Before delving into the promised bucketful of Tonga names some of which continue to stir controversy in a comical sense, yours truly, who is now a fully-fledged member of Twitterati, came across an interesting debate concerning “ownership” of the mighty Victoria Falls.
BY Burzil Dube
The discussion later degenerated into how the names Victoria Falls and Mo-sia-Tunya came into being as well as how individuals claim to have “discovered” this gigantic spectacle when in actual fact there were locals whose prior existence is irrefutable.
Such an argument has been in existence since time immemorial and more intriguing is the actual location of this seventh wonder of the world. Locals from both Zimbabwe and the Zambian side continue to claim “proprietorship” to the site.
To put it bluntly, this can be described as a tired story that has been subject to debate without any clearcut conclusion while these two neighbouring countries continue to lure thousands of tourists to this magnificent spectacle.
As to who discovered the magnificent feature is neither here nor there but this nature’s spectacle will continue to be a major foreign currency earner to both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
However, what is of interest are some of the daredevil activities which come along with a Victoria Falls excursion such as the adrenalin-pumping bungee-jump, abseiling or whitewater rafting among others.
Yours truly was personally not aware that Victoria Falls has a total of 19 viewing points with 80% of the vantage areas being situated on the Zimbabwean side of the waterfall. Thanks to the information gleaned from the Wild Zambezi website.
Sixteen of the viewpoints are on the Zimbabwean side while the remaining three are best viewed from Livingstone, Zambia.
Wild Zambezi is a travel network whose main focus is wild areas situated along the Zambezi River within Zimbabwe. The organisation provides comprehensive as well as online local information to any individual interested in visiting the Zambezi River.
Some of the areas include Victoria Falls World Heritage Site and Zambezi National Park, Lake Kariba and the Matusadona National Park, the Mana Pools National Park and Middle Zambezi World Heritage Site.
There will be more on Wild Zambezi and other related information as it seeks to play a pivotal role on promotion of the country’s tourism industry in the forthcoming articles.
There is an interesting feature that is popularly known as Devil’s Pool which, however, happens to be on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. This has proved to be a hit among thousands of tourists from various countries including local visitors as well.
Devil’s Pool is situated midway on the Falls and is adjacent to Livingstone Island while accessibility is solely through guided boat tours, which is another thrilling spectacle on its own.
How such a name came into being is yet to be unravelled, but one school of thought is that while across the chasm there is Devil’s Cataract, their meaning could be more or less similar.
Devil’s Cataract, which is believed to be about 70 metres high, was named by the local tribes who used to conduct sacrificial ceremonies and when the missionaries came, they referred to these formalities as “devilish”.
Hence the name was given to this cataract as well as the pool situated on the other side of the chasm.
Those who are of a daredevil characteristic can also take a plunge into the Devil’s Pool as this is the only vantage place where one can swim in the Victoria Falls and there would be a specifically designed safety rope to assist along the way.
According to archeologists, Devil’s Pool has a natural rock ledge literally on the edge of the Falls and this led to the creation of some form of a natural barrier where the water is only a few centimetres deep.
This barrier allows any able- bodied individual to safely plunge into the pool without getting swept over the edge of the Falls. But one can lie on the rock ledge and have a clearer view of the deep Victoria Falls.
However, this is not for the chicken-hearted as this would certainly be an experience of a lifetime.
Such places continue to spur the tourism industry especially once the Covid-19 pandemic is done away with as this disease has proved to be a major impediment to the growth of the hospitality sector.
As for the “bucketful” of local Tonga names as earlier pledged, this has been “parked” for another day as such appellations continue to play a crucial role in the country’s historical tourism.
Till we meet again in the next article.
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