Victoria Falls is an increasingly popular tourist destination. The falls provide a remarkable view and experience. There are so many unique aspects to the region. A holiday near Victoria Falls delivers a magical experience and it is a perfect destination for people looking for an active holiday.
The Falls and their name Mosi-oa-Tunya translate to The Smoke That Thunders. Located on the Zambezi River in southern Africa provide habitat for unique species of plants and animals.
It remains the greatest and most famous discovery by David Livingstone. Today, the Victoria Falls are considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Here are some popular facts about the location.
Europe discovery in 1855
The first European who saw them was David Livingstone. He discovered the falls in 1855. He stood at what we call today the Livingstone Island, a small outcrop of land at the edge of the Falls. From there, he saw the magical natural wonder.
He had heard magical tales about the waterfall before exploring the area himself. At the time of the discovery, locals called them Mosi-oa-Tunya, or The Smoke That Thunders. He re-named the falls in honor of Queen Victoria.
No Zambezi River – No Falls
The Victoria Falls are part of the Zambezi River and its 2,574 km long stretch. They lie almost exactly halfway along the river. The river then leaves the Falls and makes its way into the Indian Ocean.
The flow of the river and the water levels of the Falls change during the year. From September to December, the flow of Zambezi lessens. As a result, the water levels drop. Dare devils use this opportunity to swim at the very edge of the Falls in the naturally formed pool.
World’s Largest Waterfall
The Victoria Falls are the world’s largest waterfall at 1,708 meters wide and 108 meters high. But they are neither the highest, nor the widest. Angel Falls are the highest and Khone Falls are the widest. Yet, the Victoria Falls are the larget curtain of falling water on the planet. They are one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
In 1989, UNESCO declared the Falls World Heritage Site. They are also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Their geological history dates back two million years since the uplifting of the Makgadikgadi Pan, one of the biggest salt flats on Earth.
Archeologists have found early Stone Age tools around the waterfall, proving the long history.
You can see them from two countries
The Victoria Falls sit on the very border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. More than 75% of the Falls can be seen from the Zimbabwean side. And you can see the remaining 25% from the Zambian side. Most tourists go to the Zimbabwean side as the best place to see them. Spray from the falls will leave you drenched, so make sure to bring waterproof clothes.
In the past several years, Zimbabwe has received negative media attention. But locals assure visitors that visiting the waterfalls is a safe experience.
The Victoria Falls Rainforest
On the Zimbabwean side of the Falls, lies a rainforest. It is a special place, home to unique plant and animal life. Some of the plants and animals are indigenous to the area. This rainforest is the only place on Earth where it rains all day, every day. that is because of the water vapor rising from the Falls and then raining in the rainforest.
As for animals, crocodiles are common in the region. Take extra care and respect the nature around you.
Swimming at the edge of the waterfall
You can enjoy swimming at the edge of the waterfalls, but only in certain months. The falls form a pool at the edge, conveniently called Devil’s Pool. You swim in the Zambezi River and rely on the water to carry you. Once you reach the edge, the feeling is exhilarating. It is the best infinity pool in the world.
But you can do this only when the water levels go down, from September to December.
Home of several gorges
Victoria Falls is a unique and intricate mystery place. It features several principle gorges. Those are the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth gorges.
The waterfalls are home to a Moonbow, a unique event happening only at night. It is a rainbow at night, happening when the sun sets on a full moon. This spectacle lasts from sunset to sunrise, and it is one of Africa’s most distinctive and striking secrets.