Two individuals have become the first humans to cross the 100-metre precipice over Victoria Falls gorge on foot.
26-year old economic science student Lukas Irmler from Freising, Germany and 34-year old science journalist and crime author Reinhard Kleindl, from Graz, Austria, worked towards the realisation of their extraordinary dream for two years, and finally got the chance to do it:
To balance on a one-inch wide webbing at a height of 100 metres, right over the unique Victoria Falls gorge.
“We are always looking for great new locations where we can set up our Highlines”, says Reinhard Kleindl. “About two years ago Lukas and I did some research and came across a picture of the grand Victoria Falls. We were instantly hooked, but we thought this is out of our range. Nevertheless, we pursued the idea.”
The night before the stunt, the two daredevils stayed with us at the beautiful Victoria Falls Safari Suites, where they prepared themselves for the big day.
In the morning, the two friends left it to a coin flip to decide who would be the first to test the extremeHighlinee conditions in front of the thundering waterfall. Reini Kleindl was the lucky one.
“I’m used to wind, rain and snow when highlining in the mountains,” he said,
“but this intense spray that comes from below and from the side, that soaks your line, makes it heavy and impairs your vision is quite a challenge”, he says.
A Highline is officially considered as sent, if you cross it without a fall. Both Lukas Irmler and Reinhard Kleindl managed to send the 91-meter long Highline on the first day, after only a few attempts. “You often underestimate how much pressure you put on yourself to send a line, especially when it’s so long and the conditions are so unpredictable and ever-changing.
It wasn’t easy for us to approach this Highline with self-confidence, although we had three days to do it”, Irmler says. “All the more surprising and great for us that we could both free the line on the first day. That way we had time to play with the line and to hang loose in a height of 100 meters!”
The two slackliners not only enjoyed a million dollar view of the majestic waterfalls, but also the unique sight of a circular rainbow in the spray underneath their Highline.
“We’ve waited for over two years to come here. That is a long time, during which we’ve realised how great this project actually is. If it wasn’t the very best, we wouldn’t have waited for two years to experience this moment and get this incredible chance. We will never forget our time here in Zimbabwe and our African Highline, which we named “Nyami Nyami” after the Zambezi River God.”