Victoria Falls



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: The Victoria Falls is considered to be the largest waterfall in the world. They are not the widest waterfall or the highest waterfall but with all dimensions taken into account, including almost the largest flow rate, they are considered to be the biggest curtain of falling water in the world. Surpassing the magnificent Niagara Falls and Iguacu Falls. The Victoria Falls lower mean annual flow rate compared to these two giants is only because of the reduced flow it has during the long dry season of Southern Africa. The Victoria Falls are 1700m wide and are made up of five different “falls”. Four of these are in Zimbabwe and one is in Zambia. They are known as The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls in Zimbabwe and the Eastern Cataract in Zambia. The Zambezi River's gentle meander through the African landscape is spectacularly interrupted as the river plummets over a knife edge cliff into a narrow chasm below. The height of this chasm varies from 70 m (233ft) to 108m (360ft). The Devil’s Cataract (70 meters high) The name comes from the adjacent island in the river where the local tribes used to perform sacrificial ceremonies. When the missionaries arrived in the area they referred to these ceremonies as “devilish” and hence the name was given to this cataract. Main Falls (93 meters high) This is the largest waterfall and certainly the most majestic view of the falls. A wide curtain of water, with a peak flow rate of 700 000 cubic metres per minute. The sheer volume over the height of the falls is so great that before getting anywhere near the ground, the water is buffeted by the strong rising winds and turned into mist. Horseshoe Falls (95 meters high) As the name suggests these falls are shaped like a horseshoe. This is the section with the least volume of water and will be the first to dry up usually between October and November. Rainbow Falls (108 meters high) This is the highest point of all the falls. On a clear day a beautiful rainbow can normally be viewed at this point. A Lunar rainbow may also be seen on a full moon lit night. The Eastern Cataract (101 metres high) These are the second highest falls and they are situated completely on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls but you can have a stunning view of them from the Zimbabwean side at danger point. Largest Waterfall in the World These numbers seem inadequate to relay the awesome size and power of this the largest waterfall in the world. I hope that one day you are able to come and see for yourself…..

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