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What You Need To Know About The Victoria Falls

by Gift Mwaba

The mighty Victoria Falls locally known as Mosi oa tunya – the “the smoke that thunders”- is one of the 7 wonders of the world sitting at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. It stretches at a width of 1,708m and height of 108m – making it the largest sheet of falling water.

How was it formed?

It is believed that the falls was an end result of geological changes that took place 110 million years ago in Gondwanaland. Tectonic movements are thought to have altered old river systems, in this case being the once separate upper Zambezi and lower Zambezi river systems; eventually making them one. This new river system is seen to have eroded clay like segments that once filled the cracks in the basalt bedrock surrounding the present day Victoria Falls area. This in turn led to the development of the magnificent waterfall.

What waterfall Patterns can I expect?

Depending on the time of the year you visit you can either find a full strip or sheet of falling water or only at certain points with much of the bare rock exposed. The full strip can be seen between February and June, during and immediately after the rainy season. It is at this time that one can notice the connotation of the “Smoke that thunders”. From then on the strip diminishes in the dry seasons until end of November.

How can I view the Falls?

They are generally two ways; one is by land and the other by flight - microlight or helicopter flights. By land one can either view it from the Zambian and/or Zimbabwean side as it stands at the border of the two countries.

What other activities can I do around the Victoria falls area?

Four main activities are synonymous with the area. The Livingstone Island and its’ devil’s pool, White water rafting in the Batoka gorges, the famous 111m Victoria Falls bridge bungee jump, and sunset cruises along Zambezi River.

The first two activities are seasonal and mostly available between July and early January while the rest are done all year round. Other activities include game drives in the Mosi oa tunya National park, tours of Livingstone and Victoria falls town, or the local Villages.

The Victoria Falls is nothing short of breath taking. It seems the words by David Livingstone will always give its best impression – “scenes so lovely must have been gazed by angels in their flight”.

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