Monday, September 14, 2009

a wonder

The Zambezi river, Zimbabwe

I want to thank Janet for reminding me that I'd left out a part of our recent trip to Africa, one of the wonders of the world,

Victoria Falls

When describing the majesty of the falls, I think
Dr. Livingstone came close with,

'on sights as beautiful as this,
angels in their flight must have gazed'.

Our safari began in the town of Victoria Falls,
here at the ilala Lodge, which faces the falls,
and is just a short walk away...

It was hard to get a good photo, but from here you can see the spray rising up between the trees, and hear the thunder of the water, even before making your way down the path to the rim...

Sunrise over Africa,
highlighting the mist from the falls.

Welcome to Mosi~oa~Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The first known name of the falls was Shongwe, given by the Tokaleya people. Later, the Ndebele changed the name to Amanza Thunquayo, or Water Rising as Smoke. When the Makalolo arrived it was changed yet again to Mosi~oa~Tunya. And finally when Dr. Livingstone was brought to the falls in a dugout canoe on 16 November 1855, he renamed them in honor of the queen. To me, it's so spectacular, it deserves four names, at least.

Once inside the park you'll find a network of tracks, meant to preserve the fragile rainforest ecosystem, and to take you to a series of viewpoints.

There are flowering plants, ilala palms, ebony trees and ferns, birds and monkeys. We stepped carefully on the wet stone foot path all covered in moss, sometimes ducking under branch's, that dripped
raindrops on our heads and backs.

We were advised to wrap our cameras in plastic bags, the flow of water was at it's height, the flood stage happening between March and May with the water at its greatest between April and June. About five million cubic metres per minute pass over the falls.

Your going to get wet.



Giddy as children playing in the rain, we quickly got our bearings and began to check out every viewpoint. With names like Cataract View (Livingstone Statue is here) where you were meant to climb down a steep rock stairway into the gorge (didn't happen, too much water!) and Danger Point, covered with soaking and slippery moss covered rocks only to look out over an unfenced sheer drop off.
Frightening and stunning.

Some tourists chose to wear protective rain gear.
We wanted to experience it all,
including the getting wet part...

...and we did that! the only thing dry in this photo is our
cameras. Just barely. We were not prepared for the amount of water...

...every photo here was taken on the same day in a period of a couple hours, you can see there are many moods of

I think I liked the rainbow mood best.

Now we are leaving. This is part of Victoria Falls airport. We asked our pilot if he wouldn't mind taking a turn around the falls so we could
have another look, an aerial look.

he said yes.

Here you can see the Zambezi bridge, on the left is
Zimbabwe and on the right, Zambia ...

now you can really get a good look at the
amount of water flowing...

The Zambezi River

Victoria Falls is 1.7 kilometres wide and drops between
90 and 107 metres into the Zambezi Gorge...

an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet
over the edge every minute.

A very short video

As we fly away, the Zambezi is heading for the falls...

The Smoke that Thunders can be seen from
miles and miles away.

I hope you will get a chance to see for yourself this great
natural wonder of our world. Till then,

It's been my pleasure bringing you along with me.

♥ Lori


  1. oh fascinating! the water course behind the falls is equally fascinating to me....i want to know what is under the surface of the water, it looks so mysterious, almost like there is a forest underneath!! The amount of water is just staggering! Thanks for sharing :) I love seeing and hearing about your travels.
    hope you are feeling better my sister.

  2. WOW,OH WOW! That is awesomeness. What an experience, Lori. :D

  3. W.O.W! so beautiful. I had goosebumps while watching the video. So thrilling to see it live! Its awesome and majestic!

    ♥ Chaitra

  4. wow, fantastic pics - now you've gone and made me all homesick!

  5. It's a magnificient view indeed. Anyone who had gone there must have felt really priveleged.

  6. Lori these pics are amazing, I always feel a little bit humble when i read your blog! xx

  7. Dear Lori,
    Oh my goodness this is so very incredible....WOW!!
    I must go look again at your amazing photographs.
    Your trip must have been a delight.
    Thank you for taking the time to share. I really enjoyed this wonder....
    My goodness just...awesome.

  8. Stunning, Lori....what an adventure---and that's just the pics :)

  9. Yes, I am also thankful you share all these photos with us, and your own excitement along with it. I saw the Vic Falls in 1970, and just think how much water has fallen down since then! It is a big wonder.

  10. OMG Lori, I got goosebumps reading this and am so glad my BIG ADVENTURE plans have reminded you about this.
    I can't believe I haven't been there yet, but it is No.1 on the itinerary I'm working on!!
    Thanks so much for this

  11. Michelle,
    I know! it looks like there are little islands of vegation, probably a favorite for the crocodiles!I'm so glad you enjoyed. ☺
    Hi Natsy,
    i'm thinking of you and hoping all is okay ♥
    Thanks Chaitra,
    I think I was lucky to get that little bit of video, we weren't over the falls for long and there were photos to take and just looking too!
    who gets to say that?? such a childhood you had, and what a beautiful part of the world you grew up in...
    3 years, Thank you, that is exactly the way I feel. Exactly.
    Thank you, nature always has that effect on me too, very much so.
    Thank you so much, Africa is a fabulous place to photograph. There are opportunitys everywhere.
    ♥ Braja,
    thank you. It was an adventure in every sense of the word. I love Africa.
    I think you would have seen a few (small)changes since you were last there. For one, it used to be free, then in the 90's they charged one dollar. Now it's 20.00 per person. Seems a small price to pay to be astounded.
    I had to laugh when you told me that. It's just this way though. I think there are many here that've never been to see the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or the Channel Islands, all incredible places...I am so excited about your plans...I want to come!

  12. That is awesome. I hope you are finally over your ailment and feeling better.

  13. Wow, wow, wow. The Falls must have been an incredible experience. That amount of water over such a large area is just unbelievable. I am fascinated by waterfalls anyway, and this is one of the most spectacular ones I've seen, thanks to you! You are so good to us.

  14. Coco,
    thank you, getting closer, I really appreciate you asking, any day now I think!
    I hope you do get a chance to see it. Photos really don't do it justice. It reminded me of the Grand Canyon, you just have to be there. Yes, what an experiance!

  15. Hi Lori ann

    thanks for giving us this story and all the wonderful pics so that we can get an idea of the magnitude of these falls...

    Happy days

  16. How utterly amazing this is...and what a great reminder for me today of how small all of my tribulations are...thank you for the perspective. I hope to see it myself someday!

  17. Oh Lori, I can't thank you enough for posting these. I feel as though I have been on a mini vacay! Adjectives escape me ... simply breathtaking. The trip Kidlet and I are planning is a volunteer trip with Free the Children to Kenya however you are tempting me to add another leg to my journey ... ; )

  18. even living next door to the Falls, I can't get tired of them. Too beautiful! Seeing them from the air is also something very special! Hope you're feeling better every day x

  19. Until this day I had no idea of the power and magnitude of Mosi~oa~Tunya. Wow! Stunning. Your photos are marvelous.

    When I visited Zim years ago, the production company forbade us crew members to go because it was malaria season. And some scouts had caught amoeba (did you test for that, btw?).

    This post gave me goose bumps and the usual small Africa-sick tears. That flight over the falls must have been so thrilling. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Lori.

    I love the shot of you and Chuck with the dry cameras and the wet hair, clothes, smile and look of absolute awe in your eyes.

    Wonder what it's like at this time of year...
    Lola xx

  20. lori, this trip must have been amazing. your pictures are amazing.

    i feel that africa is coming at me from all sides, like never before. i read your post here and i know i will travel there too.

    yet again i am sitting here saying, kj, when are you going to linger in lori's blog?

    i answer myself, 'soon, kj, soon.'


  21. Whoa, this post was simply outstanding. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  22. Just amazing, and I got such an education seeing all the photos from close up and from the air. Thank you so much, Lori. I never understood that the falls came from the Zambesi River. Funny, in my uneducated way I guess I just thought...what? The water springs without a source from the ground??? Ha.

    Lovely, lovely.

    (did you know that I have adopted your heart symbol? I use it a lot). ♥

  23. WOW this is fantastic! Thank you so much for the pics and story, and of course you got wet! My goodness, why wouldn't you??

    Smoke that Thunders. Oh yeah. Wow.

  24. I can't believe how beautiful the falls really are! You take such inspiring pictures, Lori!

    P.S I would get wet, too and maybe someday I will!

  25. Delwyn,
    you are welcome, it was my pleasure.
    your right, I love how nature can do that to us, i hope you'll get to see it too!
    thank you so much, I really appreciate the kind words. Kenya is great, you'll see alot. It would be wonderful if you could add Vic Falls to your trip.
    It must be like me living near the ocean, it never fails to move and inspire.
    you'll get there someday i am sure. as far as i know, the mozzies make less of a distinction now.
    You are so right about the photo. It brings a lump still just thinking about it.
    kj, thank you.
    that's it exactly! Africa does that to you. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I know your going to love being there!
    thank you, I am really glad you enjoyed this, it was so much fun for me to relive it too.
    ♥ Sallymandy,
    haha, I think thats how it is unless we go to the place, we just don't know. That's one of the things i love about travel, the way we get to learn!
    of course we were there during high water due to late rains, there are times when the falls have dry spots, much less water, and then less spray.I'm sure its just as magnificent!

  26. Aden,
    thank you, I hope you get to also. It's an amazing place. Maybe we'll see each other there, I hope to go back!

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you....Lovely. This is as close as I'll ever get to this majestic place.

  28. This is so amazing - just love the pictures.

  29. Ohhh oh oh, you've made me all tearfull and missing my home country. sigh. it is incredible, and your pics are AWESOME!! And don't listen to what they tell you - the view from Zambia is better!! When i first visited Mosi o Tunya I got a full understanding of what vertigo is - as Kundera says, its not fear of falling, its the desire to fall... i wanted to just step into the rainbow. my mother had to use her sharp voice to make me step back. Zambia is full of amazing waterfalls. Your pics are fantastic.

  30. WOW. WOW. WOW.
    Thanks for that Lori!


xoxo lori