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Posts Tagged ‘Waterfall’


We move south into Zambia to visit Victoria Falls, another famous feature of Africa that was first discovered (by a European) by David Livingstone.  The famous, 108 meter high waterfall is named Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) in Swahili.  I personally prefer that name, so much more magnanimous. 

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

We enter Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  As we walk in, we witness a small group of sable grazing on the dry grass.  Under a eucalyptus tree, there is a baboon nibbling on something.  This small park is surprisingly bio-diverse and boasts populations of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, antelope, buffalo, zebra, and warthog. 

I lead us through a riverine forest toward the Falls.  The trail is rugged, but not dangerous.  On the way, we see a small warthog, probably a piglet that was separated from his mother.  Hopefully he finds her again.  We reach the river.  Here thousands of cubic meters of water thunder down to the depths below.  An amazing, powerful sight: a nearly 2000 meter long sheet of water.  Mist is thrown hundreds of feet into the air.  A few klipspringers (“rock jumpers” in Afrikaans) hop from rock to rock at water’s edge.  This is a fabulous place to see during the wet season.  During the dry season, the falls nearly dry up, and only a small cascade goes over the edge. 

Those of us who are brave enough (or certifiably insane) take a dip in the Devil Pool: a shallow pool of water right at the edge of the falls from which there is virtually no risk of going over.  Talk about exposure.  (For all of you keeping score at home: this is only available during the dry season.  Nice thing about virtual trips is that you can bend the laws of space and time.)

A slight toll must be paid to enter the Knife-Edge bridge and look directly over the cliffs.  The view is spectacular, and even for those who climbed Kilimanjaro, a bit unnerving: knife edge is right!  We take a footpath toward the Boiling Pot: a point where the strong water carved out a deep pit.   Here, turbulent undercurrents produce a bubbling, boiling like appearance to the water. 

Thoroughly soaked through and after many photographs, we head back up above the gorge for some R and R.

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Under the Falls

Under the Falls

So going with the laziness on my part theme, here is another photo and song. For the song, go here.

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I felt bad about not including both of these fantastic cascades, so I included both.  Each is amazing in their own respect, but for different reasons.

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Angel Falls and a rainbow

American bush piolot Jimmy Angel was gold prospecting when he found the waterfall now known as Angel Falls.  The waterfall, located in Gran Sabana, Venezuela, is the highest in the world.  They reach up to 3,212 feet at the highest point.  Just so you know, that is fifteen times higher than Niagara Falls.  The falls plummet from the Auyan Pepuy, a strange, primordial plateau of sandstone.  These are contained in Canaima National Park.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterpiece: The Lost World was inspired here.  The park has a hotel which is very expensive.  Here, a flight is your best bet to see the amazing sight.  The best time for hiking the surrounding area and the park is from October to May.  The best time for navigating the rivers stemming from the waterfall is from May to December.  During the dry season (January to May) the waterfall is unobstructed, but very thin.  During the wet season from (June to December) the waterfall is giant, but often enveloped with clouds.

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A rainbow over a section of Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls in Misiones, Argentina may not be as well-known as the Niagara Falls, however, they are bigger than the North American cataract.  Around 1,700 cubic meters of water plunge headlong into the tumultuous rapids below over the 200 foot fall.  There are over 275 smaller falls, over the 3 in Niagara.  Some of these stretch over 2 miles!  The falls can be seen from both Brazil and Argentina.  There is a great number of walkways and catwalks that can be meandered through dense rainforest jungle.  The Hotel des Cataratas is located right on the falls and costs $165.  It may be a bid difficult to fall asleep amongst the thundering waters nearby.  Like with Angel Falls, the best time for hiking the surrounding area and the park is from October to May.  The best time for navigating the rivers stemming from the waterfall is from May to December.  During the dry season (January to May) the waterfall is unobstructed, but very thin.  During the wet season from (June to December) the waterfall is giant, but often enveloped with clouds.

Both of these waterfalls are amazing in their own right.  Do not compare them, however, as they are great for different reasons.

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