Victoria Falls
October 2008
Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is a waterfall situated on the Zambezi River between the
countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls are, by some measures, the largest waterfall in the world. While it is neither the
highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, the claim it is the largest is based on a width of 1 mile and height of 360 ft, forming
the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The falls' maximum flow rate compares well with that of other major waterfalls.

The unusual form of Victoria Falls enables virtually the whole width of the falls to be viewed face-on, at the same level as the
top, from as close as 200 ft, because the whole Zambezi River drops into a deep, narrow slotlike chasm, connected to a long
series of gorges. Few other waterfalls allow such a close approach on foot.

We arrived at the falls at peak of low season. The Zambian side, which is higher, was mostly dry as you can see in the picture
below. However, even on the Zambian side, the sheer size of the cataract was impressive and one could see the water flowing
over the Zimbabwe side.
The next picture shows the dry Zambian side from the center of the river.
Fortunately, Nadia had scheduled us a private tour so we could see the Falls from the Zimbabwe side where there was an
impressive flow even at the peak of the dry season.
In the picture below, you can see a break in the Falls. At that point where only a modest amount of water flows is Devil's Pool. I
had read that one could swim out in that pool and look directly over the falls 300 feet directly below so I booked us a trip to the
To reach the pool, we took a jet boat down river a mile
to Livingstone Island from the Royal Livginstone. This is
the island where David Livingstone first saw the falls in
1855. Like us, he arrived in the dry season. The natives
paddled him down to the island. We landed at the upper
portion of the island and walked down to the lower
portion of the island where we changed into bathing
suits and swam across a channel of the river (fifteen
feet above the Falls) to a rock next to Devil's Pool. Now
we were supposed to swim across Devil's Pool to the
edge and peer over. At this point, Jackie balked. Our
guide wanted to know if it was ok that Ma Ma was not
coming along, and I assured him she could make her
own decision.

In the picture above and at the left, you can see people
at the Devil's Pool. Curiously, only about a dozen
people, three times a day, avail themselves of this

Below, I swim across Devil's Pool to the edge.
What you do not see in these pictures, but what was filmed on video, is me laying down and peering over the edge while the
guide held on to my legs. Meanwhile, Ma Ma was sitting on the other side of Devil's Pool having a near heart attack.