Mosi-oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in       12 years ago     1404 Views     Comments Off on Mosi-oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders  

When Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone first laid eyes on Mosi-ao-Tunya he recorded in his journal, “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It has never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight. Victoria Falls is a 1.7 km long waterfall straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is fed by the mighty Zambezi River - the 4th largest in Africa, running a course of 2,574 km (1,600 miles). Known in one of the many local dialects as Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning: The Smoke That Thunders) was christened Victoria Falls by Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who was the first European to lay eyes on the falls on 17-november-1855, in honor of the then queen Victoria.

Victoria Falls

The traveler with Mohindi

Today, Victoria Falls is one of Africa's major tourist attractions and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The falls can be viewed from either the Zambian side via Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (via Livingstone, Zambia) and Victoria Falls National Park (via Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe). In all honesty, the falls were a little bit of a disappointment at first glance. This stems mostly from being that this is the end of the rainy season and the falls are not only at their highest water flow but also because this year there is a flood. According to locals there has not been a flood of this area as great as this in almost 40 years!. Someone must have heard that I was coming and decided that I should be a little disappointed.  . . It's hard to image the beauty of this magnificnet 1.7 km long waterfall as you are being sprayed by the water that is shot up 500 meters into the air as the falls are plunging to the bottom of the Zambezi River gorge.

Victoria Falls from above

Victoria Falls from above

A better way to experience the falls is most certainly via the air . . . so I grew some wings and some courage and took a helicopter ride over the falls. Though the excitement of seeing the falls from the air had been building up all day, the first glimpse of the falls absolutely took my breath away as you spot the swirling mist of spray reaching high up into the sky above the falls. Then . . . you are over the falls and not only do you forget you are in a helicopter but you realize that it is an amazing sight to be here when the falls are at their fullest. I definitely recommend taking the helicopter ride to anyone who is coming to visit the falls.

Victoria Falls from above

Victoria Falls from above. The Bridge on the right hand side of the image marks the border between Zambia & Zimbabwe

Livingstone is full of all sorts of activities- for very high prices of course - which has been providing me with so many choices. Though some of my choices are not possible, such as I had planned to go on a full day canoeing trip on Tuesday, but it was cancelled because there were not enough people going. River rafting has been cancelled for the entire month of April because the waters are too high and the current too strong. But never fear, canoeing is on for Thursday and then on to Chobe National Park in Botswan!. Time goes too fast!!


I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.