Thursday, March 22, 2012

Luxury, Food and the Zambezi, Pt. 4

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Sorry for the late and infrequent posting, it’s been manic at Danie Nel Photography… but I’m not complaining. Watch this space for some really cool updates.

So, it’s not exactly the picture you have in mind when you think of the “Place of Thunder and Mist”, but bear in mind, this was the dry season and this is what the Victoria Falls look like then. Which is also good, because during flood you only see mist, get drenched and hear a thunderous roar of water, and see nothing. Anyways, that’s where we went. Victoria Falls, Zambia side.

I always wanted to see the Vic Falls and I was quite chuffed that we got to do it, and I got to do it while working!

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My wife has a natural affinity for baboons, and probably explains why she married me, but here they are especially tame, and a lot less aggressive than their Cape Tonian counterparts, especially around Cape Point.

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David Livingstone still hangs around the Falls, even if it is only in his bronze guise. Amazing explorer that man. The Livingstone Hotel sits on the banks of the Zambezi at the town of Livingstone, Zimbabwe side.

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At this point it might be worth mentioning that we chose the hottest day of our trip to go hiking around Victoria Falls, and by my guestimate it was about 38 deg at this point. Nice and balmy.

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At the first lookout it was time to get some money-shots, social media shots and general publicity shots that would be used to justify why everyone was there. Or at least try to.; For that you use a TV personality, in this cased Liezel van der Westhuizen, to be in all your shots, and so to secure placement in the press.

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Liezel, Siba, Jenny, Alan and the celebrity man, Clayton Morar. The sun was harsher than a SUV-headlight, and around noon to boot, but well, that’s what you get in Africa.

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Juan-Pierre and Alan took the time to bump up their Facebook albums with some friendly shots of them and Liezel. You want to know how to get 350 comments on one of your pics? This is how.

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Victoria Falls is certainly a rugged place, and one can’t help but imagine the trials and tribulations David Livingstone had to endure to discover the things he did in Africa. It did ultimately cost him his life.

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The commercialisation of natural wonders is everywhere, and I’ve learned to understand and not despise it.

After a rather warm couple of hours looking around Victoria Falls, we were taken to Livingstone town and Jenny was allowed to do some food shopping for the evening meal, first in the Shoprite, then at the local market.

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Calling the market a fresh food market, is probably leaning towards the optimistic, but that there were amazing displays of food in various stages of preparation, ripeness and freshness. The moment I took out my camera however, it became obvious that it would be very expensive to pay one person for having their pic taken. The pictures of the fish cost me R50 eventually, as the slightly aggressive nature of the vendor suggested that my mere presence in her stall was a b;ig ask already, and taking pictures of her somewhat scary produce, would be too much too ask for. So I paid her, after some deliberation on my part, but I reckoned I really need a pic of that fish for stock for Jenny’s upcoming travel book, so I obliged. And a family in Livingstone ate better that night, so no harm no foul.

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After our stint at the African market, Jenny heard about a vegetable farm nearby, and our guides agreed to take us there so she could stock up on some fresh herbs and produce for the evening meal.

What waited on us there was quite spectacular, agriculturally and culinary speaking, that is. Jenny, Carmen Niehaus, Marga and the rest also, really, ooh’d and aah’d at the splendour of the fresh herbs and leafy vegetables being grown there.

 

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Jenny and Marga, her sous chef and personal assistant.

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Carmen Niehaus was also having a fabulous time looking at all the glorious vegetables.

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Another Zambian chap wearing some South African paraphernalia. We certainly don’t mind. We’re all part of SADEC anyways and what’s good for them is good for us, mostly.

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Nothing says Africa quite like a boabab.

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The foodies having a collective sigh at the beauty of all the veggies here. Afterwards we were quickly taken to a chicken farm where we all had to wash our hands and feet in bleach, as a preventative measure to some biohazard or diseases found around chickens. At the gate to this establishment Jenny got friendly with the local kids and ended up dishing out sweets like a first rate trick-or-treater.

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After doing what we needed to do in this very bio-secure area, we headed back to Royal Chundu, and you’ll need to read about the rest of the day, next time. We cook with Jenny, go river rafting and have a fab time. Watch this space for part 5.