Friday, March 14, 2008

Victoria Falls, Zambia (March 11-16, 2008)

At 1.7km wide and 108m high, and with an annual average flow of one million liters per second, Victoria Falls is known as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. During rainy season (now through May), the spray from the falls can be seen from miles looks kind of like a cloud rising from the forest. The local Kololo name for the falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya, or The Smoke that Thunders.

I visited the falls from both the Zambian side and the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River, and both sides were spectacular. From the Zambian side, the mist from the falls was so thick that I couldn't actually see much of the falls themselves, but I sure could feel them: I was completely drenched from head to toe within seconds! From the Zimbabwean side, which is further from the falls, I still got wet, but the view was better - I could get a sense of just how massive the falls are.

From either side, though, the huge amount of mist makes photos difficult (see below). On the flip side, that mist made for some wonderful rainbows. I saw an enormous fully circular rainbow (which was too large to capture with my camera, but I took a video that I'll upload when I have a faster Internet connection), and I even got to walk through the end of a rainbow!
Here I am on the Zambian side of the falls, completely soaked
This bridge over the Zambezi River is a no-man's land between Zambia and Zimbabwe; it's also the site of Victoria Falls' famous bungi jump
A typical view of the falls. The small bridge in the picture runs along the front of the falls.
The view from afar - still pretty misty

Ponchos and umbrellas for hire...not that they'd keep anyone very dry in all that water!

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