Saturday, 22 June 2013

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is one of those classic colonial outposts that, to this day, retains a decent chunk of its former olde world charm.  In fact it's a town built around tourism.  You can bungee jump off the bridge built between Zimbabwe and Zambia (no need for a passport), take a heli ride around the falls, glide up the Zambezi river on a sundowner cruise or just relax in the immaculately manicured gardens of the Victoria Falls Hotel. Here are some shots of the town and the hotel.

Warthog lawn trimmers in action at the A Zambezi Hotel, Vic Falls. Ironically the hotel does a really nice warthog baguette...

Warthog family out for a stroll in town.
Because of the spray at this time of year, the falls are hard to shoot! A plastic supermarket bag, attached to the lens with a strong rubber band around the filter gives some protection. Cut the plastic off the front of the lens (i.e. round the filter) and you'll find that the AF system works fine. We all carried special dry bags which were used to hold the camera when not shooting. In some parts of the Falls near Danger Point, the 'spray' was a tropical downpour. Real GoPro conditions.
Zimbabwe in the foreground and Zambia to the right of the bridge and the distant bank
The Vic Falls hotel is one of the best preserved of the world's grand old colonial hotels
Classic olde world drawing room in the fabulous Victoria Falls Hotel

You get a great view of the falls (the smoke that thunders) in the distance from the hotel gardens
Flame trees in the 'centre' of Vic Falls town
Another aerial view of the falls from the BellRanger helicopter - $140 for 15 mins was good value and a great opportunity to get some neat bird's eye views that you'd otherwise miss. Shooting from a helicopter requires a clean window, a wide-angle lens and a fast shutter speed (i.e. 1/1000s+) to counter the aircraft vibration and airspeed. Some shots are wasted with too many internal reflections while others were near perfect in their clarity.


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