This Cache forms part of the SideTracked series that is popular throughout the world and in particular the UK. This is the first one in Zimbabwe and Africa. They are keen for the series to expand so feel free to create your own
Don't miss the Waymark at the train station Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls railway line was originally constructed as part of the Cape to Cairo railway line that was envisioned by Cecil John Rhodes.
The idea was to link all the colonies that belonged to the British Empire by rail starting from Cape Town and leading to Cairo.
Due to two world wars, other conflicts and geography this was never achieved.
By the end of 1902 the rail line from the Cape to Bulawayo had been open for 5 years, the line from Harare to Beira in Mozambique was open and the two cities of Harare and Bulawayo were linked.
Large coal deposits were discovered in Hwange in 1893, sufficient to last up to 100 years. The deposits were only located 320km from the city of Bulawayo, this was enough to convince the engineers that the route should pass through then Wankie, now Hwange, and then continue on to Victoria Falls, cross the Zambezi and then head upwards into the copper mines in North West Rhodesia.
Construction of the rail started in 1901 from Bulawayo to Wankie, by 1903 the line had opened as far as Mambanje. Anyone wishing to travel to the Victoria Falls then had to complete the trip on horseback.
By late 1903 the Line had reached Wankie where passengers were then placed on a Zeederberg coach service for the remaining 100 km to Victoria Falls.
The image below is of the passengers of the first train to arrive in the Victoria Falls on the 24th April 1904; it was a RR 7th class no22
A bridge was needed to cross the Zambezi gorge. The railway company quickly dispatched materials for the construction of a temporary hotel, the initial purpose of which was also to provide accommodation for the engineers working on the construction of the bridge. They quickly erected a wood and iron building, raised from ground level to allow ventilation and freedom from pests and dampness.
The building opened in 1904 and was named The Victoria Falls Hotel. The rail line originally ran at the front of the hotel but was later moved to run behind it. The hotel still stands on the same grounds today.
The official opening ceremony for the Victoria Falls Bridge took place on 12 September 1905. Follow the link for the Waymark. Rhodes is recorded as instructing the engineers to "build the bridge across the Zambezi where the trains, as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls" It was designed by George Anthony Hobson of consultants Sir Douglas Fox and Partners, not as is often stated, Sir Ralph Freeman, the same engineer who contributed to the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the time of the design of the Victoria Falls Bridge, Freeman was an assistant in the firm who, in those pre-computer days, was calculating stresses.
Victoria Falls bridge almost completed
The line in Zimbabwe is now run by NRZ (National Railways of Zimbabwe)
You are looking for a magnetic micro cache that contains only a roll of paper to sign.
You can't find this cache from within the Victoria Falls rainforest, there is a road around the perimeter fence on the outside called Zambezi drive. At the cache site you will find free parking and there is an opportunity to get a look at the rapids above the falls (depending on the level of the river). You can walk to this road from town or from the entrance to the Falls rainforest but I would advise you drive if possible as there are wild animals around.
NB: The Cache is not at the railway station as the muggle situation there is far too heavy and any searchers would stand out immidiately. Therefore I have placed the cache at the safest closest spot to the railway line.
Special thanks to Team GBS and KEV1984 for helping to look after this cache for me.