28.04.2009 - 28.04.2009 22 °C
Due to stories of muggings we took a short taxi ride from Vic Falls town to the Big Tree, which is, er well, a big tree! An impressive Baobab with a 20 metre circumference making me look insignificant standing beside it’s great bulk. Over zealous hawkers with relentless, repetitive patter appeared from nowhere when we arrived, now known by us as the ‘Velcro Effect’. Where are the specially appointed tourist police when you need them?.
From the safety of the riverbank we watch the dark glossy surface of the mighty Zambezi River accelerate towards the horizon, sucking the water over the top at 300-100,000 cubic metres per second (depending on time of year). At over 100 metres high (twice the height of Niagara) the roar of water crashing on water is deafening and the narrow gorge of VF is partially obscured by the dense wall of spray.
In the 90’s, half a million people a year visited the tiny rainforest on the south banks to gaze at the spectacle of Mosi-au-Tunya, the Makololo name meaning ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. When confidence in Zim was shattered most tourists abandoned the town of Vic Falls for the less developed Livingstone just over the border in Zambia allowing us to have the National Park completely to ourselves. Local legend has it that a good soaking in the spray bestows physical and spiritual purification - particularly if naked! Lindsay and I weren’t prepared to go quite that far but we did have the luxury of visiting the amazing Falls from both sides, fully clothed and therefore getting soaked twice by fresh gusts of pure Zambezi spray.
This massive Gorge separates Zambia from Zimbabwe. The views of the falls from the bridge are amazing and the view of the bridge from the falls are pretty impressive too.