Facts on Victoria Falls
Facts on Victoria Falls
This remarkable place is
filled with so much history and fascination.
Victoria Falls also known as "Mosi oa-Tunya" ("the smoke that thunders") is
positioned almost exactly half way along the mighty Zambezi River's 2700 km
journey from it's source to the sea.
Here the river plunges headlong into a 100m vertical chasm spanning the full
one-and-a-half kilometre width of the river.
Creating the biggest curtain of
falling water in the world and also one of the
seven natural wonders of the world.
The power of the falls is awesome with the highest ever flow recorded in 1958
(read more about this flood and the mythology
surrounding it) when it reached more than 700 000 cubic meters of
water a minute. The water in the gorges rose 18 metres (60 feet) above its
normal flood level.
This constant pounding by the currents of the mighty Zambezi has, over the
millennium, cut through the rock faults and fissures and carved out not one but
eight successive precipices (and now the ninth has begun).
When our early ancestors inhabited this area some 1.5 million years ago ,
they would have seen a different Victoria falls to he one we see today.
Being one of the greatest physical spectacles in Africa it stands to reason
that it has attracted so much much interest from us humans over time and
therefore the area is steeped in history and mystery.
In November 1855 Dr David Livingstone was
transported in a canoe by the local Makalolo people to the very edge of these falls.
The sensitive Scotsman was so
overwhelmed by his first sight of these spectacular falls, that he momentarily
abandoned his scientific observations and recorded.
"It has never been seen
before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by
angels in their flight".
Loyally the good missionary, whose heart lies buried in Africa, named this
great wonder of the world after Victoria, his British queen.
We have gone into much more depth about these facts on Victoria Falls and
many others in the links below. Please click on them and they will open up in a
Facts on Victoria Falls
Height, width, volume...
Victoria Falls is approximately 1700m wide, and varies in height from 80-108 meters. It’s one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls and is twice the height making it the biggest curtain of water in the world.
Around mid-April is when peak flood waters occur. Roughly 625 million litres of water flow over the edge per minute. This huge volume of water produces a spray that rises up to 1650 feet into the air.
|Formation, Geology and Gorges...
The original Victoria Falls was 8km downstream from the current day falls. Weaknesses in the basalt rock perpendicular to the river's flow, plus 2 million years' of erosion have resulted in the river cutting through seven subsequent gorges, which zigzag upstream from the previous one.
|The Victoria Falls
Rainforest.. as it has become known, is an area of dense woodland vegetation supported and nourished by the constant spray from the waterfall.
Although in ecological terms it is not a true rainforest, it has formed
quite a unique ecosystem due the rainfall 24/7
Born in Scotland, David Livingstone arrived in Africa in 1840. He was a missionary and a physician.
In 1855 he set off down the Zambezi to find for himself the “Smoke That Thunders” which the local tribesmen called Mosi-oa-tunya. Livingstone named the falls in honour of his monarch Queen Victoria.
History of Victoria Falls...
Although David Livingstone was the first white man to see Victoria Falls on the 17th November 1855. Various local tribes had been living here for years. The town of Victoria Falls originally became established as a trading post called Old Drift on the Zambian side of the river where they used to cross the Zambezi it was moved to the current day location of Livingstone in around 1900.
It is the mighty Zambezi River which flows over the Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River is over 1650 miles long and is Africa's fourth largest river (after the Nile, Zaire and Niger respectively) and is the only one that flows east into the Indian Ocean.
Victoria Falls Bridge and Steam Railway...
Cecil John Rhodes had a vision of a railway line from the Cape to Cairo
part of this required a bridge to be built over the Zambezi gorge. This
was completed in 1905 sadly after his death. This railway line now made
it possible for large number of tourists to visit the town.
A Lunar Rainbow
..... "A Wonderful Sight Not To Be Missed"....The
lunar rainbow occurs for three days in each month generally from January
through to about October. The lunar happens when the water level in the
Zambezi River is high enough to cause heavy spray to blend adequately
with the moon rays.
Strange Facts on Victoria Falls...
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