The Spectacular Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls presents a mighty sight of awe-inspiring beauty as well as grandeur on the Zambezi River. These falls form the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Victoria Falls was described by the Kololo Tribe – who were living in the area in the 1800s – as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ which is translated as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms, the Victoria Falls are known as the most awe-inspiring curtain of falling water in the world.

Pillars of spray can be seen from kilometres away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than 500 million m3 of water per minute plummeting over the edge, over a width of nearly 2km, into a gorge over 100m below. The wide, basalt cliff over which the Victoria Falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent that cuts through a series of dramatic gorges.

What Faces The Victoria Falls

Standing in front of the falls is another sheer wall of basalt that rises to the same height and is capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path that runs along the edge of the forest offers the visitor – who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray – an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.

One unique vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where visitors are able to have the best view of the Eastern Cataract as well as the Main Falls and the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and then heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include:

  • Livingstone Island,
  • Devils Pool, as well as
  • Lookout Tree.

These command panoramic views across the Main Falls.

Livingstone Island

Livingstone Island is at the heart of this spray, on the verge of one of the magnificent Seven Natural Wonders of the World and offers an experience which is entirely unique.

Devil’s Pool

Devil’s Pool is to be found on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. The pool stands nearly midway across the mile-wide waterfall and is close to Livingstone Island. Devil’s Pool is accessible only on guided boat tours that are operated by Tongabezi Safaris. These boat tours leave from a launch on the Zambian bank of the Zambezi, upstream of the falls.

Swimming in the Devil’s Pool won’t appeal to everyone and some may prefer playing in the shade, however if you’re feeling somewhat brave, a swim in the pool is nothing short of pure delight. Considered to be the most “scenic plunge pool on earth”, you’ll bathe just metres away from where the Zambezi River waters that plummet down.

Lookout Tree

The Big Tree, which is located at Victoria Falls, is a big baobab of the species Adansonia digitata in Zimbabwe, near to Victoria Falls. It has often been called Livingstone’s Tree. The tree measures 22.40 metres in girth (2004) and is 24 metres tall (1985), abnormally large for a baobab.

The explorer and missionary David Livingstone, who found Victoria Falls and named it after his queen, in 1885 etched his name into a baobab tree on an island (Garden Island) that is above the cliff of the waterfall.