Safari 2014: The Caprvi Strip / Update 05/05/2014

by david on May 4, 2014

I got a little out of order last week when I went off on a shooting tangent.  Sorry about that.  I was supposed to tell you about the last leg of the trip: Victoria Falls.  I am really looking forward to this section of the trip, as I have never been to the falls before.  I have flown over them in a Cessna on the way to hunting camp, but I have not seen them from the ground.  Since I have not actually been there yet, I am sort of a loss for words as what to say, but I’ll give it my best shot with a little bit of history and what I saw from the air.

Victoria Falls or Mosi-oaTunya in the Tonga language translates to “smoke that thunders”.  If you think about it, “smoke that thunders” is a pretty accurate description of the sound and appearance of the falls. The deafening rumbling, as the water cascades over the edge into the chasms it has carved out over the centuries, definitely sounds like thunder.  The constant cloud of mist from the created by the falls could also be mistaken for smoke.  To the ancient people, it literally seemed to be smoke that thunders.  Victoria Falls is 5600 feet wide and 354 feet tall, making it the world’s largest falls by volume.  The only other falls that come close are the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil.  I have been to Iguazu (see my blog from last summer) and it is a phenomenal sight.  It will take some doing for Vic Falls to take first place on the “wow” scale.  For those of you that have visited Niagara Falls, Vic Falls is roughly twice as wide and twice as high.

Instead of flowing over the edge and flowing roughly straight away, Vic Falls goes over the edge of its almost mile long edge into the first of its six gorges, moving away from the falls in zigzag pattern.  The gorges range in length from 500 feet to two miles.  This pattern is probably hard to pick up from the ground but, it is readily evident from the air.  We will be there in the dry season and will be able to do some hiking in the gorges and have good visibility even in the wet conditions.  During the rainy season, the spray created from the extra volume completely obscures the base of the falls, and most of the gorge has limited visibility.  In fact, the plume of spray averages a height of 1300 feet and sometimes it doubles even that.  The plume can be visible for up to 30 miles.  During a full moon you can see a “moonbow”, the nighttime equivalent of a rainbow.

Victoria Falls will be a great place to rest up after my hunt and wrap up our trip.  I promise to give you a first-hand overview and lots of pictures when I get back.


Note:  Even though I would like to say I know all of the Victoria Falls facts off the top of my     head, I can’t  do it.  What I did not know came from Wikipedia.

The view down into the gorge.  The view down into the gorge. The view from way up in the air. The view from way up in the air. The view from the falls down river. The view of the gorges from the falls down river. The view from down river up towards the falls. The view of the gorges from down river up towards the falls.

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