Saturday, March 31, 2012

Victoria Falls


I thought we were coming to an interesting site when I said I wanted to extend our visit to South Africa with something more. I had no idea the power and spectacle we would be enjoying. The locals call it Mosi O Tunya, meaning thunder and smoke. Our guide said that they did not even approach it out of fear of what the noise would lead to.
From Upstream
That is neither fire or fog. It's Victoria Falls boiling up.
Unlike the other major waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls cascades into a narrow gorge and is then forced through a gap only 110 meters wide. The entire falls is over 1700 meters wide. Since the water has no place to flow after falling the 100 meters, much of it boils back up into the air creating a rainstorm on the opposite side. It also makes it possible to approach within a few meters of the falls themselves - provided you don't mind getting very wet. Of course, pictures are nearly impossible under these conditions unless you have a waterproof camera, something Linda suggested to our guide for future visitors.
Even with the raincoat, I was soaked
We walked on the bridge you can barely see through the mist.
The pictures we did get are from the side of the Falls before we walked into the rainstorm and from the air as we flew out of Livingston on our way to Chobe Chilwero, our next resort overlooking the Chobe River, one of the Zambezi's major tributaries.
The Fog Obscures the View
You can almost see the other side
Upper right corner shows the small gap for the river.
Look at the waterfalls on the opposite side of the real falls. The water on the trail was running over 1" deep in places.
We walked the trail opposite the falls. You can see the small bridge we crossed. Throughout, we were soaked. There was so much rain and wind, we had trouble seeing anything at times. All this comes from the falls itself, not the outside weather.
Upstream View

Almost straight down, there is nothing to see except the rain cloud coming at you.

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