|Images of Africa|
|by John Walker|
A few kilometres on the Zambian side of the Zimbabwe/Zambia border at Victoria Falls is a crocodile ranch. The owners raise Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) commercially for leather and meat at a larger facility elsewhere in Zambia, but this is purely a tourist attraction which exhibits mischievous "problem crocodiles" removed from the Zambezi river. Although called the "Nile Crocodile", the species is found in rivers and swamps throughout non-arid regions of Africa. Some of the crocs here are huge--up to five metres in length. You can get quite close to the crocodiles on elevated walkways which criss-cross the facility. The Sun was out when we visited and most of the crocodiles were basking in the fields. There are large pools of water, and it is extremely spooky to see how an enormous crocodile can simply disappear as it glides in and sliently submerges. Swimming in the Zambezi is an extraordinarily poor idea; if you manage to evade the crocodiles, you'll probably be killed by a hippopotamus.