Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ or ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, the vast columns of spray emanating from the majestic Victoria Falls Africa can be seen from over 64 km (40 mi) away as they plummet over a vertical drop of 100 m (330 ft) into a deep gorge below. In the height of the rainy season, over 546 million m2 (2.5 million gallons) of water explodes through the nearly two km- (1.5 mi-) wide basalt fissure every minute, transforming the Zambezi from a tranquil, placid river into a tumultuous current of roaring water.
Dr David Livingstone, the first European known to witness Victoria Falls Africa, named this natural phenomenon in honor of his queen. Facing the falls, a twin sheer wall of basalt, about the same height, is capped by mist-soaked rainforest that has a path along its edge providing unparalleled views to the brave visitor who is not afraid to get soaked to the bone by the tremendous smoke-like cloud of spray.
Another vantage point for viewing the Eastern Cataract, Main Falls and the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge, is across the Knife-Edge Bridge. The Victoria Falls Africa Bridge, commissioned by Cecil Rhodes in 1900, and the Lookout Tree also command panoramic views across the Main Falls and down the gorge, allowing you to get a true appreciation of the scope of the falls’ thundering magnificence. The combination of the sea-green river below, the shiny black rock face and the lush emerald green foliage, make the 360-degree perspective from here truly awe-inspiring.
To appreciate fully the incredible size of the falls, and the awesome power of the water as it carves into the deep gorges for 8 km (5 mi), one must see it from the air, or if you dare, from a whitewater raft. Pilots fly along the upper Zambezi and down into the gorge – making for an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.
Victoria Falls are a spectacular natural phenomenon.
On the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe, 18 km (11 mi) south of Livingstone.
‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ or ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’
Take a flight above these magnificent, thundering waterfalls in a biplane or helicopter, or whitewater raft them if you dare!
The ‘Adventure Centre’ of South Africa: various adrenaline sports are offered in the area.