A few facts about Victoria Falls, aka The Smoke That Thunders. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on The Zambezi River forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is classified as the largest waterfall in the world, based on the combined width, 1708 m, and height, 108 m.
It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
Columns of spray can be seen from miles away, at the height of the rainy season. This is when more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
The falls generate mists that can be spotted from 20 km away. The best time to visit Victoria Falls is from February to May, directly after the summer rains. During the rainy season, however, the spray plume can obscure the view of the falls themselves. By November, when the water is at low ebb, visitors may see the curtain split into many smaller channels of falling water.
The falls are massive and invite contemplation from many different viewpoints. Trails invite you to walk around the area and enjoy vistas. Certainly, unique views are also to be had from the Knife Edge Bridge and Victoria Falls Bridge. River-level views from below the falls are a good way to experience their power up-close. At certain times of the year the daring may even swim in pools on the very crest of the cataract. Swimming in the “Devil’s Pool” looks as if visitors are flirting with disaster, but is not as dangerous as it looks, thanks to an underwater lip. Located on the Zambian side of the falls, the pool is only accessible during the dry season from August to January.
Private tours that include visits to Victoria Falls:
See Southern Africa – Delve deep into the delights of Southern Africa, from Big Five safari to spectacular scenery, rich history, majestic waterfalls, gourmet food and wine and a classical rail journey on this See Southern Africa Tour.
Encompassing Zambia Safari – This luxurious Zambia safari will give you wilderness encounters in pristine national parks. Stand in awe of Africa’s largest waterfall, majestic Victoria Falls, and explore Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks by foot, boat, in jeeps, by day and night.
Wildlife Safari Zimbabwe – Feel the spray from The Smoke That Thunders, Victoria Falls, watch for the Big 5 on game drives, from hides, walking and boat safaris, and explore Lake Kariba on this encompassing Water and Wildlife Safari Zimbabwe.