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Victoria Falls

ZIM St Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Shuttertock Ondrej Prosicky

Victoria Falls

The spectacular Victoria Falls are the most visited attraction in Zimbabwe and understandably so. The Falls are almost one mile wide and offer some of the most impossibly scenic viewpoints in the continent, with a mist spray that can reach almost 400 metres high after the water has plummeted 110 metres into the Batoka Gorge before continuing its journey. Located on the mighty Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia, these majestic falls actually share borders with both countries but are generally better known in Zimbabwe.

Quick Facts:

  1. What's in the name: Victoria Falls is also known as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' which translates as the Smoke that Thunders.
  2. Raw Power: every minute 500 million cubic metres of water plunges over the waterfall's crest.
  3. Visibility: the spray from the falls can be seen from nearly 50km away.
  4. History: David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls and named them after Queen Victoria.

History and Activities

Discovered by pioneering missionary David Livingstone in 1855, he was said to be so impressed with the falls that he described them as ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight’. Such a bold sight has also earned the falls the local name of ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ and a place as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Between the months of November and April you are likely to enjoy a thrilling almost deafening roar of cascading water and you could get rather wet in what is an exhilarating experience. Even during the dry season when most of there is little water in the river, the Zimbabwean side of the falls is still a breathtaking sight.

Many people choose to take to the skies and experience the falls in a scenic flight which has been named the ‘Flight of Angels’ for its unique vantage point which offers a completely different experience to walking the around the seventeen different viewpoints. For those exploring on foot the main viewpoints are the main falls and devil cataract, where it is said that the water flow amounts to around 500 litres per second during the rainy season!

As well as the idyllic scenery, the area is a centre for adventure sports activities, arguably known as the ‘adventure capital of the world’, with bungee jumping, kayaking and white water rafting, as well as canoeing amongst the hippos and crocodiles.

The town of Victoria Falls itself is a major crossroads for travellers with plenty of places to stay such as the Victoria Falls Hotel with its colonial grandeur, many places to eat and it also offers a great base for visiting the area and connecting to other parts of Southern Africa such as Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

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