Though our day exploring Victoria Falls was amazing, I had one regret. Pre-trip, as I scrolled through Instagram photos of the falls, I saw a lot of fabulous rainbow pics. Alas, on our Victoria Falls day, there was not a single rainbow in sight.
Victoria Falls-Helicopter Tour
I was a tiny bit nervous as we pulled into the helicopter company’s parking lot. It was my first ever helicopter ride, and although I had zero trepidation later in the week when paragliding, there was something about being squished together in a small, metal pod, that ascended into the air, that gave me the claustrophobic fidgets.
We were weighed, placed in our group, then given a little overview of Victoria Falls and the surrounding area.
Then we waited for a bit, which didn’t help ease my jitters.
Our group was called and we were instructed to make our way to the helicopter (I had to fight back the urge to yell, “get to the chopper!”).
My tummy wasn’t necessarily filled with giant monarch butterflies, but there were some tiny moths flapping their wings inside there.
They loaded us according to weight, and I was thrilled that I got a window seat.
The view from the air was an amazing sight.
The helicopter turned, to expose a different angle, and it happened.
Just as we turned, a rainbow leapt out of the falls. Or at least that’s what it looked like, a leaping, bright, colorful rainbow, jumping out to greet me.
Joy, wonder, amazement, I felt it all. I’m grateful that my husband just happened to snap a photo of me at the very moment I saw it.
I finally got to see my Victoria Falls rainbow and in a more spectacular way than I could have imagined.
I emerged from the helicopter like a little kid.
“Again, again,” I wanted to cry. Helicopter rides are super fun.
Taking a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls is one of those travel splurges. It isn’t necessary, but if you can save somewhere else so that you can swing it, the views are incredible, and the experience is unforgettable.
Extra Info: Helicopter Tours can be booked through the Zimbabwe Helicopter Company. When you arrive at the helicopter company, there is a park fee that you have to pay in cash, even if you already paid ahead for the rest of the ride, so make sure to bring cash with you.
Victoria Falls- Lunar Tour
Our trip was already booked, when I came across information about the Victoria Falls Lunar Tour. After checking the dates of our trip, I realized that we would be at the falls during the full moon. As there are often rainbows at the falls, during the full moon, you have the possibility of encountering a lunar rainbow, or moonbow. Essentially a rainbow that is illuminated not by the sun, but by the full moon. We couldn’t pass up the chance to see something that unique.
We booked the lunar tour through a company, that included transportation to and from our hotel, but you can just as easily stroll up to the entrance the night of and pay the entrance fee for the tour. I’d actually suggest this instead of booking ahead, so you know it’s going to be a clear, weather free, night, before you financially commit.
Everyone on Lunar night, must stay together with the group. It’s very dark, and there could be wild animals lurking about. The guides carry flashlights to lead the way, and they are very strict about everyone staying together.
We arrived at the first viewing point, and there it was, a moonbow. Cascading down from the falls. It had an eerie glow, not experienced during daytime rainbows.
The appearance made me think of a stretched out, multi-colored, ghost.
It was inspiringly cool.
I am in love with my Olympus Tough point and shoot, and am happy using my phone for supplemental photos and video. I’ve never had much of a desire to lug around a DSLR camera, but this was an occasion where I wish I had more sophisticated equipment, because we couldn’t get a great shot of the moonbow.
I was very careful to keep my flash off, but when I reached at some point to stabilize my phone, I must have accidentally touched the screen. To my great embarrassment my flash went off, pissing off the girl standing next to me. Embarrassment aside, I ended up getting a fun shot of the mist at night.
We went to several other viewing points, but the first moonbow was the only one we saw that night. Our visit was during dry season, and one of the guides said that you can see a lot more moonbows during the high season. It was still exciting being able to see one. It was also neat being able to walk around the falls at night with nothing but a few flashlights and the full moon to provide light. You couldn’t fully see the falls, but because of that, you could feel them all the more.
Would I have liked to come home with a stellar lunar rainbow pic? Sure. In the end I was there, seeing it in person, experiencing a rainbow, illuminated by the full moon, at one of the natural wonders of the world. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience, and being there, in the moment, soaking it all in, is really what travel is all about.
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