We spent two full days covering the Rainforest on foot, not because you need two full days to get right around it, but because to do it properly and to absorb this mystical place right into the depths of your soul, you cannot rush it. Believe me, two days is not enough, but that was all we had.
There were bus loads of tourists hot-footing it through the Rainforest on both days we were there. Many wore blinkered, if not agonised, expressions while they were rushing from point A to Z desperate to snap a picture proclaiming they'd 'been there, done that!' and now qualified for the badge.
I wanted to see it all waking up in the early morning, during the heat of the day and then see it settling itself down for the evening and night-time ahead. I wanted to see it in each season, to be able to explore the many rock pools at low water and be there to marvel in the thunderous roar and gigantic mass of water spilling over at the height of the rainy season. The best I could do, was to take in as much of it all as I could in the limited time we had.
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Of course, seeing it from the air, reminiscent of Dr Livingstone's iconic words, would be like taking a
flight with the angels, gazing down on the majesty of this place from heaven. Too much to resist and, so it was that the four of us eagerly and excitedly arrived at the helipad to take our flight. None of us was at all anxious, as we'd flown in a helicopter before this. Also, our son holds a private pilot's licence. We've flown with him for 10 years, so we're perfectly accustomed to small aircraft.
It is impossible to describe the thrill of seeing the falls from the air, so I'm not even going to attempt it. I hope the pictures I've uploaded here will speak for themselves...
|Excitement mounts! We have arrived at the Falls from the helicopter base, which is some distance away. We're in for a treat! The whole flight is only 20 minutes duration from takeoff to landing, so take it all in while you get the chance!|
|A nice view of the main path running along the outer edge of the Rainforest. Smaller paths lead off this to take you close to the edge - it can be very trecherous, but is absolutely mesmerising if you don't suffer from vertigo.|
|Rainforest to your left.|
|The various cataracts separated from the main body of the falls all have names, as do all the pools and gullies beneath the falls.|
|Rainbows in the mist are almost a permanent feature...|
|Flying along the lip of the falls. Rainforest in the mist on your left.|
|Flying over the Zambezi River, Zambia to your right, Zimbabwe off left.|
|The Rainforest on your right. The outer-perimeter paths run close to the edge here and can be quite treacherous.|
|Zambian side ahead - there are several large, modern hotels to choose from on both sides.|
|Zimbabwean side to the right of the bridge, Zambian side leading off left. The bridge is favoured by Bungee jumpers for those brave enough to take the leap!|
|Rainforest National Park with mist from the falls causing the 'rain' on the edge of the forest.|
|Zambian Border Post directly below. Zimbabwe across the bridge to the left of the picture.|
|The Zimbabwean Border Post visible immediately below, with the Rainforest National Park behind.|
|Hydro-electric scheme on the Zambian side.|
|Another popular way of viewing the falls from the air is by Microlight.|
|The Zambezi River - the large island ahead, left, is Livingstone Island. The landmass on the left is Zimbabwe, that on the right is Zambia.|
Hope you enjoyed the flight as much as we did ;)