Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe Victoria Falls
"Sunset at the Victoria Falls" by Mario Micklisch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Zimbabwe Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe · Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, offers breath-taking views that are almost too spectacular and majestic to describe. Unique attractions on the Zambian side include the Boiling Pot and the Devil’s Pool.

Victoria Falls generate mists that can be spotted from more than 20 kilometers away. Famed Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone dubbed this waterfall Victoria Falls; its older, Kololo name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “the smoke that thunders”. The mists also sustain a rain forest-like ecosystem adjacent to the falls and on the opposite cliff that faces them like a dried-up mirror image, thick with mahogany, fig, palm, and other species of vegetation.

Sometimes, the mist itself can be as fascinating as Victoria Falls. Normally it rises to over 400 meters and under certain conditions it can reach double that height. The cloud it forms can be seen sometimes as far away as 50 kilometers. In the bright sunlight the mist can cause multiple rainbows to appear. Even more startling is that the falls is one of the few places in the world where under strong moonlight you can actually see a “moonbow” at night.

Downstream of the Victoria Falls, the river has carved a tortuous route through the soft areas within the basalt rock, forming a deep gorge in a tight zigzag course for kilometers. This is a result of the repeated cutting back of the line of the falls and the successive formation and abandonment of seven previous broad waterfalls, a process that has taken about 100000 years.

Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860’s. The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialisation.