Our first sight of the spectacular Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls is believed, by some, to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
It's not the tallest nor the widest natural falls, but it is considered to be the largest,
as in the world's largest sheet of falling water.
We were there in August, towards the end of the dry season so the water volume
was considerably less than during the wet season. In addition, on the Zambia side,
some water is diverted for energy production.
So during this season, the cascade of falls is broken up into smaller falls across the expanse.
During the wet season, the Falls are a virtual wall of cascading water.
During the dry season, people can actually walk across the river near the edge of the falls...
imagine that just to the left of the picture's focal point is the edge of the Zambezi River
just as it falls over the edge.
Dr. Livingstone is reported to be the first European to see the Falls, back in 1855.
Local tribes, of course, were well aware of their existence and referred to them as
"the smoke that thunders" or Mosi-oa-Tunya.
While Dr. Livingstone is reported to be the first European to see the Falls,
Voortrekker hunters (essentially early Dutch settlers) and Arabs may have known them beforehand,
under the name "end of the world".
There's an island in the Zambezi at the edge of the falls where Dr. Livingstone is purported to
have first seen the falls, now known as Livingstone Island.
Victoria Falls is essentially twice the height as Niagara Falls, and well over twice the width
of the Horseshoe Falls portion of the Niagara Falls.
The Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil are said to be the only falls that rival Victoria Falls.
The border between Zambia and Zimbabwe virtually bisects the falls
and Zambezi River.
During the dry season, the Falls are actually more visible as the mist is not as high nor dense.
But I have to say...there sure was a lot of mist never the less!!!
If you look closely, on the upper left corner of the gorge on the left you'll see a boat.
During the dry season you can go on one of these boats and get much closer to the base of the Falls.
During the wet season? I think not!!!
During the dry season there are a number of recreational activities possible that are not possible
during the wet season. One of which is swimming right at the edge of the falls
in what is known as Devil's Pool.
Apparently there's a rock wall just below the water level that prevents you from going over.
Having lived near Yosemite in California, and having been there the day
that several people went over the falls to their death...I'm pretty darned sure you'll never catch
me basking in the Devil's Pool!!!
When we arrived in Zambia there were two lines for visas upon entering Zambia.
One allowed you to cross to Zimbabwe without getting another visa, the other was for Zambia only.
We went for the Zambia only visa...little did we know that that meant we couldn't walk the whole
width of the Falls as we would be crossing over to Zimbabwe halfway over.
Quite honestly...we were OK with that...
and we did see both sides as we later took a helicopter ride over the Falls.
There's the boat again...