Jumping Next to the Smoke That Thunders

So… My friend Jeremy and I, in order to make most of our trip, decided to find another place to travel.

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

Naturally, we decided to go to the Smoke that Thunders or Victoria Falls. Why wouldn’t we want to travel here? We were also very interested in going to Devil’s Pool, which is a natural pool formation that is situated on the edge of the waterfall. This was the ultimate adventure! We purchased our tickets one month before our flight to South Africa.

We would soon find out that the attraction was closed due to the winter season or wet season. Bummer! The wet season, as the name implies, generates a lot of rain, which increases the currents, and makes it impossible for swimmers to get to Devil’s Pool. This is evident by the large quantity of water that plunges down from the gorge creating a smokescreen of water. It is impossible to get a clear view of the falls during the wet season.

Nevertheless, my friend and I were still very excited to visit the falls. However, we needed to find some other extreme adventure that we could partake. Jeremy did some research and decided that we should bungee jump, which made me a little nervous. I decided to just do it (Nike would be proud), and soon enough I made the reservations for our jump through Shearwater reservations.

Our trip to Victoria Falls was only for three days. We arrived using Air Zimbabwe and prior to landing we were able to identify a mist ascend from the dense forest. We instantly recognized that the landmark was Victoria Falls. We landed in a small airport and took a cab to the A’Zambezi River Lodge.

Prior to our jump, we decided to explore the falls. The falls were scenic, especially during the sunset, where the falls were highlighted by the sun. We walked through a rain forest which is nurtured by the falls. The hues of green from the trees were highlighted by hues of red and orange, which transitioned beautifully to the orange waterfall.

The falls were literally a smoke of thunder! Massive amounts of water were dumped down into the A’Zambezi river, the fourth longest river in Africa, that stretches from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mozambique. The mist was like walking through a monsoon or maybe more like a summer rain storm. Our jeans were soaked! Get a poncho!

Eventually the day came where we had to jump. In order to do this we had to get a temporary visa, walk past the border to Zambia, and walk towards a bridge where the jump would take place. We purchased our tickets and did the full package, which included the zipline adventure, the bungee jump, and the bridge swing.

Panorama of Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Rain Forest

Zip line Adventure

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

We started off with the Zip line adventure, which was fun, but not incredibly exciting. Perhaps, this was overshadowed by the bungee jump and the bridge swing.

Next in line, was the bungee jump, where the question “to jump or not to jump” became more relevant.

Bungee Jump

Bungee

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

The worst thing about doing anything is thinking about all the bad things that can happen  I remember watching a video prior to our trip about an Australian girl who fell in the river after her bungee cord snapped. Luckily, she survived without a scratch. Like I said, there is a lot of thoughts that pop up, but I have a good way of ignoring those thoughts. Maybe not a good thing.

We waited in line until our turn came up. It was a long line full of crazy people just like my friend and I. Jeremy went before me. It took only a couple of minutes for him to receive instructions, hobble to the edge of the bridge, and jump backwards while yelling “YOLO!”

He disappeared and they quickly called me up to the edge of the bridge. My heart began to pound and they were instructing me on what should I do. They mentioned that I should look forward, dive as far I can, and blah blah. I was more worried about the jump. I could feel my heart thump against my chest… Thump… Thump… Thump…

Everything went fast. Before I knew my legs were tied up and I wobbled forward to the edge. I looked down for a moment and took a deep breath. They placed my arms up and they started counting down from five quickly. I jumped…

The next few seconds were the greatest seconds of my life. The experience was amazing. It is where everything begins to slow down. I am looking down with tunnel vision and everything becomes focused. I realize what I have done, that I have just jumped, and that I am currently falling. Quickly I was developing a high as adrenaline kicked in. I observe every moment, a smile cracks from my face, I yell for my life, and before I know it I am done.

Blood quickly rushes towards my head and I am dangling below a bridge above raging waters. My thoughts go back to every second of the jump. I can hear the raging water storm below me, I can feel the droplets of the falls hit my face, I can smell the moisture of the falls, and my surroundings open up to me. The landscape is beautiful. It was as if I were seeing through a new lens, promoted by the adrenaline and blood rushing to my head.

Eventually, a person came down and picked me up and we slowly were brought back up to the base of the bridge. I had to walk through the steel work and climb up to the main road. I was greeted by my Friend and we cracked a smile and laughed.

Bridge Swing

Bridge Swing

Picture provided by Victoria Falls Staff

We were still high from the bungee jump, but we had the bridge swing left to do. We decided to do the bridge swing together in order to build more speed. Once again we waited in line. I was still thinking about my jump. Jeremy bummed a cigarette from one of the jumpers. He was trying to keep his brain stimulated . We waited in line until we were called up. The staff walked us through the jump. My friend and I were tied together and we walked towards the ledge. After the count of five we jumped.

It was icing on the cake. Instantly gravity was pushing against me, I could feel my stomach fall, and I couldn’t help but scream from the top of my lungs  It was a few seconds of free fall before our rope followed the motion of a pendulum. We flew over the river and screamed “woo hoo” and “that was awesome!” It may sound corny, but I guess it is something that you just have to do.

Just Do It

Just Do It!

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9 thoughts on “Jumping Next to the Smoke That Thunders

    • Thanks Sue! Thanks for the tip… I had no idea! I really enjoyed your blogs as well, especially the Canadian Badlands article. I wish you well on your blog. Cheers!

      • You are most welcome. I’ve had lots of help over the past year on my blog so happy to pay it forward. Glad you enjoyed my antics in the Badlands. 🙂 Thank you.

  1. Glad you stumbled upon my blog, and me on yours! A friend is wanting to go to Zambia for his birthday, in March. He’s put a lot of planning into it and possible activities, so I never questioned any of his research. Usually I’m the one doing all the planning, so it was nice to sit back and not do a thing! Reading your post about the wet season made me want to check, just in case…. Apparently its not a good time to go at all! When were you guys there?

    • Hey, so… the rainy season is from November until April. I went during May and it didn’t rain, but I mentioned it because it affected the volume of water that flowed down in Victoria falls at the time, which prevented us from going to Devil’s Pool. I did ask a friend who lived in Zambia for two years and she mentioned…

      Rainy season typically starts in November and goes until March or April. It rains a lot the further up north you go in the country (luapula, northern and northwest provinces get the most rain). Rain usually comes daily during the peak of rainy season (dec-march) and yes, it can get very heavy and there can be lots of mud. I would advise to pack a lot of rain gear and water proof equipment if you are going during the rainy season. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared, especially when it comes to rainy season in Zambia. Flooding is definitely possible.

      I hope that answers your question. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

      I look forward to reading your blog again, peace!

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