Victoria Falls, Zambia – A Sublime Feat of Nature

Victoria Falls, Zambia – A Sublime Feat of Nature

“The whole scene was extremely beautiful….but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

So said David Livingstone, the famed explorer, when he first saw Victoria Falls in 1855. It’s now 2016, where mass communications and information technology places many of the world’s wonders a Google search away. But the visceral rush that comes from first-hand experience is something you can never truly replace with a computerised image, and the sheer majesty and scope of Victoria Falls, one of the true natural wonders of the world, is ample evidence of this fact.

Victoria Falls was visited toward the end of my stay in Zambia, a trip I had undertaken primarily to meet up with an old school friend of mine; he is Zambian born and bred, but had spent 6 years in Wales as a child, and in fact lived on the same street as me in my hometown of Bridgend. Although it had been about 20 years since we’d last met up, we were able to rekindle our friendship immediately, so much so that I trusted him entirely when he got us involved in some misadventures on the Zambian roads, both on the way here and elsewhere!

10509737_10152317090526723_3275058292319194538_nOf course, he knew that I couldn’t leave Zambia without experiencing the Falls; and they didn’t disappoint.

The thunderous roar of water and vaporous columns that spiral upward from the precipice of the falls can be heard and seen from miles away. This whipped me up in to a state of giddy anticipation, but it scarcely prepared me for a moment that can only be described as sublime: my first sight of what the locals call “the Smoke that Thunders”.

10583951_10152317090306723_5783566257789969633_nAn ever-present rainbow arcs majestically through the clouds of mist, which rain endlessly down on the adjacent woodland path. As beautiful as this is, it is but a footnote to the stunning falls themselves. The sheer force of the seemingly endless twists of foamy ribbons that froth over the edge, exploding powerfully in the swirl of the Zambezi River below, was a stirring reminder of just how amazing this thing called nature can be.

1470258_10152317090581723_529067652770831537_nTrust me, it’s not as dangerous as it looks!

The falls are viewable from, and shared by, both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Whilst it is generally agreed that Zimbabwe gives a better overall panorama, Zambia allows you to get more up close and personal. This included the steep descent to “Boiling Pot”, a constant whirlpool that rages at a bend of the Zambezi, and a chance to sit in one of the pools perched perilously close to the edge of the top of the falls. This I do recommend, as it allows you to view the falls as Dr Livingstone would have first seen them (the island leading to the pools is named after him), and see why he was moved to compare the sight to experiences normally reserved for the Gods. You can’t get much higher praise than that!

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25 Comments

  • Ugo Cei

    October 17, 2016 at 8:04 pm Reply

    I’ve been to Iguaçu, which is amazing, but I’m still missing Victoria. Pretty soon, I hope…
    Ugo Cei recently posted…Urban Morocco: Rabat, Fez, Meknes and ChefchaouenMy Profile

    • Joe

      October 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm Reply

      I would love to go there! Possibly the one waterfall that can match, or even surpass, Victoria in the world for me 🙂

  • Cat Lin

    October 17, 2016 at 9:39 pm Reply

    wow that must be such a wonderful experience. I’m envious and can’t wait to go visit and see that myself!
    Cat Lin recently posted…Urban Explorer x YYC: 5 Best Places to Visit in InglewoodMy Profile

    • Joe

      October 18, 2016 at 6:03 am Reply

      It’s so worth it – hope you do get to go there soon 🙂

  • Sheena

    October 18, 2016 at 5:17 am Reply

    I’ve been here! Got to be one of the greatest waterfalls in the world! Just fantastic, thanks for bringing back great memories!

    • Joe

      October 18, 2016 at 6:04 am Reply

      You’re welcome, and I totally agree that it’s one of the best waterfalls in the world – certainly the best I’ve seen at any rate 🙂

  • Amanda

    October 18, 2016 at 6:42 am Reply

    Wow! Is it scary to sit so close to the edge?

    • Joe

      October 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm Reply

      Yes, terrifying! Actually…nah, not really. But I don’t want to give away the reason why 😉

  • Tara

    October 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm Reply

    What an incredible adventure! I’ve wanted to visit Victoria Falls forever, or at least since I learned about them in middle school. Your photos are incredible!!

    • Joe

      October 18, 2016 at 2:36 pm Reply

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say so 🙂 I hope you do get to visit them one day…

  • Tina and Jimmy

    October 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm Reply

    How spectacular is that! Love the Rainbow in the midst of the beautiful falls! I have always wanted to go to Victoria Falls and someday I will make it there and sit in the pools at the edge of the falls! Great breathe taking photos!

    • Joe

      October 19, 2016 at 5:06 pm Reply

      Thanks, and yes, spectacular is a very apt adjective here. Sitting in the pool at the top of the falls has to be the highlight for me 🙂

  • Meg Cale

    October 20, 2016 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Oh wow… idk if I could get THAT close to the edge. I’d probably be too afraid. lol Looks like an amazing adventure.

  • Suma Jain

    October 22, 2016 at 10:17 am Reply

    Wow, Victoria falls is definitely a sight to sore eyes. The rainbow with the roaring waterfall makes a perfect backdrop for romantic proposals, hahah ;). However nothing would excite me more than sitting on the edge of the faalls, that will be a experience of a lifetime.
    Suma Jain recently posted…Charming or a haunted castle of Malahide!My Profile

    • Joe

      October 22, 2016 at 11:16 am Reply

      The adrenaline rush is undeniable…not taken a significant other there myself yet, but I’m sure it would indeed make for the perfect romantic backdrop to marriage proposals 😉

  • Brian

    October 22, 2016 at 11:23 pm Reply

    The first time I saw Victoria Falls was on Globe Trekkers. Although TV has inspired, much of my travel, NOTHING can replace being there. It’s a high that no substance can produce!
    Brian recently posted…6 Reasons to Visit Lancaster, PennsylvaniaMy Profile

    • Joe

      October 23, 2016 at 8:30 am Reply

      Absolutely! Couldn’t agree more Brian 🙂

  • Liana

    October 23, 2016 at 10:36 am Reply

    How spectacular this place is! The view is just incredible, and meeting your friend 20 years later, that’s such a thing! Zambia seems just an incredible place, and I love how you’re talking about it!

    • Joe

      October 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm Reply

      Zambia is indeed an incredible place and highly recommended. It was slightly strange seeing my friend again as we’d last laid eyes on each other when we were about 12 years old! But we clicked easily enough and it was just like old times 🙂

  • Julie Cao

    October 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm Reply

    Victoria Falls looks absolutely gorgeous, and I can imagine the sound of the roar water by just viewing your pictures. Magic that you met your friend after 20 years and how excited that was to travel to the falls together. If I go there, I would love to do the same thing – sit on one of the pools on top of the falls. Wish the rapid there is not too strong like it is at the Niagara Falls 🙂

    • Joe

      October 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm Reply

      Not been to Niagara so can’t say for sure, but you may notice there is a rope in the pool – it’s there for a reason! The boiling pot is the most dramatic part of the rapid. Thanks for stopping by and hope you do get to visit there one day 🙂

  • Stephanie Frias

    October 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Fantastic writing, wonderful photos, and an outstanding story. Even if it is a tourist destination, exploring nature’s beauty is surely the best way to see the world. We love to seek out waterfalls, but have yet to see anything in comparison to these!

    • Joe

      October 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm Reply

      Why, thank you very much Stephanie, very kind words there 🙂 I’ve seen a fair few waterfalls too and I have to say none of them match up to these – I’m sure that there are one or two out there that will give it a run for its money though 😉

  • Ami

    October 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Stunning waterfalls. I have heard so much about them and some say that it is even better than Niagara. Is that true? Loved the capture of rainbow 🙂
    Ami recently posted…Magic of Mount Kelimutu in Flores, IndonesiaMy Profile

    • Joe

      October 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm Reply

      Well I haven’t been to Niagara so I couldn’t possibly comment. But those I know who have been to both say that it’s Victoria Falls hands down 🙂 Iguazu is the only Falls I know of that some people say might, just might, be a better experience…

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