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VICTORIA FALLS/Zambia and Zimbabwe

Saying good-bye to Africa

Dear Readers,
This will be my last blog about Africa. I realize it took a while to finish this up, but the truth is, this was such a rich experience for both of us that I didn't want to just pass it by. Thanks so much for hanging in with me.

Victoria Falls is neither the highest or the widest water fall on the planet, but it is the largest---considering it's 5,604 feet wide and 354 feet high---well, that's a whole lot of water. It is twice the height of Niagara. Iguassu is wider but not higher. But all those numbers don't mean anything---truth is, it's just plain friggin' amazing. The river is the Zambezi and it borders the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. We spent several days exploring the falls from both countries. Like so much in Africa, the colonial names given to lands have undergone a change from the anglicized Victoria Falls to
Mosi-oa-Tunya—"the smoke that thunders". It's OK to use either name.

Probably the most famous person connected to these falls is Dr Livingstone, of " I presume" fame. He first viewed them in November,1855 from what is now known as Livingstone Island, one of two land masses in the middle of the river.

We were told not to come here in the rainy season as the thundering water produces so much spray that you can't see the falls, and likewise not to come in the dry season as it is a ghost of its former self. We were there after the height of the rains and here's how it looked:
shutterstock_82184107-768x288.jpg
kissing by the falls

kissing by the falls

Don't jump!

Don't jump!

priests in the mist

priests in the mist

perspective

perspective

However, it's best to see it from above---and that means taking a tiny Ultralight over the falls (think of a motor the size of a Honda with a fan).
It was fabulous! The aerial pictures come from a camera mounted on the tip of the wing:
Rick taking off

Rick taking off

Zambezi River before it goes over the falls

Zambezi River before it goes over the falls


large_01BE4BA2AD0F472D089EDD6F35A1DCCC.jpg
long way down

long way down

hippos and crocodiles below

hippos and crocodiles below

back to Zambia

back to Zambia

Many of you know that I love bizarre signs---this one made the laugh:
In_case_you_forget____.jpg

But it'a also great to see the falls directly from the edge. To accomplish that, you first get in a boat and travel to Livingstone island which is right at the edge. The river is wide and deceptively lazy---until you notice the mist coming from the drop off right ahead.
boat ride to the edge

boat ride to the edge

Once you set foot on the small island, you prepare to wade/swim in the water to the edge. I'm happy to report that we all made it back safely to the island. It was a thrill!
Rainbow Brain

Rainbow Brain

Looking over

Looking over

Almost on the edge!

Almost on the edge!

relaxing by the falls--ha!

relaxing by the falls--ha!

Two other final photos---one of me with an elephant skull (just another way to appreciate how huge these wonderful animals are) and the other of a lovely African waitress in her local dress.
elephant skull

elephant skull

Pretty waitress

Pretty waitress

So there you have it--- a tiny taste from our month in Africa. Our connections to people, to animals and to spectacular nature will always leave me in awe of this place. We never got sick; we never got robbed; we never felt threatened. In fact the people were simply wonderful. It was a joy.

We are now in Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, our home for 5 months. I may continue this blog with those adventures, but I'm not sure yet. Since I wrote a blog about Bhutan the first time we lived here in 2013-14, I'm not sure I need to do that again. But we'll see! I am, after all, somewhat a lady of leisure here. Or maybe I'll just bake brownies and get fat.

Thank you from my heart for reading these blogs about Africa. It is my way of keeping my connection to you, which is ever important.
Hugs, Phyllis

Posted by pebergman 23:37 Archived in Zambia

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Comments

Wow, we saw the falls during the dry season and they were not nearly as impressive as you picture. The little Ultralight is interesting. Looks like there is little between you and sky. Exciting!

by Lynne H

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