From the Vic Falls Visitor Center in Zimbabwe to the eastern end of the falls in Zambia is about a mile-and-a-half along the road – a pretty easy walk. Of course, you need to make sure you have your passport and that your visa’s are in order – it’s an international border, after all.
Having exited Zimbabwe I walked along the road which turns south to cross the second gorge of the falls by the Victoria Falls Bridge. Now this is where one of the most exciting (but no longer the longest) bungee jumping operations in Africa operates from. Back in 1987, there was no bungee jumping operation. And if I took any, I didn’t keep any images taken from the bridge.
The bridge was manufactured in England, shipped to Mozambique then transported by rail to the falls. It was assembled in 14 months and opened in 1905. From the bridge to the water is 128 m (420 ft). The bungee drop is 111 m, of which the first 70 m is in free fall. Then the elastic takes control to bring your descent to a halt before you hit the water. Actually there was an accident in January of this year when the cord snapped and the jumper ended up badly bruised and shaken in the river. This is reportedly the first such event in over 150,000 jumps over 17 years. So I guess at this time until we have more data, the odds of the bungee cord snapping are 1:150,000. You may not want to be jumper 300,000:).
Having walked across the bridge, I then had to enter Zambia. I walked into the immigration hut and handed over my passport. The immigration official then carefully transcribed the details, by hand, into this huge ledger. Page after page of neatly handwritten names, nationalities, passport numbers.
For me that was quite a shock, but then I guess that’s the way it was done everywhere before computers and database became the norm.
What I find somewhat curious now is that this was an international border, yet the sign is about the same size are the ‘You are now entering Harris County’ sign that I pass every day on my commute into Houston.