Global Aviator|May 2020
This is Zambia, a country of rugged terrain and diverse wildlife, the famed Victoria Falls, Kariba Dam, Lake Tanganyika, and a four-way border between Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This quadripoint is actually located at the confluence of the Cuando and Zambezi rivers, denying tourists the opportunity to do a quick dance across four countries.
The tourism industry is a major and growing industry in this southern African country which has so much to offer the tourist. Not only does it have many attractions but the Zambian people are friendly and helpful. As in South Africa, many of the inhabitants live in townships similar to our own but what is striking is the cleanliness of the country. Townhouse complexes are extremely popular with freehold homes belonging to those wealthy enough to afford them.
Waterways, wildlife and witchcraft
With the current situation around the world with Covid-19 sweeping through the populations, and bats seemingly a favourite for having been the cause of the pandemic, the idea of being close to millions of bats is a good reason not to visit a destination. However, for those with an interest in wildlife, witnessing Zambia’s spectacular fruit bat migration – which sees 10 million of the creatures descend on the swamp forest of Kasanka National Park between October and December – is something of a red-letter day. When I return to Zambia one day this will definitely be on my list of ‘must-see’.
Zambia has a history of witchcraft and visitors can learn all about the dark arts in both the Lusaka National Museum and the Livingstone Museum, where there are exhibitions dedicated exclusively to the practice. Not everyone’s cup of tea but for anyone with an enquiring mind and fascination with other cultures, the museums are extremely interesting, albeit slightly sinister. Amongst the cursed dolls and fiendish potions in the LNM are other curiosities including a snakeskin belt that, so legend goes, enabled a sorcerer to get away with sleeping with another man’s wife… while he lay asleep next to them.
The largest man-made lake in the world, Kariba came into being when a dam was built across the Zambezi River back in the fifties. Not only does the dam provide hydroelectric power, it has created a thriving ecosystem in the flooded valley, which is now home to healthy populations of hippos, Nile crocodiles and game fish. For many fishermen, fishing the Zambezi River or Kariba for tiger fish is the realisation of a dream.
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