Daredevil kayakers paddle up to precipice of Victoria Falls… just to get a better look

Recreational Paddling / May 29, 2012

Standing on one of the islands that appear during the dry season, they were able to look over the edge of the massive torrent of water, which flows between the African nations of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Extreme photographer Desre Tate, from Brisbane, Australia, captured the heart-in-mouth moment from a helicopter hovering just a few hundred feet above. She said: ‘No-one has ever survived a fall off the falls – it is incredibly dangerous.

But the drop wasn’t the only danger – crocodiles and hippos can be found in the calmer, flatter waters on top of the falls where they were stood.


‘It’s always scary to see people pushing the limits and seeing them standing so close to the edge – but thankfully they are three of the world’s best kayakers.’

They then abseiled to the bottom with their kayaking gear on their backs – before successfully navigating the wild waters below.

Desre, 34, who has travelled the world taking extreme kayaking photos for more than 10 years, added: ‘Anything like this should not be attempted unless you are a professional with plenty of safety gear.

‘I have swum to the edge to take a look from above the falls but it was terrifying and despite being told it was ‘fairly safe’ it’s hard to trust it. The wind is so strong it blows mist from the falls hundreds of metres into the air – giving it the local name ‘the smoke that thunders’.

‘Thankfully during the dry season the falls split around small islands making it easier to paddle up and get out of your kayak to have a look over the edge.

‘The boys used this opportunity to have a look over the edge, work out how to get down to the bottom to the rapids and to plot a good route through the rapids.’

Desre added: ‘Once they got down there, the boys battled their way to the middle of the river to greet a huge monster of a rapid – and it was over in just a few minutes such was the force.’