Zimbabwe

I stand with my back to the small museum watching my tour group heading down the well-kept path. I see a billowing white cloud rising over the treetops and hear a roaring sound. I smell the musty dampness of vegetation as I follow the group to the statue of the European explorer, David Livingston.

I hear exclamations of wonder roll from the lips of my companions. I move forward and stand beside a frail wooden fence, the only thing separating me from a certain plunge to death, as I look into the gaping chasm of "Mosi-Oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders". I see an azure sky, the flat plateau of the Zambezi River with it's rushing waters plummeting over the sheer cliffs like an endless curtain and falling 400' to the raging cauldron below. Millions of misty droplets are sprayed into the air masking the scene in a mystical haze. Twice the size of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls is actually five separate falls: Devils Cataract, the Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, and the Eastern Cataract and I plan to see them all!

We continue along the path ducking in and out of the rain forest checking out various viewpoints. As I round the bend and exit the forest onto a treeless escarpment I am suddenly enveloped in a thick cloud of mist. Quickly, I duck back into the canopy covering and jerk my HLO rain poncho from my backpack. Now I know why they told me to wear it! I hope my camera has not been damaged by the sudden dowsing from the dense spray. I dry my camera on my clothing and tuck it under my poncho then step back into the open. In no time water is dripping from me to the slick, wet concrete path.

I continue to explore the lookout points that now hang out over the river enjoying different angles of the falls and the rainbows created in the mist. At the end of our tour is the Victoria Falls Bridge where people bungee-jump into the Zambezi chasm. Someone shouts "Look!" As I turn around I see a man perched on the edge of the bridge tethered by a thin line. He suddenly lunges forward in a grand swan dive dropping rapidly toward the canyon floor. My breath catches in my throat as a loud scream escapes his lungs, echoing off the canyon walls. He descends until his hands look as if they have parted the surface of the water then is quickly jerked back up attached to a bungee rubber band, finally coming to rest a few feet above the surface. He is wenched up as we leave. As my distance from the falls increases the air becomes less moist and the roar more subtle but the beauty and power of Victoria Falls is forever captured in my heart and through my lens!