Written by Ryan Carey ’20
This blog post is written in response to Ryan’s fall 2017 3-week trip to Zambia with Professors Amber Chenoweth and Emily McClung.
For myself, the most memorable place on this trip was Victoria Falls. It is the first natural wonder of the world that I have seen, and it most definitely deserves that title. The views of the falls were jaw dropping. Since it was the dry season, we were not able to see the falls in its full glory, however, it allowed us to do certain activities. One of these activities was going to the Devil’s pool. The Devil’s pool is a moving waterfall and is just on the edge of the falls on the Zambia side.
To get to this we embarked on a twenty minute hike across the exposed part of the river. During the wet season this rocky path would normally be covered in rushing water, but since it was still the dry season, we were able to walk across. Once we got near the pool, we had to swim across a small body of water, making sure not to get swept by any currents. There were safety ropes, but they would only be effective if you could grab on to them. This aspect of fear became all the more real when we reached the Devil’s pool.
When I got in, I immediately went to the edge and then there I was, sitting on the edge of the largest waterfall in the world. It was the burst of adrenaline that seemed to never come down. Luckily, we were able to stay there for a while, yet I still failed to capture all of its glory. There was so much to take in, that I could sit there all day and I would still be amazed. At the time, I had thought this view would be the highlight of the trip. But, to my surprise, the Zimbabwe side of the falls proved to be even more breath taking.
After a very strenuous journey across the Zambia/Zimbabwe border, we had finally reached the other side. And after an amazing lunch, we continued our journey to the falls. The Zimbabwe side didn’t have as many waterfalls as Zambia did. But what it did have was a lot of cliffs. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We were at the top of the largest waterfall in the world, and we could just sit down and dangle our feet over the edge. Although very scary, it proved to be even more exhilarating than the Devil’s pool. Once the anxiety started to fade, I went from spot to spot, just sitting on different rocks all over the edge. The views here were completely different than the previous spots on the tour. Here, we saw these amazing stone walls that seemed to stand miles high. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Although we were there for a small amount of time, I was content. I was content because I had the realization that this beauty could not stay out of forever. I knew that at some point I would have to come back. It will not be soon, but when the chance comes, I can’t wait to take it.