Victoria Falls

Photo Essay: Victoria’s Many Moods

In the rainy season, Victoria Falls thunders — nearly 300,000 gallons of water pass over the edge every second. Then, months later the dry season reduces her thunder to a whisper. This is the story of Victoria’s many moods.

Add your own photos.

Swipe left or right to view gallery
Transformation - Victoria's Many MoodsBy May, the rains finally stop and the hot, beating sun lowers the water level of the Zambezi. Sandy islands begin to emerge from the river, and shallow pools start to clear. Animals from all around the surrounding savannah start to flock to the banks of the Zambezi. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Lunar RainbowLunar RainbowA lunar rainbow crosses the gorge as the lights of the surrounding towns shine in the background. The Zambezi never sleeps. Photo © Jamie McPherson
Full MoonFull MoonAs night falls on the Zambezi, the temperature cools and the moon comes out, illuminating the mist. Photo © Jamie McPherson
River CrossingRiver CrossingAt the peak of the rainy season, the rapids could have swept a whole family of elephants over the falls in a matter of seconds. But in the dry season elephants can cross the river safely with their young to reach the grassy islands in the middle. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Time to NestTime to NestGiant kingfishers too are raising a family. They must choose a nest site near prime fishing spots so that they can feed their growing young. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Nice CatchNice CatchIn the clear, calm waters, fish eagles hunt constantly for fish. They are raising chicks, and must catch enough fish for the whole family. The young must grow strong quickly if they are to learn to hunt on their own before the rains return. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
TransformationTransformationBy May, the rains finally stop and the hot, beating sun lowers the water level of the Zambezi. Sandy islands begin to emerge from the river, and shallow pools start to clear. Animals from all around the surrounding savannah start to flock to the banks of the Zambezi. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Return to the RiverReturn to the RiverWhen the rains subside, many birds, reptiles, insects, fish and mammals gather in the area above the falls. These crafty dragonflies are taking a ride on a crocodile. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Feeding the TroopFeeding the TroopAt the end of the rainy season, the rainforest provides plenty of fruit and an easy life for the baboons. But when the dry season comes, times become tough. Photo © Tom Varley
Over the EdgeOver the EdgeAt the peak of the rainy season, almost 300,000 gallons of water cascade over the falls every second, sending spray miles into the air. The spray can bee seen up to 30 miles away. It settles on the area around the gorge, creating a belt of rainforest. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James
Smoke That ThundersSmoke That ThundersThis place is called Mosi-o-Tunya, which means “smoke that thunders.” The Zambezi tumbles over the edge and falls 350 feet into the narrow gorge below. Photo © Charlie Hamilton James