The Elephant’s Walk Art Centre
Just a short walk back of the N1 Hotel, the Elephant’s Walk Art Centre has high quality African local art set in a tropical garden. It’s also a quiet place where you won’t be bothered by hawkers.
The Animator at the Elephant’s Walk Art Centre
The most fascinating thing at the Elephant’s Walk is this older gentleman who has created hand-cranked motorized scenes of Zimbabwe life. A Wizard Artist Visionary, an African Mcgiver, a professor from Back to the Future, he is a talkative, eccentric, memorable artist, whose made hundreds of hand-painted hand-cranked mechanical toy automatrons. He has built these replicas of images of Zimbabwe life from collected odds, ends and scrapped. A recycler in the finest sense. This creative animator is sometimes set up at this art centre. He’s quite a character with his wizard-like aura, broken teeth, eccentric clothes, and a dedication to his art. Fascinating.
Crocodile Centre to Elephant Art Centre
There is a walkway through the tropical trees from the Elephant Art Centre to and from the N1 Hotel. Along that walkway, there is a small crocodile centre. One of the crocodiles is an albino crocodile.
For us, the best thing about the Elephant Walk Art Centre in Victoria Falls is the delightful animator. Here is my interview with him:
The Ladies Market in Victoria Falls is Better Than the Men’s Market
One day, T came back from a walk relating that it was an expensive walk. He had been accosted by a tout on the street to buy wooden bowls. He walked away but the hawker ran after him. Finally he haggled with him to buy 4 bowls for $10 U.S., a very good price. Then moments later, a little boy followed him begging, “Please, please”. T stopped and seeing that the boy was dressed in rags, it brought a tear to his eye. He reached into his pocket and gave the boy all his change.
Instead of buying from the persistent and annoying hawkers in the street or in the market next to the N1 Hotel, go to the women’s market right next door on the side of the N1 Hotel. These woman are sweet and polite, and willing to bargain. It is a pleasant experience to talk to them, and it is clear that they don’t get a lot of visitors.
Working in 46 Degree Temperatures
The women working inside have no air conditioning in the sweltering heat! Many are laying down to rest, probably because they would soon pass out from the incredible heat if they were standing. It was all I could do to stay inside at a temperature of probably close to 45 F, more than a few minutes. Then coming out gasping for air into the 35 degree air outside, which suddenly felt a good deal cooler than before I went inside the building. How sad that the women have to make a living this way, and likely only making a few dollars a day. With Zimbabwe people starving by the millions, I was happy to buy from the women.
The women greet you with shy smiles and gentle gestures towards their wares. Outside, a few ladies displayed women’s clothing, wraps, baby clothes, purses and shoes.
Inside are women who will custom-make anything you would like for clothing for reasonable prices, and they also have all of the same carved wooden bowls and animals that the aggressive, bullying men have outside at their market, but here you can peruse their goods without being hassled, and actually enjoy shopping.
I bought wraps, baby clothes, a custom-made dress from the sweet woman below, and this purse.
African Traditional Dancers
Although a touristy attraction, here and there you might get to see some handsome traditional dancers like these Imbube Dancers. Always fun.