It Takes Guts and Nyaminyami

27 04 2007

Here is a slideshow of Ian bungi jumping at Victoria Falls last August.  Six months have gone by since that jump. Ian still says his palms sweat whenever he thinks about it. But I’m very proud that he did it. I know it was scary. Just take a look at the shot of the bridge from a distance. But, getting up there and setting aside your fear to reach out for something you want is exactly what No Guts is all about.

  Here is an excerpt from my original No Guts site about this experience…The Victoria Falls Bridge connects Zambia and Zimbabwe and stands 111 meters or 120+ yards above the Zambezi River just below Victoria Falls. It is home to the second highest bungi jump in the world behind the one at Bloukrans River in South Africa. We were on our way to Knysna from Oudtshoorn the week before when our guide abruptly pulled into the park at the Bloukrans river gorge and asked the boys if they wanted to jump.

We all felt a little road weary. The detour on narrow mountain passes around mudslides and flooded roads was seemingly interminable. But at the guide’s words, the boys were immediately sitting at attention. So we stopped the van, got out, and checked out the view. See the photo of the Bloukrans bridge in the album…pretty impressive, eh?

Our guide goaded the boys with the fact that Bloukrans is the highest commercial jump in the world. This bridge is 216 meters or 240 yards above the river and features a 7 second free fall.  First, they were eager. But as we studied the bridge the bravado began to fade and hesitation set in. So they decided to wait until we got to Victoria Falls, where the jump is about half the height, and it’s still the second highest jump in the world.

So the day arrived. We landed in Zambia, and this time there was no hesitation. We immediately proceeded to the hotel’s activity center to book bungi jump appointments. Armed with our passports and an exit visa, we passed through Zambian border check and boldly set foot on the bridge. 

After being weighed and measured the boys were suited up with harnesses. And each in their turn took that leap of faith…Five…Four…Three…Two…One…Bungi!!!!

I tip my hat to each of them. It took a lot of guts. The were scared out of their wits, but they didn’t let that stop them…truly living the mantra…no guts, no glory. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have Nyaminyami, the river spirit believed by the Tonga people to be watching over the Zambezi River, keeping a watchful eye. 

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