Victoria Falls and a hitchhiking police officer
Ten thousand liters of water are cascading down rapidly and sheer force makes for a giant cloud of mini water drops. It is early morning and Helga and I are visiting Victoria Falls. Wet from the water vapor we walk back to our camping in town.
Small dusty roads lead us around Lake Kariba, a large sweet water lake that originates out of the Zambezi river. The lake used to be full of fish, but nowadays you’re lucky if you even catch anything at all. After the inflation the tourist industry has almost disappeared in Zimbabwe. The people who lived around the lake and who made their money in the tourist industry had no other option than to move away or try to make money locally, through fishing. After the local people and their nets went fishing in the lake, not a lot was left. When we look around us now it is like nothing has changed over the last 25 years. We are offered a chalet for the price of camping and talk to the owner about what this place looked like when you still had to book 6 months in advance to be able to even stay there.
29 Augustus, 2016
Slightly nervous we drive towards the police road block we see in the distance. We have been driving all morning, but we’re not getting very far. It feels like we’re driving over a mini-golf course where we are playing a reverse game of dodging the holes.
It seems like Zimbabwe is not saving money by cutting in the police force. We are currently driving on a road where we can not imagine more than three cars pass a day. When we are stopped the officer pops his head in to have a look. “ Where are you going?” “ Mana Pools sir,” we reply honestly. “ Ok, can I see your car registration papers?”. We give him the folder full of all the documents. When he sees the amount of paperwork he says: “ Never mind, but can my colleague get a ride to the next town?” He points to a tree trunk where an overweight woman in uniform sits in the shade. We look at each other and sigh. “ Of course officer”. Not that we really have a choice in the matter. The female officer is not very talkative and it’s oddly quiet when we drive her to the next town 30 km away.