Zimbabwe: Tales of a Broken Government

Adam's Travel Adventures

Zimbabwe’s current reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world is somewhat unsurprising when you consider their history. Like Botswana, Zimbabwe was used and abused early on by Cecil Rhodes and the British South Africa Company (BSAC). After acquiring the mineral rights of the country, the British launched an attack (based off mistaken intel) and killed the king. Although this move was supposedly accidental, Britain and BSAC profited highly from it, and Britain assumed control of the country, renaming it Southern Rhodesia (after Cecil Rhodes). Between 1895 and 1914 about 25,000 Europeans emigrated to modern-day Zimbabwe.

It was the 1922 referendum with whites choosing to become a self-governing colony that caused the largest racial conflicts to date, and the Land Appointment Act in 1930, giving whites the best farmland, didn’t help.

The war for independence began in 1964, with guerrilla warfare and farm raids caused many whites…

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Traveling Through Zambia & Zimbabwe

Adam's Travel Adventures

As the natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls pulls millions of visitors from around the world and is the most visited site in Southern Africa. No doubt the falls are impressive. The largest waterfall on the planet and the seventh wonder of the world, Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya,” the smoke that thunders) is hidden behind a veil of mist after the rainy season when the Zambezi River is full. For better or for worse, we arrived to the town of Livingstone, Zambia during the dry season, at a time when the falls are at their lowest. However this period is also the only window during the year that people are allowed to swim in the outrageously scary Devil’s Pool, a pool that is directly at the edge of the falls.

We crossed the border to Zimbabwe the next day, to the town of Victoria Falls, where the view of…

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Malawi: A Rough Past and a Pretty Rough Present

Adam's Travel Adventures

Writing these histories is an exercise in monotonous masochism. Each country sounds the same and it’s always bad. Malawi, of course, is no different. Like every country in Africa (except Ethiopia), it was colonized, this time by the British. Like all Southern African countries, Cecil Rhodes came in and fucked it up. 

Malawi gained its independence in the 1960s (the year is vague because the Brits sort of stopped caring), and resistance leader Hastings Banda was released from prison and was made president. He quickly assumed the role of an African president, declaring himself “president for life,” forcing those who opposed him into exile, banning alternative political parties, foreign press, women’s trousers and long hair on men. He also gave support to the apartheid state of South Africa. What a guy.

Malawi did gain some democracy, and a multiparty system was set up in 1994, and Banda was voted out, dying…

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Traveling Through Malawi

Adam's Travel Adventures

Malawi was never meant to be a part of my trip. In fact I had very little desire to go there, and ended up going half out of necessity and half out of going with the flow. My group of travelers was heading that way and I knew I wasn’t ready to leave them. Also, I knew I would need to cross into Malawi to get into Tanzania, since you cannot cross the border between Mozambique and Tanzania, which was my original plan. 

Malawi ended up being one of the major highlights of my trip, not just for the beautiful lakeside scenery, but for a myriad of reasons I will discuss in this post. The trouble with Malawi is not the country itself, but the brutal journey to get there from Zimbabwe, which means crossing the Tete corridor in Mozambique. On paper, this is a simple, straightforward thing. The Tete…

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