Victoria Falls is an outstanding waterfall and is growing in popularity as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Victoria Falls holds a lot of complex mysteries.
It is among the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the enormous sheets of falling waters worldwide, situated on river Zambezi in Southern Africa.
Here, we have uncovered 20 interesting findings of Victoria Falls, located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
1. Name origins of Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls waterfall was in existence many years ago, but David Livingstone gave it its English name in 1855.
David Livingstone, a British missionary and explorer, was the first European to witness the splendor of this incredible African sight.
The land he explored, Victoria Falls, is now called ‘Livingstone Island.’
What inspired the name ‘Victoria Falls’?
David Livingstone got the inspiration for the name of the Victoria Falls waterfalls from Queen Victoria’s name. The waterfall also serves as a tribute to the queen, the then British monarch.
Local names of the Victoria Falls
In the Sotho language, the Victoria Falls is commonly called ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya,’ which means ‘the smoke that thunders. The name has been widespread among locals since the 1800s till date.
However, David Livingstone highlighted a local name for the waterfalls because of their regular squirt –‘chongwe or seongo,’ meaning ‘the place of the rainbow.’
2. Victoria Falls forms part of the Zambezi River
There wouldn’t have been Victoria Falls if there was no Zambezi River. Victoria Falls lies nearly halfway along the Zambezi River, 2,574 kilometers long. The river, however, heads east, passing six countries to the Indian Ocean.
Significance of the Zambezi River to the Victoria Falls
The boundary divides the middle and upper parts of the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls. The Zambian River is the fourth largest river in Africa.
The Zambezi River carries over five hundred million cubic meters of water every minute that falls over the frame, stretching over about two kilometers into a hundred meters deep gorge.
Going to the Zambezi River, you will spot a wide array of activities, varieties of wildlife, including fighting tiger fish and about 75 species of other fishes.
3. The largest waterfall on earth is the Victoria Falls
Even though Victoria Falls is not the tallest waterfall on earth, nor is it the broadest waterfall on earth, it has an enormous sheet of falling water.
Other criteria for classifying Victoria Falls as the largest waterfall in the world
- Victoria Falls is 1708 meters (5,604 feet) wide and 108 meters (354 feet) tall.
- It is two times the height of Niagara Falls in North America and
- Iguaza Falls in South America is its only rival.
4. Changes often occur at the water levels and flow of the Zambezi
There is always a drop in the water level and fewer inflows at the Zambezi River around September to December every year.
Impact of the change in the Zambezi on Victoria Falls
The changes in river Zambezi, primarily the in-flow reduction, encourage adventurers to swim at the natural pools on Victoria Falls’ edges.
The natural pool at Victoria Falls is called the ‘Devils Pool .’ It has rocks surrounding the pool, helping to stop current progress, thereby encouraging swimming.
5. Victoria Falls is among the Seven Natural Wonders of the world
Since Victoria Falls is a giant sheet of falling waters in the world, it falls into one of the utmost seven natural wonders of the world.
The Victoria Falls joins other world wonders, including the Paricutin volcano, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, Polar Aurora, the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, and Mount Everest.
6. It lies on two national parks
Victoria Falls sits on two national parks: the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia.
Brief details of the two national parks that make up the Victoria Falls
Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia, coined from Mosi-Oa-Tunya, means ‘the smoke which thunders.’
It’s a protected UNESCO World Heritage site covering 66-meter squares with sections for wildlife and falls.
Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe is a protected area covering 23.4 kilometers square with various nature and tourism spots.
The Victoria Falls National Park also protects Victoria Falls alongside the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia.
7. Lunar Moonbow at Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls always offers a spectacular view awaiting visitors to the scenery at every full moon time.
How does the moonbow form at Victoria Falls?
Lights from the full moon form a rainbow during the night at the Victoria Falls by bouncing off the spray and illuminating the waterfall. It is one of the conspicuous sights in Africa, and it lasts from sunset to sunrise on every full moon.
8. Smoke and spray from the Victoria Falls
At the peak of every rainy season, there are always sights of cold watery smoke and columns of sprays from Victoria Falls.
How to view the smoke and sprays from the Victoria Falls
The smokes and sprays from Victoria Falls are indeed a sight to behold. Visitors to the tourism attraction can explore this view 50 kilometers from Bulawayo road in Zimbabwe and 30 kilometers from the Lusaka road, Zambia.
9. From two countries, one can observe the falls
If you are on the side of Zimbabwe, you can see about 75% of the Victoria Falls, whereas you can see about 25% of falls from the side of Zambia, especially from their protected national parks.
The fact that you can view Victoria Falls from two different African countries (border Zimbabwe and Zambia) is one of the exciting realities of the fall.
10. Victoria Falls is the only rainforest with Constant rainfall
It is only from the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls that you can experience constant rain all year long, daily in the world.
Overview of the rain at Victoria Falls
In short, throughout the earth, there is no other place where it rains all day long daily but Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls has more than 5 million cubic meters of pour-over every minute. Throughout the rainy season, the water flows 100 meters deep.
You can also spot unique indigenous wildlife and plants and the Victoria Falls Rainforest’s unique environment.
You can spot the sprays from the waterfall from 30 miles away as it rises for about 1,300 feet (400 meters).
11. Victoria Falls’ canyon, geology, and structure
Existed for more than 100,000 years, Victoria Falls’ previous location is 8km downstream from its present position, featuring breathtaking canyon and geology.
Victoria Falls’ basalt rock that flows vertically from the river is feeble because of its erosion for over 2 million years.
The decline formed zigzag upstream from the earlier basalt rock and seven different gorges/canyons.
Mentions of canyons/gorges in Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls has six gorges. Among these six, the Sangwe Gorge is one of the most popular. It flows northeast of the Songwe River which is the river it is named after.
Other gorges at the Victoria Falls include the First gorge, second gorge, third gorge, fourth gorge, and fifth gorge.
12. Victoria Falls is the ‘adventure capital of Africa’
Across the globe, Victoria Falls exists as the ‘Adventure Capital of Africa.’ The reason has been that the spot has many adventures that leave visitors with no choice but to return.
Some adventures that make Victoria Falls the adventure capital of Africa
As said earlier, it is only in Victoria Falls that you cannot have your fill of the numerous adventures it offers. Among the experiences the place parks include;
- Helicopter flight above the falls
- Explore the Victoria Falls from two African countries
- Go on a breathtaking microlight
- Go for rhino walks
- Exploring downgrade five rapids on a white water raft.
13. Victoria Falls makes one of the loudest noises
Visitors to Victoria Falls can hear the sound of the rising and falling water from a 40 kilometers distance.
Why does Victoria Falls make the most audible noise?
The sound of Victoria Falls is so heavy because the volume is high. For every minute, about 600 million cubic liters of water hit the ground of the falls flowing at 1088 meters cube per second.
14. It is home to a wide range of wild animals
Apart from the waterfalls at Victoria Falls, the spot also houses wild animals in their natural habitats, including the ‘Big Five’ of the continent.
Common wild animals at the Victoria Falls
Crocodile is the most common wildlife at Victoria Falls. Among other wild animals in the spot include; hippopotamus, elephant, South African cheetahs, African bush elephants, Cape buffalo, fishes, giraffe, and lots more.
15. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Considering the history and adventures that Victoria Falls holds, the 30 kilometers radius of Zambia and Zimbabwe, parts of the falls, became a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1989.
The site that was made the UNESCO heritage site is now protected and made Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia.
16. Victoria Falls Bridge is no man’s land
Victoria Falls Bridge which is now more than 100 years is declared as ‘no man’s land’ because it lies on the border and connects Zimbabwe to Zambia. The bridge is a steel structure spanning the canyon/gorge built on the Victoria Falls second gorge.
A brief account of the Victoria Falls Bridge
Commissioning for the construction of the Victoria Falls Bridge was made in 1900 by Cecil John Rhodes, who also instigates the idea.
However, the Victoria Falls Bridge construction started in 1904, and its completion was in 1905. The bridge spans 156.5 meters on the main arc with 250 meters wide and 128 meters above the valley floor.
It has been the only railway linking Zambia to Zimbabwe transporting both people and goods. There is also the traffic of vehicles across the bridge.
Going through the Victoria Falls Bridge is fascinating to enjoy Victoria Falls. Among the adventures to explore from the bride is the Bungi jumping, where people jump from 111 meters.
17. Adventure activities at the Victoria Falls are more than 10
Victoria Falls holds many adventures that attract tourists from all countries worldwide.
Some of the adventure activities at the Victoria Falls include;
- Victoria Falls canopy tours
- Victoria Falls bungee jumping
- High wire activities
- Zambezi River white water rafting
- Zambezi River sunset boat cruises above falls
- Helicopter and microlight flights over the falls
- Abseiling at Victoria Falls
- Devil’s Pool
- Zambezi River canoeing trips at Victoria Falls
- Skydiving at Victoria Falls
18. March through November makes the best time to visit Victoria Falls
You can visit Victoria Falls at any time of the year. However, they are the best times to visit to feel the adrenaline surge and adventures the waterfall offers.
The dry season from March to the middle of November is the best time to visit Victoria Falls. Also, you can see the waterfall around June and July because the fall will be vigorous.
You can still spot some rocks on the falls around August and October. Nevertheless, there is always an abundance of water and spray around late November and early April.
19. Swimming at ‘Devil’s Swimming Pool’ of Victoria Falls is possible
The swimming pool, Devil’s Pool, is Victoria Falls’ natural pool where adventure travelers can swim to the waterfall’s edge.
As a rule of thumb, swimmers must seek the assistance of a guide before attempting to swim, otherwise do not try it.
The reason is that the pool leads to the Zambezi River, which you expect to carry you.
The Devil’s Pool is the ‘infinity pool in the world’ and the best time to visit for swimming is around September to December.
20. Helicopter and trial view are the two best views of the falls
Two options await the visitor to Victoria Falls if they want to have the best view of the falls. The option to go with depends on the persons involved. Among these options include;
- Helicopter view: One of the options to explore Victoria Falls is with the helicopter services to take an aerial view of the falls.
- Take trails: The second option to view the Victoria Falls is to take trials along the falls.
In any trail, you can stay as close as 200 feet to the fall or even nearer in dry seasons.
What is an interesting fact about Victoria Falls?
The most exciting fact about Victoria Falls is that it has an enormous pane of falling water in the whole world. The Victoria Falls is 1708meters wide and 108meters tall.
What natural feature exists on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia?
The spectacular Victoria Falls is the natural feature found on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is the longest waterfall on the globe.
Why is Victoria Falls the major tourist attraction in Zambia?
Apart from the fact that Victoria Falls is among the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also among the world’s top ten wonders. These two features make Victoria Falls the major tourist attraction in Zambia.
The magnificence and breathtaking beauty of Victoria Falls make it one of the most visited attractions in Africa.
We have made available findings here that will help you rediscover Victoria Falls with ideas on the best time to visit, attraction at the spot, among others.