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TREMENDOUS PLUNGE OF THE ZAMBESI RIVER. Victoria Falls, which are more than twice the height of Niagara and one mile in width,

THE TECHNICAL

WORLD MAGAZINE

Volume VII

MARCH, 1907

No. 1

Dwarfs Niagara's Power

By W. G. Fitz-Gerald

N your country are right ahead in the course of the mighty

there mountains of Zambesi, at Kalai two and a half miles
smoke that roar like wide.
our “Mos 1-oa- Behind the veil, the savages told him,
tunya ?" his trem-

trem- a dread god lived. The place was 'holy, bling boys asked the

cloud-covered, full of thunder, like awful Apostle of Africa,

Sinai on which the people might not gaze pointing to a vaporwreath shimmering

lest "many of them perish.” But Livwith rainbow jewels,

ingstone persevered, drifted lower be2,000 feet into the tween the myriad isles, where st skies.

birds called and orchids ran riot. LandLivingstone was puzzled. A dreary ing on the island that bears his name, uninteresting country, this; a parched he laid eyes for the first time on the dark woodland, desolated by raiding world's greatest wonder. Æons ago volMatabele, and given over to lion and ele- canic action tore open the black basalt, phant, hippopotamus and buffalo. Cau- leaving an abyss 400 feet sheer, over tiously he approached the Pillar of Light. which the mile-wide river drops into a Standing in his canoe at Kalai, he beheld cleft, which instantly turns at right anthe smoke-wreath split into five, their gles and zig-zags for fifty miles, as summits mingling with the clouds. Could though it were cut, tortuous and blackit be a vast forest fire? But no, it was walled, by some Titanic chisel. Copyright, 1907, by the Technical World Company.

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It is a labyrinth of ravines, where spray of an eternal storm. The returnblack cliffs rise from a chaos of rocks ing spray from the “Rain Forest" on the and boiling water. The maze covers hun opposite abyss drops in little cascades and dreds of square miles, bare, Dantesque, then, apparently defying gravity's law, uninhabited ; desolate as the moon's sur- turns and comes back again, mounting face. Livingstone with arms out- vertically. For the spray breaks into stretched, parting the ten-foot dripping smoke, hesitates and falters and then rises grass, and peering out between palm and slowly, quickening at last into feathery palmyra, purple lianes and gorgeous fountains ,driven by the fitful gusts. ferns, watched the mile-long cataract, as The Zambesi is one of the world's the solid rock quivered beneath his feet greatest rivers, yet the black basalt walls with the shock of the falling flood.

of its abyss are in parts not a hundred He describes it as the crumbling away yards wide. Here the speed, fury and of a mountain of chalk; the flight of a confusion of the monstrous stream, necmyriad of training comets, leaving rays essarily of depth incalculable, is an of nebulæ.” On the canyon's opposite awful sight. It is driven back on itself, wall towered a luxuriant forest, with a shaking the cliffs' foundations—boiling, lower growth, rank and lush, ever green heaving, whirling, sinking into gulfs, in the eternal rain. Down the black leaping in pyramids and spinning globes; basalt sides ran silvery cataracts from throwing up white spiral columns, and myriad leaves. But all was mystic, un- roaring with exaggerated thunder mulcertain in an unsubstantial sea of whirl- tiplied by the echoing cliffs, in places ing mist, quickened into ruby and sap- 500 feet high. phire and topaz as the African Sun In his book, Livingstone admits that on poured upon the cloud of luminous pearl. discovering the Victoria Falls he carved

The gorge below has but four "doors," his initials “D. L.”' upon a giant tree—“a as the natives call them, by which its vanity I was guilty of for the first time.” labyrinth can be entered. Far down the Long since his day industrial Africa black precipices fragile rainbow-hued has awakened, and the desolate red blossoms forever shake in the wind and karoo, with Kimberley's "blue dirt,” have

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