From 1953 to 1963, Zimbabwe and Zambia, along with Malawi, were part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Initially the two countries had good relations after gaining independence. However relations have recently become strained. The Zambezi river is the fourth largest in Africa, The 1600 mile long river rises at about 5000ft in Zambia. After flowing through Angola, Namibia and Botswana, it arrives back along the Zambian and Zimbabwean border. Eventually it arrives in Mozambique and empties out by way of a delta into the Indian Ocean.
The first European to come across the Zambezi was Vasco de Gama in January 1498. He anchored at the northern end of the delta. The first exploration of the upper Zambezi was undertaken by David Livingstone between 1851 and 1853 on his exploration from Bechuanaland, now known as Botswana. Three years later he journeyed the Zambezi to its mouth. During this trip he discovered the Victoria Falls. The population of the Zambezi river valley is over 30 million and most of the people are dependent on agriculture.
This travel documentary film entitled The Zambezi River – Water for Wildlife concentrates on the wildlife to be seen on both sides of the Zambezi.
Hwange National Park, the largest national reserve in Zimbabwe has no major rivers flowing through to provide water for the 50000 elephants and other wildlife. Since Hwange is situated in a Kalahari Sand area and does not have high rainfall, it relies on water from boreholes which is mechanically pumped up to waterholes. The Park was founded in 1928 with the first warden being Ted Davison, after whose name a lodge was named. We stay at the Davison camp. By contrast there is no shortage in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. It lies on the northern bank of the Zambezi. We stay at Chiawa Camp. But first we visit the magnificent Victoria Falls and watch the river water cascade down in to the gorge from both sides. We hope you enjoy this film and appreciate how dependent all wildlife is on the availability of water, whether it is delivered by rivers like the Zambezi or flood plains, lagoons or man-made waterholes.
Running time: approx. 47 mins.
Tags: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zambezi river, Hwange National Park, Davison camp, Chiawa Camp, Victoria Falls