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Home | 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:

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. Read more...

Aerial view of the Victoria Falls in green season
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. Read more... Aerial view of the Zambezi River zig zagging gorges

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 Read more... The Victoria Falls through the rainforest - Zimbabwe 

David Livingstone... 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.
Portrait of Dr David Livingstone

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. Read more... A depiction of King Lobengula of the Matebele

Zambezi River... 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. Read more... Elephants by the Zambezi River banks at sunset - Zimbabwe
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. Read more... The Victoria Falls Bridge

Seven Natural Wonders... Victoria Falls is one of the seven wonders of the world, do you know the others? Read more.... The Grand Canyon - one of the seven natural world wonders

Cecil John Rhodes was the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman. Born in 1853, Cecil Rhodes was an asthmatic child and his family believed. Read more... Portrait of Cecil John Rhodes

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.  Read more.. A lunar rainbow captured on camera at Victoria Falls from Zambia


Strange Facts on Victoria Falls...

Try these for off beat facts on Victoria Falls you won't find anywhere else... read more...


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