September 1 – 2, 2016
Staying at the Ilala Lodge on the Zimbabwe side of the falls, it was an easy walk to the entrance of the Victoria Falls Rainforest Reserve. We visited the park twice, once late in the day on the first afternoon and again the following morning at sunrise. Plenty of rainbow both in the evening and morning.
Photographing the falls turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. The mist from the falls made focusing challenging while managing the light conditions. The wide angle lens may work well for the larger falls but when they were at a lower volume the 18-135 lens worked better.
In early September the water level is quite low in some sections, but still high enough in the main sections to give you an idea of what the falls are capable of.
About 4:30 we headed out to see the falls in the low afternoon light.
Once inside the Vic Falls Rainforest Reserve there is a pathway that runs along edge of the canyon on the Zimbabwe side of the falls with the various viewpoints numbered, 1-16. The greatest volume of water is around the main falls with it petering out as you head towards the bridge to Zambia, i.e. the higher numbered viewpoints.
We woke early to be at the entrance to the falls when they opened at 6AM. Sunrise was at 6:23.
I didn’t know where the best sunrise spot was at this time of year. I focused on viewpoint 8, the main falls. In hindsight I would have started at a later viewpoint, 15, for the pre-sunrise color, where there is a better view of the whole sky and worked my way back to the main falls to catch the sunrise through the mist. The sunrise should move further south towards viewpoint 16 until December and would have been further north in May to August.
Once the sun was higher in the sky around 7:30 the first rainbows started to appear.
Soon after sunrise the sun is too harsh for photos from the Zimbabwe side. Late afternoon light would be better. Best to use a polarizing filter, camera rain jacket and tripod. I had only a monopod with me.
Be sure to walk to viewpoint 16 for a view of the bridge and back to 2 for the 38 steps down to a lower viewing deck.