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Soaked and smiling at Vic Falls

01 Mar 2007 / 0 Comments / in natural world, travels

In 1855 Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone (I presume) became the first European to clap eyes on Mosi-oa-Tunya, a waterfall which today we know as Victoria Falls. He wrote: “No one can imagine the beauty of the view … scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.

The wide river Zambezi suddenly falls over 100ms into a gorge creating a thunderous veil of water a mile wide.

It is an astonishing place. We stood gob-smacked for awhile struggling to take in the scale of the falls.

We first viewed it from the Zimbabwean side (above) from where you get a sense of its width. As we walked closer the air became filled with falling water – not only spray from the falls themselves, but also water which had condensed and was actually falling as a rain. We were drenched almost immediately, but it didn’t matter. As the weather was hot and sunny being soaked was a welcome relief from the heat. Rainbows formed everywhere around us and followed us as we walked.

I hated being in Zimbabwe. It annoyed me that I had to pay US$55 for my visa to enter the country and contribute towards Robert Mugabe’s evil and murderous government. We stayed only three hours before walking over the bridge into Zambia. What a relief to be out of Zim.

From the Zambian side you get more height over the falls, then up very close indeed, and as you walk round you find you place to stand at one end of it virtually at the point where the river disappears over the edge! How thrilling it was to stand there and feel the roar of the water tumbling! At one point we saw the most incredible thing – an almost 360degree rainbow! WOW!

As everywhere was so wet, there was no way I could get my sketchbook out to make a painting. Instead, I made incredibly hasty pencil sketches which I notated so I could paint them in later in a nice comfy dry bar with a mug of tea…

Photos: by Moth Clark and Lynn Accuardi. Sketches by me!

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