Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls

The locals call it “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or the smoke that thunders. Sitting on the the boarder between Zimbabwe and Zambia is a natural wonder of the world, Victoria Falls.

The Zambezi river runs off a cliff into a massive gorge. Victoria Falls may not be the tallest or widest waterfall in the world but it is the largest. The best place to see Victoria Falls in all it splendor is from the Zimbabwe national park. If you like a bit of danger, go for the swim of a life time and head over to Zambia to take a dip in the “Devil’s pool” a natural rock formation that allows swimmers to go right up to the edge of the waterfall (no thank you!).

By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73750632

In 1989 the waterfall was designated a UNESCO world heritage site and rightfully so! Sadly in recent years due to climate change and drought the Zambezi river ran almost completely dry in 2019 bringing the ‘smoke that thunders’ to silence. Victoria Falls is going to become a last chance destination, as the world gets hotter, the water will stop flowing and falling all together.

weather.com

Science Experiment time!

Martin and I do a lot of art projects and recipes but we have yet to do a science experiment. A waterfall at a very basic level, is an abundance of water overflowing. So we created a simple vinegar and baking soda experiment. We added some food color to the vinegar and did it a few times as we watched the mixture overflow over the top of the jar just like a waterfall! We used 1 Tbs baking soda, 1 Tbs of dish soap, and 1/2 cup vinegar with a squirt of gel food coloring (you can see specks of paint in our waterfall- we tried using washable paint to no avail before switching to food coloring, which worked great!). I never replenished the baking soda or soap, but we were able to repeat the experiment only with new vinegar half a dozen or more times.

Later Martin was taking a bath and he exclaimed “there’s a waterfall!”. Sure enough there in the bathtub was water overflowing through the spigot cover. Sometimes he surprises me with how much he retains and how everyday things in our home can be connected to the country of the week!

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