The Smoke that Thunders: All about Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls (Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/zest-pk/)

This is a guest post by Geraldine Mills

Victoria Falls is popularly known as the Adventure Capital of Africa. It’s located on the Zambezi River between the southern African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here is a list of interesting, and slightly bizarre facts about Victoria Falls.

The Largest Waterfall in the World

Measuring a width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) and a height of 108 meters (354 ft), it forms the largest single sheet of falling water in the world. Land area alone, the Victoria Falls doubles the size of North America’s Niagara Falls. Because of its mere size, one can expect to see the waterfalls’ mist more than 20 kilometers away.

The Smoke that Thunders

Mosi-oa-Tunya, the indigenous Batonga people named it in their native language of Tonga. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer who was the first European to view the Victoria Falls in 1855, named it in honor of Queen Victoria – England’s reigning ruler at the time. Many people still refer to it as the “smoke that thunders”, because it accurately defines the falls’ appearance; not to mention the legends, romance and myth that surrounds it.

Devil's Pool

Playtime at Devil’s Pool (Flickr – Sarah Depper)

The Devil’s Pool

A naturally formed pool near the edge of the falls. It is accessed via Livingstone Island in Zambia. The pool is naturally formed by enclosed rocks on its edge at a height of 103 meters (338 ft) above the waterfalls’ base. This truly is one of the best places to take a dip while enjoying the thrilling view of the falls.

A World Heritage

Because of the fact that it is the world’s largest single sheet of falling water, as well as having exceptional geological and geomorphological features, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1989. The spectacular gorges as well as some islands in the main zone serve as breeding sites for migratory and endangered species of birds.

Addax antelope

Addax antelope (Flickr – Amareta Kelly)

The Outdoors and the Wild

As what we most commonly know about Africa, a wide variety of wildlife can be seen within the national parks of Victoria Falls. A significant number of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras and antelopes and a total of 35 species of birds of prey can be seen. Sight-seeing, game viewing and bird viewing are common tours for African safari lovers.

Rafting Victoria Falls

Rafting Victoria Falls (Flickr – Rob & Jules)

A Variety of Adventures

Whether you are into sight-seeing, game viewing or just a plain mad thrill-seeker, you will never run out of quirky activities to satisfy your adrenaline rush and action-filled adventures at Victoria Falls. Every activity is meticulously designed to provide the rush and excitement that each tourist aims to experience. Bungee jumping, white water rafting and helicopter rides are one of the most sought after adventures that tourists are aiming for.

Author Bio

Geraldine Mills is a travel enthusiast and regularly gives information about the best destinations in the southern African region by writing tips and guidelines. She is also a Community Outreach Coordinator for andbeyondafrica.com 

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