Victoria Falls is, in fact, a well-known spot thanks to its beauty, particularly the dramatic view of the water falling into the Zambezi River. This natural wonder of the world attracts millions of visitors annually to enjoy canoeing, fishing, and other activities.
With an average width of 1.6 kilometers, Victoria Falls is about twice the cumulative width of Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls. It features two distinct waterfalls separated by an island which causes the waters to fall into separate paths. People call this spectacular phenomenon “The Smoke That Thunders.”
Tucked away in the heart of Zambia, Victoria Falls is like a gift from the Earth. The massive curtain of cascading water is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and you can see it when you come to this place. Before visiting this amazing location, you should know more about Victoria Falls facts to broaden your knowledge. In this article, we will reveal amazing facts about the beauty of Victoria Falls.
1. The World’s Largest Waterfall
Victoria Falls is a huge waterfall on the Zambezi River in Africa and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. During the rainy season, it truly becomes the world’s largest waterfall. Despite neither being the highest nor broadest, its combined width of 1,708 meters and height of 108 meters result in the world’s greatest sheet of cascading water. It is wider than the London Eye!
They are neither the world’s widest nor highest waterfalls. However, they are the world’s largest curtain of falling water when we include all measurements, including the flow rate. Victoria Falls has a lower mean annual flow rate than Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls, owing to the reduced flow during Southern Africa’s extended dry season. But when it rains, the flow really gets going!
2. The Name Was Chosen by David Livingstone
Did you know how Victoria Falls got its name? David Livingstone, a British explorer and missionary, was the first European to see Victoria Falls, one of Africa’s most magnificent sites, in 1855. He called it after Queen Victoria, the British monarch of the time. While many localities have reverted to their native names, the locals held him in such high regard that his name has remained preserved.
In fact, David Livingstone had heard stories of the great waterfall before exploring the area and seeing it for himself. Actually, it wasn’t called Victoria Falls when he discovered it. Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “The Smoke That Thunders,” is the native name of this natural reserve.
3. It was Formed by Basalt Million Years Ago
Basalt, a dark volcanic rock created roughly 180 million years ago, is the dominant bedrock of the Victoria Falls area. The basalt was formed over a million years of gradual volcanic eruptions, which create multiple layers of bedrock. In fact, the basalt in the Victoria Falls area is up to 300 meters thick, forming a geological “island” in the Sandveld.
Furthermore, the Big Spill The Victoria Falls happen because of the shift in river systems that began 15 million years ago in southern central Africa due to geological disturbances. Evidence implies that a separate river system existed before this and that the upper and lower Zambezi Rivers were not connected at all.
4. It is Part of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World
Victoria Falls is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. It is well-known for being the world’s largest sheet of falling water. The Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Rio de Janeiro Harbor, Mount Everest, Polar Aurora, and Paricutin volcano are among the world’s most stunning sights.
Furthermore, the waterfall is considered to have been formed over a million years ago when the upper Zambezi river diverged to the east due to earth movement. The river was rerouted over a 305-meter thick bed of basalt. Basalt fissures are caused by cooled molten lava.
5. You Can See Victoria Falls From 2 Different Countries
Victoria Falls is a beautiful waterfall located about halfway along the Zambezi River’s course, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to the north. Many visitors to Victoria Falls are unaware that the perspective of the Falls varies dramatically depending on which country you are in.
In fact, the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls is visible for 75% of the time, while the Zambian side is visible for 25% of the time. While Zimbabwe has received poor press in recent years, residents assure visitors that the country is extremely safe, which provides for a better viewing experience.
6. It Has 500 Million Liters of Water Per Minute Flow Rate
The arrival of water from the catchment region upstream in Zambia coincides with the conclusion of the rainy season in April. It sends about 500 million liters of water per minute rushing to the bottom of the Falls. Furthermore, April to June is in fact Victoria Falls’ high water season.
It creates the most spectacular and magnificent vista of the Falls. You can see the incredible view from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. However, it may not be easily visible because ofthe spray.
The figures are almost too unbelievable to believe! During a high water level in April 2013, four elephants attempting to swim across the Zambezi River were tragically dragged down the river and over the falls by the currents.
7. Moonbows, The Unique Phenomenon
Something extremely wonderful happens at Victoria Falls during a full moon. When the sun sets on a full moon, the moonlight reflects off the spray and illuminates a moonbow, a nighttime rainbow. It is one of Africa’s most distinctive and spectacular spectacles, lasting from sunset until morning.
You can enjoy the finest lunar rainbow between April and August, when Victoria Falls is flooded. When the weather is clear, the moonbow occurs for around five nights each month, commencing two to three nights before the full moon and ending two or three nights afterward.
Lunar rainbows are fainter than those during the day. The reduced amount of light reflected from the moon’s surface accounts for this. Only when the moon is full and the skies are clear of clouds does enough light reflect to form a moonbow. In fact, it always appears in the sky opposite the moon from the viewer.
8. It “Rains” Victoria Falls Rainforest All Day
The Victoria Falls Rainforest is located on the Zimbabwean side of the falls. This unique location is home to various plants and animals, some of which are native to the area. The surroundings are also distinct. The rainforest is the only spot where it “rains” all year long.
The continual water vapor coming from the falls is the cause. In fact, the spray from the falls regularly reaches a height of over 400 meters and is visible from up to 48 kilometers away.
Furthermore, the size of the spray from the Falls must have varied throughout the erosive process. The current amount of rainforest is estimated to be tiny in comparison to former extents. Moreover, the rainforest has changed over time, moving upstream with the waterfall as it carved its way through the solid basaltic rock to form the twisting Batoka Gorge.
9. You Can Swim In The Devil Pools
On the Zambian side of the falls, the Devil’s Pool is considered one of the most exciting yet perilous experience. During the months of September to December, when the river flow is at its lowest, you can swim in the Devil’s Pool, a naturally created pool right on the edge of Victoria Falls. It’s the most exhilarating infinity pool with breathtaking vistas. The natural rock wall below the water’s edge keeps you from falling over.
To get to the Devil’s Pool, visitors must swim through a brief part of the Zambezi River for safety reasons. It can be pretty dangerous if they aren’t good swimmers. There is a current making it more frightening for some.
10. The Adventure Capital of Africa Offers Adrenaline Pump Activities
Victoria Falls is a must-see destination due to its blend of Africa’s best wildlife, birds, culture, and history, as well as the great activities available. Victoria Falls is in fact the “Adventure Capital of Africa”! With a dizzying assortment of adrenaline-pumping activities to back up the title, it is a must-visit place.
Visitors can do things like bungee jump across two countries, walk with rhinos, and take a thrilling microlight or helicopter flight over the falls. Moreover, rafting down the mighty Zambezi is also the world’s greatest white water rafting activity.
Visitors can completely observe the geological development of the falls during the low water season since visibility will be clear. Of course, this is when river rafting and river boarding are at their most thrilling, pumping adrenaline through your veins like no other activity has or will ever do!
11. The Wild Life in The National Park
There are three protected wildlife areas in the neighborhood of Victoria Falls. On the Zimbabwean side, the Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks encircle the falls and extend down the Zambezi River. This park shares a border with the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve. On the Zambian side of the falls and riverbank is the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Below the falls, the river supports 39 fish species and 84 species above them. In fact, elephants are roaming around along the river’s course, especially at the Luangwa confluence and the Sesheke Plain. Buffalo, eland, sable, ran, kudu, waterbuck, impala, duiker, bushbuck, reedbuck, bushpig, and warthog are examples of game animals that live in these parks.
12. Man Who Survived After Fell From Victoria Falls
Wang Shunxue gained national and worldwide headlines in 2013 after slipping and falling into the Victoria Falls but surviving. He fell into a gorge while photographing Zambia’s famous Victoria Falls and escaped with only bruises. He dove into the gorge’s shallow area and escaped with “just minor injuries.” The gorge is 25 meters deep, but it’s only around 15 meters deep where he fell because there are slopes in certain spots.
At its deepest point, the Victoria Falls, a sheet of falling water, plunges 108 meters. Fortunately, the 45-year-old tourist and his three buddies flew out of the country after a medical check at a local clinic.
13. Livingstone Island is The Best Vantage Points
Livingstone Island, in Zambia, is the perfect spot to see the Victoria Falls from a completely different perspective, right on the edge where David Livingstone first saw them. It is located on the rim of Victoria Falls, right in the middle of the raging waves. Above all, one of the best vantage locations for viewing Victoria Falls’ natural splendor is Livingstone Island.
In fact, a sequence of waterfalls makes up Victoria Falls. The Zimbabwean side boasts far more vistas and viewpoints, including the famous Main Falls and Rainbow Falls. However, when visiting the Zambian Falls from Livingstone Island, you can get closer to the water just like David Livingstone did!.
14. Victoria Falls Is Drying Up
Recent concerns that droughts in southern Africa and rising global temperatures have led the iconic waterfall to “shrink to a trickle”. This anomaly has caused a great concern. Due to the greatest drought in a century in 2019, the Zambezi’s flow is degenerating to a trickle. The Falls is drying up.
Moreover, the region has been experiencing a series of severe droughts for years. Climate scientists say will occur due to increased greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere due to human activities.
Furthermore, the islets on the summit of Victoria Fall become more numerous and wider as the dry season approaches. From September to January, at least half of the stony face of the falls may be dry. When it happens, you can see the First Gorge’s bottom for the majority of its length.
15. The Amazing Six Gorges In Victoria Falls
There are six gorges in Victoria Falls. The First Gorge is the famous one which is 100 meters long. Meanwhile, the “Boiling Pot,” located beneath Victoria Falls, is the second gorge. It stretches about two kilometers. Moreover, the hydroelectric power station at Victoria Falls is located in the Third Gorge. The gorge is approximately two kilometers long.
Furthermore, the Songwe Gorge is the longest among the six gorges. The Songwe is Victoria Falls is the sixth gorge, measuring 3.3 kilometers in length. It was named after the Songwe River, located about five kilometers from Victoria Falls. The Fifth Gorge is 3.2 kilometers long, while the Fourth Gorge is almost two kilometers long.