Victoria Falls sits at the dead center of lower central Africa where Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana come together.  The modern Democratic Republic of Congo is just above Zambia.  Determined colonial explorers who penetrated this area were mostly British, at least that is the way Hollywood would have it.  The falls are at the spot on the Zambezi River where the famous meeting of David Stanley and Dr. Livingston occurred in 1871. Spencer Tracy immortalized the American Stanley, but the 1939 movie was short on accuracy. 

 While Louis and Clark were exploring America, the Europeans pushed into Africa from three directions. There were those who came from the north, following the course of the Nile and seeking its source, as seen in the movie, Mountains of the Moon. Others came in from the west, making their way up the Congo into the interior.  This forbidding region gave us the all-time Western classic of penetration into deepest Africa, Heart of Darkness from the novella by Joseph Conrad.

 In a class by itself, is The Gods Must Be Crazy (1981). It chronicles the ironic, if not downright comedic encounters of modern European adventurers and a solitary Kalahari Bushman, named Xixo or “Xi.” Inexplicably, the pronunciations for these variations on the name are given as “Gow” (rhymes with how) or “Key.” For a more comical but no less insightful view of colonial intrusions in this area of deepest Africa, see the Tarzan movies. Together with the King Kong franchise and a variety of other ape fables, Hollywood has given us a folklore of the roots of the human race.

 African nations threw off the yoke of European domination beginning in the mid-20th century. But as once was said of the United States, the war for independence is over but the revolution has only begun.  See Movies About Post-Colonial Africa.

Central Africa Related Posts:

Return to Africa Overview