|Zimbabwe’s Theatre of Dreams|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 10:51|
OLD Trafford, the home of Manchester United, once graced by the great football legends George Best, Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and now the current favourite, Wayne Rooney is globally known as the Theatre of Dreams.
Not taking anything away from Old Trafford for tour and adventure lovers, the Theatre of Dreams is Victoria Falls — the resort town built around the God-given natural wonder, the Victoria Falls Rainforest.
To the Tonga people on the Zimbabwean and Zambian side this one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is referred to as Mosi-Oya-Tunya literally meaning the “Cloud that Thunders”.
While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is claimed to be the largest.
The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm 1708 metres wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the basalt plateau.
The only outlet to the First Gorge is 110 metres wide gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through which the whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges.
At less than full flood, additional islets divide the curtain of water into separate parallel streams.
So around this feature, described as an incomparable and exquisite feature by Reverend Paul Bayethe Damasane in his opening prayer at the signing ceremony of the co-hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly to be convened next year in August on the historic Victoria Falls Bridge in front of the mighty Victoria Falls which was producing its wonderful spray on the delegate, the Theatre of Dreams for the tourism sector was constructed.
European settlement of the Victoria Falls area started around 1900 in response to the desire of Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company for mineral rights and imperial rule north of the Zambezi, and the exploitation of other natural resources such as timber forests north-east of the falls, and ivory and animal skins.
From 1905 the railway offered accessible travel to whites from as far as the Cape in the south and from 1909, as far as the Belgian Congo in the north.
These include safari, backpacking photography, adventure, rafting, bungee jumping, jungle/rainforest, eco-tourism, historical, water sports among others.
Next to the latter on the southern bank is the Zambezi National Park extending 40 kilometres west along the river.
On vegetation, Mopane woodland savannah predominates in the area, with smaller areas of Miombo and Rhodesian teak woodland and scrubland.
In terms of wildlife, the national parks contain abundant wildlife including the elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and a variety of antelope.
The taita, black eagle, peregrine and augur buzzard breed there. Above the falls, herons, fish eagles and numerous kinds of waterfowl are common.
There is so much diverse of what one can do within 150km of the bridge. There are three countries within reach of Victoria Falls, namely Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and there are four major airports, notably Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Kasane and Katima Mulilo international airports.
So this is a Theatre of Dreams.
Celebrities that include the late “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, heads of state and government, preachers like Joyce Meyer and millions of foreign and domestic tourists have been here — they have been to the Theatre of Dreams of adrenalin lovers.
With the UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr Taleb Rifai, endorsing the country as a safe tourism destination open for business and also urging the people from around the world to come to the country to see and feel for themselves the country’s splendour and hospitality — it can only be one’s figment of imagination that the world will again fall for the tricks of America and her allies to refuse to visit a destination rich with theatre, history and adventure that awaits.
“By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination.”