WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mosi - O - Tunya- zambezi part ll

                                  Mosi -  O -  Tunya.    ....Smoke that thunders

                       Dr. Livingstone was one of the first white men to see  Mosi - O - Tunya.

 Livingstone came accross the falls with his faithfull bearers in 1855  . He named it Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria.  An article was published in the New York times,  that Stanley wrote re  how Livingstone had expressed what he felt when first seeing the falls.......

...Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in flight. The whole scene was extremely beautiful. The banks, the Islands dotted over the river are adorned with Sylvan vegetation of great variety of colour and form.

I cannot explain it better than these gracious words that Dr. Livingstone wrote.

   Victoria Falls:-    I remember my first time visiting the falls.   I was petrified at the sight of such a wonder before my very eyes . it's just overwhelming and unbelievably magnificent in every way.  A glorious sight to behold.  feeling the wet spray booming up from the depths below and wetting us all, and descending the steps to plateau's below,and the colourful giant rainbows reaching out from one side to the other.
 We visited  the falls a couple of times after our first visit, and it never ceased to take my breath away.   It was  a fascinating trip driving  away  from home for a couple of days.  Always during school holidays. Fun time.
In the 50's , we drove on dirt roads , it was about a 13 hour drive, but always so exciting. We would see Giraffe and Gazelle's and springbok and all kinds of wild animals along the way.(you possibly might think me exagerating , If I wrote.. Lions ,Rhino and Elephant too)   The roads back then were  nothing like it is today with modern highways.  It was true Africa at its best. Often there around some curve would be an elephant in the middle of the dirt track.

 I am sure that many of you out there have possibly  been to Africa and experiened such wonders as I have. with many tales to tell of your own.
I  would like to share a few more of mine with you  in this post , and hope that you enjoy your  journey.
Its around 274 miles to Victoria Falls from Salisbury --(Harare).  We would always drive in the low season, when the river beds were easily passable. Otherwise there was no getting back home if the trip wasn't timed correctly, we could get caught in the fast flowing tides of the Zambezi.     We would always stop in Bulawayo -known as ..The city of Kings.
I loved Bulawayo.. It has a charm about it different than Harare.
We would  stop and stay at Mrs. Brown's B & B..She had about 6 rooms, it was like home from home. Oh gosh, how I remember those wonderful carefree days.    My parents and our friends Mr and Mrs S and their son Graham..would always go along on the trips with us. We would be sitting on Mrs Brown's verandah, Mrs's Brown included, always wearing her her big raffia sun hat.   Other guests would join us  sundowners, myself and graham with lemonade. Everyone  talking and exchanging stories  about what we had seen along the way.     We would often just drove  to Mrs's Browns.. for a weekend, it became a sort of "family thing".  Lots of African stories were told on Mrs's Brown's verandah.

                                        The height of the falls is 355ft   1 drop.. beautiful rainbows are nearly always present.  Glorious array of bright colours above the falls.

  The Zambezi river 3.540 kilometers long  has its source in  Zambia.. Its the 4th largest river in Africa
It is twice the height of  ...Niagra falls.  It flows through 5 countries .. Eastern Angola,Eastern part of Namibia, the northern border of Botswana . Then along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe through to Moçambique, where it empties into the Indian Ocean.
                                    There are many islands along the Zambezi..  I recall visiting one of the islands that the Shona call  "Elephant island"-  The little island was full of Elephants ..we had a local guide who we had to follow..as he would smell the droppings to know how far ahead the Elephant were.
Elephants are vegan.. they only eat plants..  amongst their dung is left a smooth round seed, pretty large. Its from the marula tree..they love it.   Maybe some of you have drank the Amarula liquer!.. in those days it was unheard of. now everyone wants to drink it.
   We used to pick up those seeds ,wash them and make a necklace. I had mine for years. got lost along the way.
                                                  A most magnificent creature to behold..I adore Elephants.
Statue of Dr. Livingstone --David Livingstone died of Malaria, He was praying at his bedside when he died.  He did in the area of Chief Chitambo's village. He left his heart there. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
 During my school days, we were taught of Livingstone and Stanley, Moffat and so many other famous pioneers- the Boer war's  -wonderful classic litreture of the old Colonial era.
                                                  Here the Zambezi at its lowest and you can see the islands
                              Elephants that cross from Island to Island and through the passages to and fro from Moçambique.

Dear Blogging friends.   I could go on and on..  I decide to end here with part ll . As I do not want to bore you all with my African travels.. I hope that you  enjoyed this story about  Mosi - O - Tunya and the Zambezi basin.   Also the wonderful video clip of Mr. White  the fisherman of the Zambezi river.

Happy Monday to you all.


  1. Hello Val:
    How can you possibly think that any of this might bore your readers? Here, you describe it all in such an evocative way that we too are transported back to the dirt roads, the rivers at their lowest for access, Mrs. Brown's verandah and, of course, the sight of the Victoria Falls. And how marvellous for you to have seen these, and to have felt the spray, and to have walked in Livingstone's footsteps not once, but several times. What an experience, Val, what an experience.

    Tomorrow we leave for Venice [how suburban, we hear you say!!] for a few days and so will be absent from our computer.

  2. How generous you both are with your kind comments on this post. I have so many memories and tales to tell. I started writing them down about 12 years ago. They will be there for my children and grandchildren to read, and remember me by.
    I am pleased you both liked it Dear Jane and Lance.
    No.. not at all suberban! Its one of the places in Italy i would love to visit.
    Have a delightful trip. I know that you visit often. Happy days to you both.

  3. Hello Val! Thank you so much for posting this beautiful memory of your time in Africa. I have always longed to see the Victoria Falls. I think the sound must be terrifying and beautiful all at once, just deafening! You're so lucky to have spent time in those places, and I love when you talk about it here. I hope to read more! (I love elephants, too. My mother rode an elephant once and I hope I will do that one day as well.)

    1. Hello Haworth,
      nice to recieve your kind comments. Indeed Victoria Falls are well worth visiting.
      Its fascinating to ride on the back of an elephant.
      Thank you Haworth.
      hope one day you might get to visit these beautiful places.

  4. Hello Val
    You have led a fascinating life, I can imagine you all sitting on the verandha with Mrs Brown wearing her hat in the warm breeze, just magical ( "Out of Africa" is one my all time favourites )
    Thea x

  5. I can only agree with you Thea, that I have led a fascinating life, and hope I can continue for some years to come.
    Apart from not having a coffee plantation, i can relate a lot to that wonderful film.
    thank you for your kind comments..
    val x

  6. Oh my gosh, Val, that is the brightest rainbow that I've seen! It's beautiful above the Falls. They are so magical to me, and truly special. I love elephants too... very mysterious creatures. You are always going to adventurous places, how exciting.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    1. Life is an adventure Sheri,
      Every day is a new day, that holds something different.
      I lived in Africa for many many years. My heart is there.
      The rainbow's of victoria falls are famous..they are beautiful
      thank you for your comments

  7. Wow, Val! Spectacular! Most fascinating to me is Mrs. Brown's veranda. No wonder you had fun - magic times with lemonade and wonderful stories - a feel of being secure and safe. You are not at all boring us (I think I can also write in the name of your other readers)and maybe there is more one day... I can imagine how you lived through those days again when writing and I can see you smiling while striking the keys of your computer and seeing the situations and landscapes in your mind's eye... Happy and valuable moments... Thanks so much! Christa PS. Thanks for your comment and correcting me about the "sea roses" I just learnt that they are called water lilies in English xxxx

    1. Dear Christa,
      you are always so kind with your comments. I truly feel i know you.
      My time in Africa will be with me forever. One never forgets it.
      Yes, I was smiling. As I wrote, so many memories came flooding to my mind. They were happy times.

  8. Dear Val, "I lived in Africa for many years. My heart is there". In two short sentences you have said it all.
    Thank you for sharing this wondrous part of your life with us.

    1. Yes, i have been busy.. will collect more petals tomorrow.
      No problem.. i just posted what you had written.. I can imagine that your heart was there too.
      happy tuesday

  9. Dearest Gina,
    I have been very busy today. first dead heading my roses.. second getting together all my bottles and soaking them to get some of the label's off.. washing them like mad.. in preperation for the beginning of making my pot pouri.. I loved your post of yesterday.
    Wow..Gina. We do have a lot in common. Where did you live may ask..!
    I lived in Johannesburg for a short while and then Durban.. this post is of the time I lived in Rhodesia..now zimbabwe.

    1. Dear Val, I was so taken by your words that I copied them, "I lived in Africa....." I have not lived in Africa, only visited. I am sorry if I confused the issue.
      Hopefully you will post a few pictures when you start building your rose potpourri.

  10. Hi Val,
    Thank you so much in sharing your wonderful memories with us and that video created a wonderful introduction. I hope you can share more of your stories in Africa with us. I'm so glad you have captured it for your children and grandchildren to enjoy. Being interested in my family history I wished more had been handed down through the generations in my family.
    Having never ventured further than Europe the culture and landscape must be so different and it must have been amazing to see those animals in their natural habitat.
    Sarah x

  11. Dear Sarah,
    I am so pleased that you enjoyed my post of some of my memories of Africa.
    I really enjoyed putting it all together. Even reading up things on wikipedia.. it brought back memories of school studies. I am so happy that you liked the video. Try and read up about Mr.White..he has fished at the foot of the falls since a boy.

  12. Dear Val, I love your stories of Africa, and your special photos. Victoria Falls are absolutely beautiful, and twice as high as Niagara! That must be spectacular! Please tell more of Africa - it is fascinating.

  13. Hello Patricia,
    So pleased that you like my posts of my time in Africa. The photos are from wikipedia.. my sister has most of my parents photos..a little difficult to get them all.
    thank you for your kind comments.


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