May 3 2014
The small town on Victoria Falls owes its existence to the megalomaniacal dreams of Cecil Rhodes to build a Cape to Cairo railroad which would never have to leave British controlled territory on its journey through Africa. Rhodes wanted his railroad to impress and amaze. What better way to accomplish this than by having the train pass close enough to the Victoria Falls for passengers to “feel the spray from the Falls”. In 1902, the railway reached the Victoria Falls and construction of a bridge straddling the gorge over the Zambezi river began. The bridge was opened in 1905 as was the grande dame of African hotels, the Victoria Falls Hotel where travelers on Rhodes’ train could stop for a sundowner or a proper high tea.
Unfortunately, Cecil Rhodes died two years before the completion of the bridge as did his dream of a Cape to Cairo railroad. But trains still chug along the railway to this day, crossing Rhodes’ bridge which connects the towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Livingstone in Zambia.
The Victoria Falls Bridge, taken from the Zambian side
The old Victoria Falls train station
The Victoria Falls Hotel
High tea on the verandah of the Victoria Falls Hotel
It’s not all genteel pastimes in Vic Falls though…
Laura and… …Conrad, 120m above the Gorge