The Day I Jumped off the Victoria Falls Bridge

March 24, 2015

There’s not much out there that can fully prepare you for your first jump. Those crazy GoPro videos on YouTube can give you a sneak peek into the madness, but the minute you step out onto that ledge and leap off into the open air, you’ll realize that no video can fully capture the euphoria of experiencing it for yourself.

My friend and I arrived around 9 AM, and before I had a chance to notice how high the bridge was, I was distracted by the breathtaking scenery surrounding it. To my right, Victoria Falls thundered in the distance, creating delicate showers of mist that transformed into spontaneous rainbows before disappearing. To my left, a clear blue sky balanced out the intimidating rocks, steep cliffs and crashing waves of the Zambezi river below.

Wait. Crashing waves? Massive rocks? Steep cliffs? What am I thinking? This is crazy!

IMG_1326The classical soundtrack that had been playing in my head was abruptly interrupted by a needle scratch, as I imagined the news story headline:

“American Girl Makes Tasty Lunch For Local Crocodiles After Victoria Falls Bridge Accident.”

Temporarily mortified, I decided to watch a few other people jump in hopes it would calm my racing heartbeat. The first person I watched was a young Asian girl with a mohawk ponytail. The sheer joy that radiated from her face as she rebounded from the river will forever be etched into my memory. She was beaming long after she returned to the bridge, and while I suspected she had partaken in Zambia’s finest substances prior to jumping, I still wanted in on that feeling!

So I signed up and got in line. There are 3 degrees of insanity: Bungee Jump, Bridge Swing or Zip Line. I chose the Bridge Swing, and from there everything was a blur. The guys out there have it down to a science, distracting you with casual chatter while they strap you into the harness. Before you realize it you’re wearing a dozen seatbelts, have the biggest wedgie of your life, and are standing on a ledge about 39 stories high, listening to instructions on how to jump properly.


IMG_9045“Move your toes to the edge.” said the instructor, “Closer…Closer…You’re not there yet. Keep going…”

At this point my heart was beating out of my chest and I refused to look down lest I punk out at the last minute. The rope strapped to my waist felt like it was pulling me off the ledge, but the guys assured me they had me. I just needed to get my trembling toes over the edge for the final countdown.

“You’re almost there…..Okay stop! Ready?”

Hell NAW I’m not ready!

What am I thinking? This is insane! I’m too old for this! No wait, I’m too young to die! Who do I think I am? Some carefree hippie who wants to feel the wind on her face like a bird and soar above the worries of the world while R. Kelly’s “I Believe I can Fly” plays faintly in the distance?


Okay maybe not R. Kelly, but the flying part is pretty cool! I’m like an eagle! Wait, do they have eagles out here? And where is the strong warrior-looking dude with the life raft to save me in case of emergency? Do they have 911 in Zimbabwe?”


IMG_9047Without the slightest hesitation I jumped feet first into the open air. It felt like decades passed as I fell towards the river below, and just when I thought it was over, I kept falling. And falling. And screaming every time I realized I was still falling. Suddenly the swing engaged, flinging my body towards the sky and I began laughing hysterically. I laughed and laughed, and then laughed even harder when I realized how crazy I sounded. I laughed till my lungs had exhausted every ounce of oxygen in my lungs, and then settled into an awkwardly big smile that lasted long past my ride up to safety.

AU8A9100When I returned to the bridge and tried to tell my friend Omar how it felt, I couldn’t find the words to describe it! My body was so flooded with adrenaline that I could barely hear myself think, let alone form cohesive sentences, so if I make no sense at the end of the video, you know why!VicFalls_PostJump

As I swung between Zambia and Zimbabwe that morning, flooded with an endorphin rush of happiness, I finally understood why people love these sorts of daredevil experiences. The euphoria is indescribable, and you walk away feeling more alive than ever felt before.  If you’re ever in southern Africa, definitely take a trip over to Victoria Falls. Whether you jump or not, the energy is infectious in that little house over the bridge, and you’ll leave more aware of how awesome a single day can be if you’re open to a new experience.

[Note: The first portion of this video is promotional from the company. My portion begins around 1:19]


They weighed me prior to jumping to calibrate the ropes. 65 kg. I assumed the rope/bridge weighed a lot more so I was good.

Brooklyn Travel Addict Bridge Swing at Victoria Falls

Let’s do this! (Just kidding, not really ready but no turning back now!)

Brooklyn Travel Addict Bridge Swing at Victoria Falls

Swinging and laughing over the Zambezi river




Still on Cloud 9 after my return to the bridge

Brooklyn Travel Addict Bridge Swing at Victoria Falls

The homies who kept me safe. Thanks guys!

Brooklyn Travel Addict Bridge Swing at Victoria Falls

One of the operators asked me “Why do you do this if you love life?” I replied “This is what life is all about!”

Photos courtesy of Omar McKenzie: @Omartakespictures on Instagram and XploreDreamDiscover on Tumblr
For more photos from “The Great Escape” follow @bktraveladdict on IG/Twitter, and visit

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  • Reply Chanel | Cultural Xplorer March 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    GIRL! That looked scary and then like a lot of fun. When they told you to put your feet over the edge, whoo! One day I might get the courage to bungee jump, for now, I will just enjoy your video haha

    • Reply Tracey March 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      You can do it girl! Start with a swing or zip line though lol

      • Reply Faniso June 7, 2016 at 1:26 pm

        The zip line is minor. I can do it 100 times. But I get dizzy just watching a video of someone doing the bungee or swing! You brave, girl.

  • Reply Curlz And The City March 25, 2015 at 1:26 am

    EPIC!!! You did that. So cool! #BucketList

  • Reply Joymarie March 25, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Just watching the video had my heart racing! Kudos for taking the jump! Looks like the time of a lifetime.

  • Reply Frantzie Bazile March 25, 2015 at 1:50 am

    I hope I get the courage too! For now cheering from the sidelines. It made my stomach sink just reading this. Ughhhhhhhhhhh welp

  • Reply Mawiyah March 25, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    AWESOME!! Just found your blog – love it!

  • Reply Priscilla Williams March 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I am going to Antigua next month and plan to go zip lining. You expressed every fear and emotion I will probably feel. Hopefully I will have the same determination as you did and celebrate big time after its over!

    • Reply Tracey March 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Good luck and have a blast!

  • Reply Tanisha March 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    That was awesome!!

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  • Reply Francesca @onegrloneworld April 2, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    LOL I love your writing style… especially seconds before your jump! Too funny!

    But honestly wow… I can’t believe you did it!! That’s amazing!! Even as well written as it was I’m sure the feeling really is indescribable! I can’t imagine what it actually FELT like!

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    That’s awesome! I did an 80 ft free fall and thought I died a few times before my rope engaged. This experience is high on my bucketlist.

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