Victoria Falls, Zambia

[ 2 ] February 13, 2012 |

Mosi-oa-Tunya, or the “Smoke that Thunders” as locals call it.  Discovered by the famed explorer, adventurer, and missionary David Livingston and named after his beloved English Queen, Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most iconic waterfalls.  Although it’s not the tallest or widest waterfall in the world it is credited as being the largest as the massive 350ft tall by 5,600ft wide waterfall is the largest single sheet of falling water on the planet.  All that posturing aside, the scene of Victoria Falls is out of this world.   Whereas Niagara Falls has it iconic horseshoe shaped falls, Victoria is one massive sheet of falls and is twice as tall as Niagara.

Victoria Falls

Pat and Al at the Falls

The Great Mosi-oa-Tunya

Set atop the Zambezi River, the falls sits on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia and can be viewed from either side.  The towns of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingston, Zambia flank the falls on their side of the border.  Over that past ten years, much of the tourist traffic has shifted toward the town of Livingston on the Zambian side given the massive hyper-inflation of the Zimbabwean currency (now pegged to the dollar since 2009) and political unrest that has occurred in Zimbabwe.  As one of Africa’s top five tourist destinations, the city of Livingstone has been the primary beneficiary of the large growth in tourism dollars flowing into the area around the falls and has a plethora of hotels, hostels, restaurants, etc.

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side is the best place to view the falls.  The highlight of the park is taking a stroll along Knifes Edge Bridge to Rainforest Island.   Rainforest Island is a large rock outcropping/island situated in front of the center section of the falls and direct recipient of most of the spray coming off the falls – hence the name of the island.  The well groomed concrete rock paths twist and turn along the cliff face winding in and out of the spray providing a multitude of viewing angles and vistas of the falls.

Knifes Edge Bridge

More of the Amazing Knifes Edge Bridge

Rain Forest Walk along the Edge of the Falls

Wet and Wild

The park has a number of walking/hiking paths that take you in and around the falls.  During dry season you can even take a stroll along the top of the falls and take a dip in the “Devils Pool” which takes you within inches of the edge of the falls.  Unfortunately for us the pool was closed just a few days before our arrival – guess we have to wait until next time to risk our lives.  We spent a good half a day walking around the various pathways and taking in the views, which was just the right amount of time for us.

I’m not sure whether it is the sheer violence of nature unfolding before your eyes or the immensity and scope of its splendor.  Either way, standing in the shadows of the majestic natural beauty that is Victoria Falls is enough to humble any man.  Victoria Falls will forever be one of the more memorable and iconic moments of our trip.

Falls Falls and More Falls

In the Spray

Look out Below

Gorge-eous

Falls Gorge

Double Rainbow

Don't Jump

David Livingstone - Discoverer of Vic Falls

Point of No Return

Bungee Jump Bridge

Al Getting Close to the Edge

 

 

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Category: Blog, Destinations, Featured Posts, Pat's Blog, Zambia

Comments (2)

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  1. Russ Porter says:

    Hi Pat, those are such great pictures. Can you imagine being David Livingston and stumbling upon such a magnificent sight? That’s so cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kate McCusker says:

    What a treat to be able to do these travels with you although we understand from Anita that you did some skydiving now that you are in New Zealand. Please don’t do anything like that again!!! I actually know of a family friend who was an instructor and crashed. Needless to say, she didn’t live. But, that being said, enjoy those sheep and the border collies in NZ. I used to do herding for fun and was heavily involved with the North American Sheephandlers Assoc. I’ve always wanted to go to NZ to see the dogs and their charges! Love, Kate and Aaron

    PS You’d better plan on turning your blog into a book. You are a wonderful writer. And I’m sure you’ve heard, Sue is doing fine. Hope you inherited her genes. Looks like you might have.

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