Victoria Falls Rainbow

December 30, 2008


Photographer: Joop Van der Roest, RIKILT - Institute of Food Safety
Summary Author: Jim FosterJoop Van der Roest

I was fortunate to be able to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls at the end of a two week business trip to South Africa. These falls occur on the Zambezi River along the edge of the East African Plateau. Its existence is indicative of how recently, in geological terms, that it formed. Erosion hasn’t yet had time to reduce the plateau’s edge to a gentler slope. Before heading back to the airport at Livingstone, I had to see the "Falls" one more time. I was rewarded with the most spectacular rainbow I had ever seen. The colors were so intense and the width of the bow seemed astonishing and so close, you could almost grasp it. In actuality, the width of any rainbow is always about 2 degrees, or approximately 4 times the width of the solar disk.