THE PRINCIPALITY OF THE VICTORIA FALLS          - 10/7/2007      <--Prev : Next-->

The Principality of Victoria Falls !!

The quaint little metropolis of Victoria Falls on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river and home of the magnificent Victoria Falls, is indeed not cast in the same mould as the rest of this beleaguered country.

As the Tourist Capital of Zimbabwe, possibly one of the few foreign currency earning areas of the country, one would think that the Victoria Falls Village is a totally separate little principality from the rest of us all.

Many and various beautiful hotels abound, the Tourist Police are very much in evidence, but here they actually protect the tourists instead of harassing the citizens ....

Outside of the Victoria Falls - Operation "Hlupa abantu" (Operation "Bother the People") is the name that the locals call the current Zimbabwe Republic Police campaign, where the ZRP and its assorted cohorts keep a tight reign on the country.

The police force in Zim these days appears to have embraced any War Veteran who has nothing better to do, and also the young Green Bombers, trained to spread unease amongst the populace.

But in the Victoria Falls there is little evidence of intimidation, little evidence of the Climate of Fear which grips the rest of the land. Instead the Tourist Police do everything to keep the Tourists safe, keep the touts from touting and keep an air of benign respectability, normalcy and safety amidst the surrounding chaos.

Foreign Tourists seem to be coming back to Zimbabwe slowly but surely, but only to the Falls. We visited Great Zimbabwe in the same week and were the only FT's at all in evidence at this very special Historic Shrine.

On the veranda of the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, overlooking the spectacular watering hole, where buffalo, elephant and giraffe entertained us with their sunset antics, every language could be heard over the chink of the ice nestling in elegant long glasses containing exotic cocktails... . From Italian, to Spanish, to Russian to Japanese.

Delicious Nouvelle Cuisine was served by excellent staff, the wine list was extensive, and at all the hotels, unlike any other place in Zimbabwe, every single thing was quoted in US dollars !! It is actually illegal to quote in forex anywhere in Zimbabwe apart from the Victoria Falls !!

Busload after busload of khaki clad tourists were seen heading for the various activities, the game drives, the river drives, the famous "Booze Cruises" the bungee jumping, the river rafting, and of course that most spectacular Wonder of the World - the Mighty Victoria Falls - Mosi Oa Tunya - The Smoke That Thunders.... .

The Falls are spectacular at the moment, but then they always are, we have been privileged to view the Falls dozens of times and still stand in awe of this stunning majestic water body.

No need to take your own protection from the drenching rain forest as the stall holders will loan you a perfectly clean and protective sunshine yellow macintosh.

Something special that even seasoned Falls Watchers will appreciate is the Lunar Rainbow that occurs at least twice a month, and conducted tours can be arranged to see this spectacular sight.

Of course the cost of a weekend at one of these salubrious hotels is probably totally out of the reach of the average Zimbabwean, but costwise for a Tourist it was reasonably affordable to be able to see all the magic that the Victoria Falls offers.

We had at one time feared greatly, that we had lost our touristic impetus to the Zambians. But with our views of the Falls being much more spectacular that that of our neighbours, we gladly welcome tourists back to the new Tourist Mecca - the Principality of the Victoria Falls, inside the sad desperate little State that is Zimbabwe.