A Victoria Falls plunge turned into a miracle for a Chinese tourist who got a little too close while taking pictures of the natural wonder.
The tourist was on a trip to see the famous Victoria Falls in Zambia when he decided to capture some memories of the trip. As he was moving close to a ledge to take pictures of the falls, Wang Shun Xue lost his footing and plunged into a shallow gorge.
John Zulu, manager of the National Heritage Conservation Commission in Livingstone, said the Victoria Falls plunge could have easily been fatal if it hadn’t taken place where it did.
“The depth of the gorge is 25 metres (82 feet) but where he fell from, it’s about 15 metres (49 feet) because some places there are slopes,” Zulu told AFP.
His placement likely saved his life. Victoria Falls is a long string of falling water, and at its deepest point falls 354 feet straight to sharp rocks below. The waterfall on the Zambezi River, which runs the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a very popular destination for tourists.
Victoria Falls has been the site of some near misses for tourists. In early 2012 an Australian bungee jumper taking a plunge off the Victoria Falls Bridge broke free from her cord and ended up in the crocodile infested waters of the Zambezi River.
The woman, 22-year-old Erin Langworthy, said the incident was frightening.
“It went black straight away and I felt like I had been slapped all over,” she said.
Langworthy ended up stranded in the water with her feet still tied together by the bungee cord, but was able to make it out with only minor injuries.
The man who took the Victoria Falls plunge didn’t escape entirely unharmed. Xue suffered some bruises on his arm when he hit a rock, Zulu said. He was taken to a local clinic for treatment, and then caught a plane straight out of the country.