JOHANNESBURG AND VICTORIA FALLS
JOHANNESBURG AND VICTORIA FALLS, SOUTH AFRICA
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” – Aldous Huxley
From Garonga Safari Lodge, Limpopo we boarded a flight to Johannesburg. Known to locals as Jo-burg or Jozi, the city is a sprawling economic powerhouse of modern South Africa.
Our morning was spent at Satyagraha House, home of the future Mahatma Gandhi for two years, (1908-09). Within its walls Mohandas Gandhi created and developed his philosophy of passive resistance that led to India’s independence in 1947. The simply decorated rooms have been maintained the way they were during his time. The space gives a feeling of comfort and austerity the kind that must inspire profundity.
An afternoon visit to the Apartheid Museum left me horrified. I was appalled to see and hear the unimaginable mindlessness, cruelty, oppression, illogical thinking and heartlessness of one group of people against the other. On display were photographs and videos, art works and objects that illustrated the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation. It was a chilling insight into the architecture and implementation of the apartheid system. But dotted with the historical horror were stories, inspiring stories of the struggle and sacrifice of ordinary people towards democracy.
Nelson Mandela Museum, adjacent to the Apartheid Museum, uplifted me with the wisdom of his guiding light.
We also visited Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto Township. The boy who was shot in Soweto Uprising (1976). The students were protesting against new government regulations that wanted Afrikaans, instead of English, as the medium of instruction. This was meant to curb any opportunities that Africans would have if they learn the language.
The term Soweto stands for ‘South West Townships.’ From walled ghetto habitation, the place has evolved into a tourist destination of pride and social prestige for Jozi residents. The county’s two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, grew up and lived here in simple, red brick structures.
VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
From Jo-burg we took a flight to Victoria Falls. Also known as Mosi oa-Tunya(the smoke that thunders), on Zambezi River.
Nothing prepared us for the first sight of majestic Victoria Falls. I had imagined it to be twice the size of Niagara Falls. But discovered it to be the largest curtain of falling water on the planet earth, one and a half times wider and twice as high than Niagara Falls.The Falls hassix gorges, each one uniquely spectacular and stupendous.
As we walked on the lush tropical Rainforest Path that overlooks the length of the falls, we were soaked in water vapors and rain created by the cascading cataracts.
That evening we joined other international tourists on a sunset cruise over Zambezi.