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Photographer's Note

The contrasting tourism fortunes of Zambia and Zimbabwe, on either side of
the spectacular Victoria Falls, could not be starker. Zimbabwe's loss has
become Zambia's boon.

The tourist trade, a major source of foreign exchange in some African
countries is now becoming nothing but a distant memory in others. Nowhere is
this more obvious than in Zambia and Zimbabwe - two nations on opposite
sides of one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World', the majestic Victoria
Falls.

But while Livingston town on the Zambian side is bursting with
dollar-spending foreign visitors crammed into newly-built four-star hotels
and river-edge lodges, Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls town on the other side is
almost a ghost town. The erratic policies of President Robert Mugabe are
driving away all but the hardiest of foreign visitors.

This situation is an exact role reversal between the two countries. Until
three years ago, the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe was the in-place to
be. It was full of hordes of young backpackers and also older, and often
richer, jet-setters from around the world.

From bungee jumpers to high handicap golfers, Vic Falls - as the town was
fondly called - was the place where it was all happening. Its lively and
bustling hotels were perpetually fully booked, on-season and off.

Wooden carvings are sold alongside the road "everywhere" in Zimbabwe.
This picture is taken in Victoria Falls; there is an outdoor market which makes it easy to compare the work of several craftsmen.
They sell everything, from giant wooden carved giraffes to these drums.
Be aware that craft market income is the only income for many families.

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Additional Photos by Kris Verhoeven (verswe) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 61 W: 3 N: 1206] (7330)
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