By : VF 24 Reporter
30 January 2013
There may be few things as spectacular to do with one’s evening in Victoria Falls than visiting the 100 year old bridge at sunset.
The construction of this bridge was commandeered by Cecil Rhodes, his dream was to see a rail line that would link the Fair Cape of Good Hope, the continents Southern most point, with the Northern most reaches of Africa namely Cairo, Egypt. Instead of viewing the Zambezi as an obstacle Rhodes saw the opportunity to show the passengers travelling the route the literal wonders of the continent’s interior. This included the fact that the very carriages of the Steam train would travel through the mists created by the Victoria Falls and therefore offer the travelers a close view of the Falls through their carriage windows.
Today this bridge remains strong and firm, a stark reminder of the great engineering of old. The charming design including a single arch with many angled struts makes for an interesting back drop to the Falls. The Steam Train company offers a “sun downer” tour onto the bridge stopping in the very centre of its 200 m span. Clients can disembark onto the bridge and as they do so, are handed a glass of sparkling wine. The spray of the Falls towers above and the setting sun colours this orange, purple and pink. The view of the Falls through the gap between Zimbabwe and Zambia is stunning and the sparkling wine will never taste this good.
After enjoying the view of the Falls, the visitors can now climb the stairs up to the Falls View Cafe and Bar, next to which a small museum has been constructed and is open to the public. On an organised group tour the visitors can take part in an interactive session with a well trained local actor who imparts some extremely interesting information on the building of the bridge. The actor impersonates the French Engineer who was contracted to oversee the Bridge’s construction and is responsible for some amazing solutions to problems he encountered so deep into the interior of Africa.
There is no doubt that this addition to the “bridge sunset tour” is a must for inclusion in group plans. Sitting and listening to this gentleman impart such interesting information whilst sipping a cold beer or sparkling wine, the rumbling of the Falls, the spectacular views, creates a unique experience for any traveler.