The Zambezi River in its early stages falls down the strong series of basalt gorges into a noisy outburst forming one of the most impressive waterfalls on the planet. With mist that can be clearly seen from a distance of about 20 kilometers, Victoria waterfalls is the largest waterfall on the African continent and the world at large. The waterfall is located near the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and has massive water sprays and a rainbow. Victoria falls is locally known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya, which means “the smoke that thunders” because of the noise it makes as it plagues down the gorges splashing water in the air forming a permanent mist. The locals regard this waterfall as a sacred place with super natural powers. It was named Victoria waterfalls after queen Victoria of Britain by a Scottish missionary David Livingstone.
This spectacular waterfall is a UNESCO world heritage site, among the top wonders of the world and one of the major tourist attractions in south Africa standing at an altitude of about 915 meters above sea level, having a width of about 1708 meters and a depth of 108 meters. The river here is divided into a series of 8 gorges where the water swiftly plunges down making a loud and strong sound and a permanent fog.
The gorges of the waterfalls are major breeding grounds for unique wildlife species that include the black eagle and falcons. The waterfalls also greatly support a beautiful riverine forest on the alluvium sandy soils. This forest greatly depends on the water splashes from the waterfalls and has unique tree and bird species.
Today, a lot of river erosion activities are still visible along the river and an aerial view of the river shows great signs of future waterfalls. During the rainy seasons of February and March, Zambezi River usually has large volumes of water and over 500 million liters of water are estimated to fall over the basalt rocks per minute. During the severe dry season, the river water volume is greatly reduced to only 10 million liters dropping per minute. This is always around the months of November and tourists at this time clearly see the series of divided waterfall channels.
Accessing The Waterfalls
Tourists from both Zambia and Zimbabwe can access the Victoria waterfalls by obtaining visas from the borders or with the help of their trusted tour operators. The falls can be visited at any time of the year and daily trips to the falls are made costing around 70 to 90 US dollars.
For excellent views of the waterfalls, tourists are advised to go to the knife-edge bridge.
TOURIST’S ACTIVITIES AT THE FALLS
Bathing In The Devil’s Pool
This natural pool is located next to the cliff near Livingstone Island. It’s about 10 meters wide separated from a gorge by a narrow bridge. Bathing in the pool is however not allowed during rainy seasons because the much waters in the gorge could easily take people.
This pool is unknown by most tourists however bathing in it can give one a remarkable experience with great views of the waterfalls.
Being the highest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls has cliffs favoring adventurous tourists interested in bungee jumping. Many tourists do this once in a lifetime thrilling activity of jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge downstream. Strong ropes are tied on the jumpers’ leg or waist and those interested can have their ropes adjusted to enable them touch the waters of river Zambezi
Surfing And Kayaking
These are also possible along river Zambezi. They can however be done by those individuals strong enough to face the sometimes wild waters. Other wild water adventurous activities can also be done here for example rafting and enjoying gorge swings.
The tourists interested in less thrilling activities can go for relaxing tourist activities like river rides and cruises, visit the local communities near the waterfalls or go for elephant rides while view the great scenic beauty of the area. There is also a waterfalls museum with all the historical facts and backgrounds that can give a tourist about the insight of the waterfalls and the various changes the waterfalls has been going through over the years.
A Visit To Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park
Besides providing great views of the river and the famous waterfalls, this national park has a number of wildlife species that include zebras, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, leopards, lions, rhinos, buffaloes and unique vegetation types especially on river Zambezi banks. Tourists can game drives in the national park to the mentioned animals and much more.