by Matthew Sterne
on February 4, 2014
4 min read

After the high of Namibia through Lori’s lens, I hit somewhat of a slump. A Tom-Petty free fall. A will-I-ever-receive-photographs-like-Lori’s-ever-again depression. The possibility that Lori went on other African adventures was the only thing that rescued me from the darkness. Motivated by this flicker of hope, I scrounged through our archives. What I found was an adventure that Livingstone would lift his hat for. A few years back, Lori and her husband Chuck embarked on an epic trip to Zimbabwe and Botswana, organised by our very own, Dee Dlamini.

When I first cast my eyes on Lori’s photographs of Namibia, I was silly. I was that child in the marshmallow experiment who forfeits a second marshmallow for a more immediate sugar rush. Restraint never occurred to me. A tad overexcited, I had to share Lori’s adventures now!

But I’ve learnt from my mistake. This time I’m not going to capture the trip in one fowl swoop. The adventures of Lori just became a mini series. The photographs will be savored and the African landscape mulled over like a fine merlot. We’re going on a journey and there’s no better place to start than one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Victoria Falls.

In keeping with tradition, I hand the baton to Lori for a firsthand account of …

The Smoke that Thunders…

"Welcome to Mosi~oa~Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The first known name of the falls was Shongwe, given by the Tokaleya people. Later, the Ndebele changed the name to Amanza Thunquayo, or Water Rising as Smoke. When the Makalolo arrived it was changed yet again to Mosi~oa~Tunya. And finally when Dr. Livingstone was brought to the falls in a dugout canoe on 16 November 1855, he renamed them in honor of the queen. To me, it's so spectacular, it deserves four names, at least."

“Welcome to Mosi~oa~Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The first known name of the falls was Shongwe, given by the Tokaleya people. Later, the Ndebele changed the name to Amanza Thunquayo, or Water Rising as Smoke. When the Makalolo arrived it was changed yet again to Mosi~oa~Tunya. And finally when Dr. Livingstone was brought to the falls in a dugout canoe on 16 November 1855, he renamed them in honor of the queen. To me, it’s so spectacular, it deserves four names, at least.”

"Once inside the park you'll find a network of tracks, meant to preserve the fragile rainforest ecosystem, and to take you to a series of viewpoints. There are flowering plants, ilala palms, ebony trees and ferns, birds and monkeys. We stepped carefully on the wet stone foot path all covered in moss, sometimes ducking under branch's, that dripped raindrops on our heads and backs."

“Once inside the park you’ll find a network of tracks, meant to preserve the fragile rainforest ecosystem, and to take you to a series of viewpoints. There are flowering plants, ilala palms, ebony trees and ferns, birds and monkeys. We stepped carefully on the wet stone foot path all covered in moss, sometimes ducking under branches that dripped raindrops on our heads and backs.”

"We were advised to wrap our cameras in plastic bags, the flow of water was at it's height, the flood stage happening between March and May with the water at its greatest between April and June. About five million cubic metres per minute pass over the falls. You're going to get wet!"

“We were advised to wrap our cameras in plastic bags, the flow of water was at its height, the flood stage happening between March and May with the water at its greatest between April and June. About five million cubic metres per minute pass over the falls. You’re going to get wet!”

"Giddy as children playing in the rain, we quickly got our bearings and began to check out every viewpoint. With names like Cataract View (Livingstone Statue is here) where you were meant to climb down a steep rock stairway into the gorge (didn't happen, too much water!) and Danger Point, covered with soaking and slippery moss covered rocks only to look out over an unfenced sheer drop off. Frightening and stunning."

“Giddy as children playing in the rain, we quickly got our bearings and began to check out every viewpoint. With names like Cataract View (Livingstone Statue is here) where you were meant to climb down a steep rock stairway into the gorge (didn’t happen, too much water!) and Danger Point, covered with soaking and slippery moss covered rocks only to look out over an unfenced sheer drop off. Frightening and stunning.”

We asked our pilot if he wouldn't mind taking a turn around the falls so we could have another look, an aerial look. Here you can see the Zambezi bridge, on the left is Zimbabwe and on the right, Zambia ...

“We asked our pilot if he wouldn’t mind taking a turn around the falls so we could have another look, an aerial look. Here you can see the Zambezi bridge. On the left is Zimbabwe and on the right, Zambia…”

"Victoria Falls was something I'd wanted to see for a very long time, I've had a bit of a crush on Livingstone and his adventures throughout Africa. Being there far exceeded any expectation (although I really have none when traveling, I just love to experience it all!) When describing the majesty of the falls, I think Dr. Livingstone came close with: 'on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed'.

“Victoria Falls was something I’d wanted to see for a very long time, I’ve had a bit of a crush on Livingstone and his adventures throughout Africa. Being there far exceeded any expectation (although I really have none when traveling, I just love to experience it all!). When describing the majesty of the falls, I think Dr. Livingstone came close with: ‘on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed’.”

Lori’s wish for you…

“I hope you will get a chance to see for yourself this great natural wonder of our world. Till then, it’s been my pleasure bringing you along with me.”


If you love Lori’s photographs and stories as much as we do, why not plan your very own adventure to the Victoria FallsContact one of our expert consultants today to get started.

For more of Lori’s photographs and stories, take a look at Lori times five.