Fear of the Falls
Skirting the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and along the Zambezi River, there was a time when locals would not dare venture towards the wonder, having a sacral fear of it for centuries. In David Livingstone’s time, despite traveling through the continent with a large team, only two tribal members dared accompany the explorer. Even Europeans rarely braved the adventure – but this all started to change in 1905 with the construction of a new railway, making travel here easier.
The Honor in a Name
It is interesting to note that Victoria Falls, whom Livingstone named after his then-current queen, Queen Victoria, is one of the few areas in Africa which retained its British name after gaining independence. Livingstone was an ardent abolitionist and strongly believed that the slave trade could be stopped by promoting trade and Christianity in Africa. As he explained, his explorations were fueled solely to get this message across to Westerners. When he died in 1873, loyal attendants transported his body thousands of miles to the coast so he could be returned to England and be buried in Westminster Abbey. Other areas with a Livingstone attribution include Livingstone Island, the city of Livingstone and the city of Blantyre (the name of Livingstone’s birthplace). The names of most other townships and places were restored to their original African roots. A symbol of the great respect towards the explorer.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Victoria Falls each year. No doubt a symbol of their own awe, fascination and respect.
Glimpse this breathtaking natural wonder on itineraries such as Discover Africa, Wildlife and the Falls, Stars of South Africa and Golden Trails of Africa.