Victoria Falls

Reading this week:

  • The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck, which might be my new favorite book.

The highlight of a trip to Livingstone is, of course, Victoria Falls. We managed to get there on I think day three of our Livingstone adventure, because riding an elephant was farther up on the priority list.

All around the falls are a variety of trails that you can follow to get different vantage points of the falls. Since I was most excited to see the falls in all their glory, as it were, I dragged us along the knife-edge trail first. All the trails are paved and easily accessible, except for maybe some stairs. So you head off down the trail and the you turn the corner and there are the falls.

We went when the water was low, so I guess they could have been even more impressive, but man they were amazing. Just a giant sheer drop cascading into a whirling vortex below. And it is incredibly long so as you walk along the knife-edge trail it just keeps going. The falls, um, fall into the first gorge in a series of seven gorges. Knife-edge is the spit of land on the Zambia side between gorge #1 and gorge #2, so you get incredible un-blocked views of the falls and as you keep going you just get more and more falls. Eventually you reach the edge of the knife-edge and on your right are the falls and on your left the Victoria Falls bridge.

The next trail we hiked down was the one that lead to Boiling Pot. Boiling Pot is where the river spills from the first gorge into the second, and is home to Nyaminyami. Nyaminyami is the river god that controls the Zambezi from the falls to Lake Kariba. His domain used to extend beyond that until they built the dam that created the lake. It was cool to see the home of a god. Down at the edge of Boiling Pot you can feel the power of the river and look up to see people bungee-jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge. The path down there is pretty beautiful, being a lush forest and all. It is made slightly trecherous, however, by the number of baboons that live on the trail. They are entirely unafraid of humans, and while occasionally cute to look at, they stole my girlfriend’s soda right out of her hand:

After ascending back from Boiling Pot, we went over to the top of the falls. We didn’t go out into the river, because you’re supposed to have a guide to do that and we were pretty beat anyways. Then we walked along the trail to the bridge, which offers more stunning views of the falls and Boiling Pot, if from slightly farther away.

We probably spent about 6 hours hiking all around the falls and were pretty spent from the walking and from the utter insane natural beauty of the place. Time to get my butt to the rest of the natural wonders of the world.