Between Zambia and Zimbabwe lies what is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or The Smoke That Thunders. As the Zambezi river flows through Zambia just as it crosses into Zimbabwe it plummets 108m into the gorge below. The gorge which measures 1,708m across makes the waterfall the largest sheet of falling water on Earth. This is the Victoria Falls, one of the seven great wonders of the world.
Following our time trekking for rhinos we made the journey to the small town of Victoria Falls, famous of course for the Smoke That Thunders. We were staying locally at Shoe Strings Backpackers which was a nice break from life in the tents. We spent a few days in the town taking in the sights, the main one obviously being the waterfall and bridge.
On our first opportunity we went to experience the falls in all her glory. Before this I had never experienced any large scale waterfall thus I was vastly unprepared! Wearing what any normal unsuspecting traveler would wear in the form of shorts, shirt, flip flops and bag I found myself a tad in the wrong attire. Walking down the main street towards the park entrance the spray or ‘smoke’ from the falls began to rise and rise and before long we could feel the spray ever so slightly. The spray can typically rise to heights of 400m and can be seen from 50km away. Walking in to the park the roar from the falls began to get louder and louder until we caught our first sight of Victoria from the Zimbabwe side. It was incredible, one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen. We were lucky enough to be there during it’s high water season so the amount of water and the incredible speed of the flow was astounding. The sheer size of the falls was breath taking. The Victoria Falls are twice the height of America’s Niagara Falls and is only really rivaled by the Iguazu Falls.
Following our first look at the falls we took a walk around the bush on the other side of the gorge to the falls to see it a bit better, this is where it began to get a little moist shall we say. Walking further around till the falls were directly in front, the amount of spray falling got more and more until it was eventually like being in a full flow rain storm! The spray had risen to such a height that it was falling just like rain and before long I was absolutely soaked from head to toe! Feeling the awesome power of the falls creating that much spray made me feel so close to the falls them selves, it’s power and beauty was inspiring. Lucky enough the weather was boiling hot so the spray proved to be quite refreshing and the heat ensure we dried off very quickly.
The rest of our time in town was spent exploring a little more, which also meant a visit to the famous Victoria Falls Bridge which crosses the boarders. It is also where the world famous bungee jump takes place, despite coming to the worlds attention for the wrong reasons falling a near fatal accident in December last year, the jump is still one of the safest and highest bungees in the world. Before you start thinking that I had the minerals to throw myself off the bridge towards crocodile infested water then I’m afraid I must disappoint you, frankly there isn’t enough money in the world. However a few of the guys and girls from the truck were far braver than me and took on the mighty jump. I watched from the safety of the bridge as they fell the 110m on the bungee cord. It looked incredible, the sheer thrill and adrenaline was only match by the beautiful back drop of the falls themselves. All of them did the jump with out a glitch and each said it was incredible. The bungee itself wasn’t enough for John however who also opted for the bridge swing right after the bungee. This involved falling from the same spot on the bridge, feet first. When the tension is met, you are flown around 200m away from the bridge and then back under and so forth until you stop and/or pass out. It looked incredible. Having done the jump, John came back up and said it was the most terrifying thing he has ever done!
Our last evening was spent visiting the famous and very posh Victoria Falls Hotel for high tea and cocktails. The beautiful hotel had the prime location just out of town with a stunning view of the falls with the bridge in the fore ground. It was a fantastic and very relaxed way to end our time in Victoria Falls.
The following day was our time to leave town and almost my time to leave the truck. We were headed to Maun in Botswana wear we would leave the truck and head to Johannesburg to begin the next leg our our journey. On our way to Maun we did a last fantastic game drive through Chobe National Park. It was a great way to end our time on the truck, the park was beautiful and famous for its elephants which were everywhere! I have never seen so many and it was great to get up so close to them in the wild. Their relaxed and almost docile nature was in stark contradiction to their massive size and strength.
Following our day in Chobe we continued to Maun for our last night before we left for Joburg. We had a last few drinks with everyone of the truck which was great, exchanged details with many with hopes to seem them again soon.
The trip was fantastic, we had seen so much and been to so many places. The opportunity to move around so much was only matched by the wonderfull things we saw. I would like to extend a huge thank you the Absolute Africa team, especially Dave and Anna you have been fantastic, thanks for all your hard work. Also of course a huge thank you to everyone on the trip, too many to mention you all but you made this trip even more memorable. Thank you so much for all the good times and hope to see you all again soon!
From Maun we fly to Johannesburg, South Africa where are next adventure begins.