Victoria Falls and the Lunar Rainbow

Lunar Rainbow

The lunar rainbow of The Victoria Falls

Two of the most beautiful natural phenomena are considered to be a Full Moon and a Rainbow. One, in which the entire night landscape is lit up by the reflection of the Sun’s light on the Moon, and the other; where every colour perceivable to the naked eye is visible in a continuous stream. So what’s marginally better than a full moon or a rainbow? Both of them put together of course!

Roughly once a month for a few days from February to August, it’s possible to visit and see a gorgeous rainbow in full flight as soon as the sun sets. I’ve included a table below highlighting the dates at which a full moon will occur during 2019 from May through to August:

Full Moons for Livingstone, Zambia 2019

April

19 April

May

18 May

June

17 June

July

16 July

August

15 August

Advice on visiting the lunar rainbow

The National Heritage Commission is the organisation that permits the nightly visits of the falls.  They open the falls at around 18:00-24:00h daily for 1 or 2 nights pre and post the full moon. This means that the Lunar Rainbow is accessible for roughly 3 to 5 nights monthly. Here at Tongabezi, a picnic is packed and a guide accompanies you throughout the whole experience. The entry price would usually be listed on your final bill, but for a person travelling without the assistance of the wonderfully knowledgeable guides at Tongabezi, the price will be around $25 (USD) per person.

It is an extraordinary sight to behold, it’s one thing to be at the falls for a day trip and stay careful but it’s another to be there at night. The Moon lights the place up pretty well but certainly not as good as during sunlight hours.

Photographing the Lunar Rainbow

Photography is a personal passion of mine. If you’re the same, bring your camera with. In order to get a good shot of the whole scene, I’d recommend bringing a tripod, or at least some sort of stabiliser to reduce camera shake. Furthermore, an ISO setting of between 400-800 and a shutter speed of around 8 to 13 seconds, keep in mind that the longer your shutter stays open, the more light floods in, taking into account that other people may be using flash on their phones or flashlights around you lower/faster settings may be ideal. Focus more on how much light could potentially flood into the sensor as opposed to how much light is readily available.