I found myself racing down the incline through the rain forest. Funny how I had planned rain gear and umbrella (the same umbrella that saved the day when it was raining wasps in the rest room at Popa Falls). I had been before to Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe side when I was 8 years old and in my heart I was 8 years old again. I didn’t even have mother telling me to put on my raincoat. Now I was running with glee.
Earlier that morning I had adopted ‘mother’s’ persona and had admonished Derek for not wanting to use rain gear. “I don’t believe we’ll get that wet!” Derek said; I responded “that’s because you have no idea how much water comes down from the misty spray – it’s like a shower.” “Now you are exaggerating,” he said. “No I am not,” I retorted, getting a little annoyed. In Derek’s ‘Que Sera Sera’ attitude (whatever will be will be) he said, “Well then I’ll just get wet, what’s wrong with that? I won’t melt.” So I thought to myself “if you can’t beat them then join them.” I went with my swimming shorts and cotton top; so easy to dry afterwards. For a moment I was worried about embarrassing myself but then I thought no one knows me; they might just think I am some crazy tourist. And so we began our tour
But I am getting ahead of myself.
We stayed for a few relaxing days at Cubu Cabins which was very enjoyable. Victoria Falls was one of the main highlights and very much a tourist attraction. I was very excited to see Victoria Falls again. As we drove down towards Victoria Falls, about 50 km away, Derek spotted what he thought was smoke from a fire. “No,” I said, “That is the mist rising from the falls” Of course he didn’t believe me. The mist rises to the height of over 400 meters.
David Livingstone, the discoverer, was the first European to have seen the falls in November 1855 which was called Mosi-oa-Tunya “the smoke that thunders” by the locals. There is apparently another name “the place of the rainbows.” It is cited in the book ‘David Livingstone and the Myth of African Poverty and Disease’ by Sjoerd Rijpma that they visited the Shongwe Waterfall, called “mosioatunya” by the Kololo (shongwe = Seongo = chongwe = meaning the place of rainbows.
We discovered that we could, if we wanted to, climb a baobab tree to get a better view of the falls but we decided to skip the climb and do the whole walk.
The knife edge path was created in the 1960’s and I didn’t give it another thought about whether I was going to walk it or not. We had to cross by bridge and I remember it being a bit slippery because of all the water. The actual path has a rail along the edge most of the way but there were a few broken places. This is when I became weirded out. “Am I crazy?” I asked myself, walking along such a sharp edge. “Don’t think, don’t think,” I kept telling myself, “just stay away from the edge.” I am glad I did do it but later that year a man fell over the edge while trying to take a photo of friends. He had not realized that the railing was broken. He actually survived falling down the gorge. Helicopters couldn’t get to him because he was hanging onto scrub on the face of the gorge, so in the end the fire-brigade and an adventure company who did bungee jumping from the bridge had to abseil down and rescue him with a harness after he had hung on for over an hour. You can read about the story here.
We spent from morning till late afternoon exploring and being amazed by the sights at all the viewing points. I didn’t want to leave as it was like paradise; as David Livingstone said: the mist looked like dust from angel wings. It is a wonderful place and I wish I could live right there; I also enjoyed looking at the butterflies and listening to the birds.
After our walk in the rain forest we took a little walk along one of the nearby cliffs that wasn’t drenched with spray and we began to dry out. We had been warned to not carry anything in shopping bags because the vervet monkeys expect one to be carrying food in the bags. I had wrapped my camera in a shopping bag so that it wouldn’t get wet. As we walked back to the car I had forgotten about the monkeys and had the shopping bag dangling from my hand. One of them came and snatched the bag from me but looked more than disappointed when he opened it and found a camera so he left it on the ground and I could easily retrieve it.
When we got back to the parking lot we saw a tourist vehicle that had several vervet monkeys busy trying out the seats. At one point they were all seated looking like they were ready to go on a tour; very much as if they were playing at being tourists. Unfortunate they move very fast and we couldn’t catch them in the act with our camera.
I would like to end off with a short video of Victoria Falls which gives you some interesting facts and sights from the air.
I hope you enjoyed the short video.
Take care and enjoy life as much as possible.
If you want to know more about our first part of the journey through the Northern Cape before we left South Africa you can find all the link here: Scenes of the North Western Cape, en-route.
You can see all the links to An African Road Trip: Namibia 2013
Going to Zambia A very eventful day in the Africa, 2013