|View of the spray from Victoria Falls taken from the helicopter launching site. |
The Tokaleya people named the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates to
Smoke that Thunders in Tonga.
In the chopper it was only the two of us plus the pilot. I sat in the front and Mr. Deep sat in the back. We got to wear cool headsets so that we could hear the pilot and also communicate with each other. Yes, just as I will take classes at the boxing gym so I can wear cool boxing gloves I will fly in a helicopter in large part because I want to wear the head set. Maybe this blog should be renamed My Thoughts From The Shallow End?
|Heading back to land at the pad|
After the flight Godfrey drove us to the falls and took us on a walking tour. There are a lot of baboons near the falls and they are quite aggressive actively trying to find food that people may be carrying. At one point Godfrey picked up a big stick to threaten the baboons with so that they would stay away from us.
Finally we walked way out on a bridge until we were about halfway across the falls. This is known as the baptism as you get soaked with water. All of the cameras and phones had to be put in a dry bag and we wore giant ponchos. Once it was dry enough we snuck the phones out for a few quick photos.
|Godfrey and me|
The wet season at Victoria Falls is February and March. At this time approximately 500 million liters of water is flowing through the falls per minute. November is the dry season and the water volume is reduced to about 10 million liters per minute.
You would think nothing could top a morning of flying over and getting sprayed on by Vic Falls. But, in the afternoon we had the amazing opportunity to walk with rhinos.
Due to an epidemic of poaching for their horns, rhinos are critically endangered. Nine of the eleven white rhinos that live in Zambia live in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where we visited. These rhinos are tracked and watched 24 hours a day seven days a week by armed Zambian Wildlife Authority guards. The guards carry AK-47s and they follow the rhinos around making sure they do not become victims of poaching. The guards have been instructed to shoot now and ask questions later if they suspect a poacher. This is how serious the poaching problem is in Africa. We had the chance to see four of the nine white rhinos that live in the park. Also, white rhinos aren't white. You can tell a white rhino versus a black one as the white have more of a square shaped mouth.
|You can see by our shadows just how close we were to the rhinos.|
|Mr. Deep and one of the guards|