the tatooed Italian on a four-month kayak tour filled me in about another adventure motorcycle rider from Italy, Marco de Ambrogi, whose book he just started reading the day before I arrived. Eager to connect me with a like-minded adventurer from his own country, Lorenzo jotted out an email of introduction hoping that maybe one day I’d have a chance to swap stories with Marco.
An old CB750 is the police bike used by a few officers in Livingstone.
With grey skies and threatening rain Ronnie took off for Malawi this morning. My DHL package should arrive tomorrow and I’ll get out early the following morning.