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NATURE: Victoria Falls

Dry season view of Victoria Falls from Zambia.
©Charlie Hamilton James
Dry season view of Victoria Falls from Zambia.

Airs Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Cutting across the Zambezi River, bridging the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. This awesome force of nature divides two natural worlds — the tranquil meandering river above the cascade and the raging abyss of the gorge below.

The upper river is idyllic, running shallow through sandstone hills and meandering around islands and reed-beds where elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, zebra, antelope and otters thrive.

In a single vertical drop, the river plummets twice the height of Niagara Falls into the wild waters and heavy spray of the narrow gorge, where 35 different raptor species rear their young, feasting on a glut of fish.


Between the two worlds, the treacherous cliffs and rocky outcrops are covered in thick, mossy rainforest, fed by the constant mists, and home to baboons, monkeys, mongoose and parrots.

And a fisherman, known as Mr. White, has lived in a nearby town for 74 years, spending almost every day by the falls. in "Victoria Falls," NATURE joins Mr. White as he tells us Zambezi’s story — a story of the changing seasons and many moods of the river. It is a place of epic proportions, with an epic story to tell.

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Preview: Nature: Victoria Falls
Video Excerpt: Victoria Falls: Life Above The Falls