A couple admires Victoria Falls and takes a photo

A couple admires the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


It was off-season at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe when we visited the place in December 2011. “Ah, it’s probably not as impressive as it could be,” the hotel staff had told us, “because there’s very little water in the Zambesi River.” They shrugged, and continued, “but that’s not unusal at all. You see, we’re still waiting for the waters from the rainy season to hit the river.” So we drove with very mixed emotions from Botswana through the Zimbabwe customs all the way to the village of Victoria Falls.

We entered the Victoria Falls Park with our tour guide, and she told us an entirely different story: “This is the best time of the year, because there is so little water. When the Zambesi carries a lot of water, you basically could no see anything here, and you’d be entirely soaked with the fine fog.” – Indeed we could approach the edge and still see the opposite side. And while we walked along the path of the park, I suddenly noticed this couple. The woman was taking a photo while the man was holding an umbrella, probably to protect the woman against the water. While you will find many people taking photos from the impressive falls, we did not see anyone with an umbrella. If you look closely you will notice that the umbrella already worked as expected – it’s pretty damp.

I like this shot so much because the couple seems perfectly embedded into the landscape, barely noticeable upon a quick glance, but the umbrella is so out-of-place un unusual that it grabs the full attention of the viewer. In fact, it’s easy to imagine a Victorian couple about 110 years ago walking the same path with a similar umbrella.

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