Africa & the Middle East Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Zambia, Water Across Victoria Falls.

Jump to last reply

It is another hot and dry morning as I leave Jollyboys Backpacker Hostel headed for the central downtown market. Today, I am in for a treat not just because it is Halloween and I love candy but because I am on my way to experience one of the seven wonders of the world.

Arriving just outside the central outdoor open market I find myself at the local Livingstone transportation hub. Here I hop in a community taxi with three other passengers for a shared ride to Victoria Falls about 10 miles away. My portion of the cab fare, about US$1.25.

Having arranged a tour earlier at Jollyboys for US$55, leaving the taxi drop off point it is a short walk to “The Shop That Thunders” where I register for my tour. As luck would have it, there is a couple from China going on the tour with me who are visiting from Zimbabwe. They will be returning there after the tour here and their private driver has offered to allow me to accompany them. I cannot refuse the offer as he will guide me through the border crossing process and take me to a local Zimbabwe restaurant for lunch. So far, that is already two treats for the day and I haven't even put on a costume.

A US$20 entrance fee and our tour to walk across Victoria Falls to Livingstone Island begins around 10am. A few steps from the park's entrance we can see our destination in the far distance with a possible treacherous but beautiful path between us and it.

We are cautioned to be careful as we begin our journey which can only be accomplished at certain times of the year. At points along the way our guide provides a helpful hand to prevent us from falling.

As promised when I signed up for the tour I get my shoes wet but discover that at some point it is actually better to step into the small pools of water. Many of the rocks are slippery from algae growth on them and a few ankles have been sprained or broken along our path.

To our left is the massive gouge that forms Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. To our right is a dammed up portion of the Zambezi River which is at a low level this time of the year. The river's tranquility disguises it's powerful force that comes in the rainy season.

Beneath my feet are some clues as I step on rocks some of which are as smooth as glass. Clear pools of water remain scattered across what is now areas of the fall's surface. In a few months, this area that was form by volcanic activity thousands of years ago will become the bottom of Victoria Falls. It will then become covered by almost twenty feet of the Zambezi River.

It is hard for me to image that in January or February I would be covered in about twelve feet of rushing water. Wow!

A short break and we get a photo opportunity and a close up glimpse of the gouge. The waterfall behind us is just a baby compared to what we will see later. Yet, it's sound and plunging descent is still spectacular.

Approaching Livingstone Island we are given a history lesson of the area and various portions of the falls are pointed out to us. From our position, we can see Rainbow Falls along with Miner's Rapids
which is so fierce that it has only been navigated by one professional kayaker, Still Fisher from South Africa.

Although David Livingstone a British explorer put the area on the map, so to speak, this area has been important and known to local forefathers for a long time. Here human sacrifices where made to the river gods as gold, jewelry and humans where tossed into the gushing river thousands of feet below us.

Livingstone named the falls after his queen, Queen Victoria of England. However, to locals this area was always known as “Moos-o-tun-ya”.

“The Smoke That Thunders”.

Looking towards the main falls I am inclined to become local and also call here “Moos-o-tun-ya” as I watch towering wet smoke gloriously rises from the river surface below and cut through an arcing rainbow.

The pounding water's descent while fierce is also soothing and peaceful. It is goose bump type experience. I take a deep breathe to enjoy it all.

I guess Livingstone may have had a point in assigning royalty to the falls. Yes, they are simply majestic!


Video:
http://youtu.be/SaRkAZCI00s

Recent Activity

View all Africa & the Middle East activity »
  1. 1 Travelust
  2. 2 Drinking on safari
  3. 3 Terrorism, Ebola - no more please
  4. 4 Who to Choose? Africa Serendipity, Rothschild Safari or ATR?
  5. 5 Southern Africa trip - 5 weeks April / May 2015 starting in KZN
  6. 6 Trip Report SOUTH AFRICA WESTERN CAPE TRIP REPORT: SEPT/OCT 2013
  7. 7 South Africa - Cape wine lands - Suggestions organized wine tasting tour
  8. 8 South Africa in February?
  9. 9 To Egypt in February - Need some advice
  10. 10 Thinking about The Gambia
  11. 11 Independence Day in Israel
  12. 12 Private Guide in Israel - Cost question
  13. 13 Shots for Morocco
  14. 14 correct date of last post: free ebook available Sunday Dec 11
  15. 15 Dubai Sand Dune dinner
  16. 16 Trip Report Morroco Travel Guide
  17. 17 DAY TRIP FROM AGADIR
  18. 18 Trip Report “Extensive tour around Egypt in 36 Days”
  19. 19 Help in finding Israel tour guide Moshe Nov
  20. 20 Best Time to View Big Game in South Africa
  21. 21 Trip Insurance - a must?
  22. 22 Kenya safari tour/cost
  23. 23 Uganda or Rwanda 2015
  24. 24 Abu Simbel or Valley of Kings?
  25. 25 Trip Report Shongololo Express. The Southern Cross Adventure
View next 25 » Back to the top