Facts About Victoria Falls

Find facts about Victoria Falls and its surroundings – these all explain the fascinating and awe-inspiring phenomenon that is one of the most inspirational sights in the world.

Interesting and Fun Facts About Victoria Falls

This marvel of the world, found along the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, has a long history and is just as magnificent as it has always been.

We have uncovered lots of Victoria Falls facts and information about this marvel of nature.

Read what makes it one of the greatest waterfalls in the world.

These facts include geographical & historical information as well as interesting points on adrenaline activities, excursions, attractions, and the wildlife.

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 falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World joining the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, the Aurora Borealis, the Paricutin volcano, the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro and Mount Everest.
  • 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 during the peak flow months.
  • 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.
  • 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 precipice.
  • The Falls are 108 metres high with the Zambezi River 1,708 metres wide at the lip of the waterfall.
  • Viewing of the waterfall is done from the opposite cliff of the gorge facing the falls.
  • The Victoria Falls is found on the Zambezi River in Southern Africa.
  • The waterfall stretches across the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • There are 5 gorges below the waterfall 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.
  • Devil’s Pool is on the Zambian lip of the precipice just inches away from the edge.
  • The width and height of the waterfall make it the largest mass of falling water in the world
  • 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 chasm.
  • 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.

Historical 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 in the area today speak the Bantu language. They also speak Portuguese and English.

General Facts – Wildlife and Sporting Activities

  • The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses the Zambezi River just below the waterfall.
  • 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.
  • 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 Africa give you an insight into this unmissable destination.

Visit Zimbabwe and experience a never-to-be-forgotten wonder of the natural world.

Become a Victoria Falls traveller – join the explorers that have seen and experienced what you have only dreamed about!!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is special about Victoria Falls?

Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is found on the Zambezi River in Africa. It is famous for being the largest curtain of falling water in the world at its peak flow. The local African people call it Mosi-oa-Tunya which means “the smoke that thunders” because of the constant noise and huge mist it creates.

How did Victoria Falls get its name?

The explorer David Livingstone was so struck by the sight of the waterfall he named it in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain. The indigenous Lozi people call it Mosi-oa-Tunya – “The Smoke That Thunders”- and this is still used today too.

How old is the Victoria Falls?

The geology of the bedrock of Victoria Falls dates back 180 million years. The basalt the falls are cut from is an ancient dark volcanic rock.

Where does Victoria Falls get water?

The Victoria Falls sits halfway along the Zambezi River and stretches right the way across this magnificent river. The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa and originates in northwest Zambia.

Is Victoria Falls bigger than Niagara Falls?

Victoria Falls is almost double the height of Niagara Falls and half a kilometer wider. Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water in the world at peak season.