Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS

The first glimpse of the mighty Victoria Falls makes your head spin.

 

The Victoria Falls

 

You feel genuine fear reaching from the deepest pit in your belly snaking its way through to the finest veins in your legs, your arms, the core of you until you climax in a burst of awe. Numbness follows. You cling to the handrails, you plant your feet firmly to the stone path, you grab anybody next to you; because you’re jelly.

 

Congratulations, you’ve just been hit by the giant. All 1,708m by 108m of it. But it hasn’t even touched you. Not physically. Not even close.

 

Until you gather the courage to cross the puny metal bridge because you HAVE to get a closer look, however unconvincing the structure feels. That’s when monsoon strikes. And yet, that’s not the full force of the giant’s power, just a tease.

 

Soaking wet crossing the bridge, the soles of my shoes came off too.

Have you ever seen anybody more happy to be caught in torrential rain? Crossing the Knife Edge Bridge in Victoria Falls. A waterproof camera is essential.

 

Then you discover that the giant has a softer side. It plays with the sun and dances in the mist and lo and behold, the giant creates not one, but two rainbows, with glee.

 

Twin rainbows.

Twin rainbows by the waterfall. We also saw a full semi-circle that goes UNDER the bridge. In moonlight, you’ll see ‘moonbows’.

 

Victoria Falls Bridge.

The 1.3km Victoria Falls Bridge; the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the bungee jumping station right smack in the middle.

 

The rainforest embraces the nurture of the giant, as the rocky dry land too far from reach, sits and watches, hopelessly forlorn, barren.

 

The rainforest.

The rainforest.

 

Barren land just on the opposite side of the falls.

And the dry half of the land, within the same vicinity of the falls.  

 

They call it Mosi-o-tunya, the Smoke That Thunders. And rightly so.

 

Sprays up to 400m in height and can be seen up to 50km away.

 The annual flood season runs from February to May, peaking in April. The spray of the falls rises to a height of over 400m, creating an inverted rain at the Knife Edge Bridge.

 

 Upstream of the falls.

It’s too dangerous to white water raft in the Zambezi River this season. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed as I was looking forward to it.

 

This is mother nature’s great wonder. The experience hard to fathom. The giant never forgotten.

 

Another great day. The entrance fee to the falls is USD20.

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