MOSI-OA-TUNYA

November 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Mosi-oa-Tunya is the colorful local name for one of nature's awesome wonders, Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, Africa's fourth longest river.  Translated it means "Smoke that Thunders" for its prodigious spray which in the wet season can be seen from thirty miles.

While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest based on its width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water.  Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America's Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls.  In height and width Victoria Falls is rivalled only by Argentina and Brazil's Iguazi Falls.

The falls lies partly in Zimbabwe and partly in Zambia.  The Zambia side is dry at this time of year preventing us from seeing the falls in its full glory, but also allowing us to see it at all!  I'm told that during the wet season the spray is so thick that it is impossible to see into the gorge and that the falls seemingly "rains up".  So, we were inadvertently fortunate.  But even if half the falls was dry the rest of it gets your attention and "smoke that thunders" is indeed an appropriate appellation.  I was not entirely comfortable peering over the cliff into the depths of its chasm...it's a long way down.  Which causes me to comment on the brave (foolish?) souls who wade into a pool (Devil's Pool) where the water is shallow enough to wade to the brink of the falls and peer over the edge.  There was a group taking that dare as we watched.  My skin still crawls.  Even though the water was only calf deep one slip would send one on a journey of no return for over 350 vertical feet.  Not a wise bet in my book.

 

 

 

 


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