Facts About Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
Find facts about Victoria Falls and its surrounds – these all explain the fascinating and awe-inspiring phenomenon that is one of the most inspirational sights in the world. These include geographical & historical information as well as interesting points on wildlife and outdoor activities.
The surrounding national parks, riverside vegetation and wildlife add another dimension to the adventure you are embarking on. The added high-wire and river activities on offer make visiting the falls an unforgettable trip of a lifetime.
Victoria Falls Geographical Facts
- The Victoria Falls form the largest curtain of falling water on the planet and is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles.
- The Devils Cataract on the left-hand corner of the falls in Zimbabwe is the lowest point and, therefore, has the most water cascading over it.
- The spray from the cascading water can reach 1km high in the wet season and can be seen over 30km away.
- The whole of the Falls are on the Zimbabwean side except the Eastern Cataract which is in Zambia.
- The Rainforest is sustained by the ever present spray from the waterfall, with plant species that are rarely found elsewhere in Zimbabwe or Zambia.
- The spray from the waterfall creates rainfall for the Rain Forest making it the only place that receives rainfall 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The best time to see the Moonbow over the falls is during the full Moon when the spray is high between January and July.
- The Lunar Rainbow is created by the rays of the full moon shining through the mist and spray rising up from the gorge, creating a Moonbow.
- One of the most beautiful natural phenomena on the planet is the Moonbow formed on a clear, bright, moonlit night as the moons rays shine through the rising spray.
- The spray rising from the gorge below the Falls is visible from over 30 miles away.
- At peak flood between the months February and April, over 550,000 cubic metres of water per minute flow over the Falls.
- At its lowest flow between November and December, there are less than 20,000 cubic meters of water per minute flowing over the Falls.
- The Falls are 108 metres high with the Zambezi River 1,708 metres wide at the lip of the waterfall.
- Two islands at the crest of the falls, Boaruka Island and Livingstone Island, divide the flowing curtain of water over the waterfall.
- Viewing of the waterfall is done from the opposite cliff of the gorge facing the falls.
- The waterfall stretches across the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
- The Victoria Falls is found on the Zambezi River in Southern Africa.
- There are 5 gorges below the falls creating the famous white water rafting rapids.
- The falls is divided into The Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the Eastern Cataract.
- The width and height of the waterfall make it the largest mass of falling water in the world.
- Devil’s Pool is on the Zambian lip of the precipice just inches away from the edge.
- During the dry season, from September to December, the water is shallow enough to swim in the Devils Pool just inches from the 300-foot drop to the bottom of the falls.
- The spray from the cascading water creates rainfall over the rainforest 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa after the Nile, Congo and Niger rivers.
- The Zambezi River travels through 6 countries to the Indian Ocean – Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
- The waterfall dissects the Zambezi River in two as it sits halfway between the 1677 miles from the river’s source to the sea.
- A pool at the end of the second gorge is aptly named the Boiling Pot due to the swirling motion and extremely rough water.
- The Boiling Pot will collect anything that is carried over the precipice as it cannot escape the currents.
- Many high adrenaline activities are available at Victoria Falls, with the most famous being the bungee jump off the bridge across the gorge.
Historical Victoria Falls Facts
- The first European to view the falls was Scottish explorer David Livingstone in 1855.
- David Livingstone first viewed this unknown wonder from an island in the middle of the waterfall.
- A bronze statue of David Livingstone stands on the Zimbabwean side facing the waterfall.
- Dr Livingstone named the falls after Queen Victoria, the reigning queen of England when he discovered the waterfall.
- In November 1855 the waterfall was made known to the outside world by David Livingstone with a town in Zambia eventually named after him.
- The local Tonga name for Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke that Thunders.
- Humans have lived around the waterfall and surrounding areas for at least 2 million years.
- The native African people who live around Victoria Falls today speak the Bantu language. They also speak Portuguese and English.
General Facts About Victoria Falls – Wildlife and Sporting Activities
- The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses the Zambezi River just below the waterfall.
- Victoria Falls adrenaline sports include bungee jumps, white-water rafting, and gorge swings.
- The falls also attracts extreme sports enthusiasts such as bungee jumpers, white-water rafters, and gorge-swingers looking for a free-fall adrenaline rush.
- Hippopotamus swim and rest in the Zambezi River upstream of the waterfall.
- Elephants visit the area to feed on grasses and fruits growing along the banks of the river and on islands in the middle of the river above the falls.
- Crocodiles and many species of fish inhabit the river area, while eagles, falcons, and various waterfowl take advantage of the river and its bounty.
- The abundance of birdlife is a birders paradise with herons, kingfishers and many other species of birds.
- The Zambezi River is famous for its bream and tiger fish as well as numerous other species of fish.
- The National Parks offer good game viewing opportunities with a wide variety of larger mammal species including lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and several species of antelope, including eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala and sable.
- The river supports a lush riverside bush in which bushbuck and duiker seek shade and protection.
Victoria Falls has an aura and mystery – just the mention of the waterfall evokes a sense of wonder in people all over the world.
These facts about Victoria Falls give you an insight into this unmissable destination.