Zimbabwe, 2011

Mosi-oa-Tunya, “Thundering Smoke”–Victoria Falls

“No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” Dr. David Livingston

The Falls are at least as spectacular as you may have heard. The Zambezi River is the dividing line between Zambia (on the right here) and Zimbabwe. About five miles above the Falls the river channel starts widening, a little like a river delta, and calmly (deceptively) winding around small islands until it finds the gorge and tumbles in thunderously, then to follow an eroded meandering channel, on through Mozambique, and into the Indian Ocean.

There is a walking path on the ridge line opposite the Falls, and the views are worth the continuous shower from the mists billowing up, but for a photographer it was a little frustrating. I could not find an angle that came close to showing the volume and power of the flowing water, and even when I did see a potential shot, the ebb and flow of the heavy mist-clouds always obscured some portion of the scene.

We took the boat ride on the river above the Falls, but, as pleasant as it was for a way to enjoy a sunny afternoon, obviously there is no Falls photo from above the gorge, unless you go too close to the edge. No thank you. I quit thinking that holding a camera made me invincible sometime in my 30’s, a very long time ago.

For getting something close to a comprehensive view, a helicopter did the trick, but with little feel for the thunder, the pounding reverberating through your body, in your bones, when facing the cataract, soaking wet; an aural battering negating any other sound or sensation.

For more of Bill’s photographs, go to https://www.billdurrence.com/index

  1. Mary Whisonant

    Wow! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Tom Kohler

    Bill -I really enjoyed images and narrative, Next time we see each other please remind me to talk w you about N of Victory Dr. Photo documentation…