Victoria Falls - IntroductionVictoria Falls has the distinguished title of being one of the seven natural wonders of the world, according to CNN News. This waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River is one of the world's largest waterfalls. The natural wonders of the falls area attracts millions of visitors each year. Below you will find many interesting facts listed about this amazing natural wonder including where it is located. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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Victoria Falls General Facts
- The falls border on the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- The falls lie on the Zambezi River, its main water source, in the southern part of Africa.
- Two national parks Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls National Park surround the falls and help to protect it. It is referred to as Mosi-oa-Tunya by the locals and it translates to "the smoke that thunders".
- Dr. David Livingston was thought to be the first European explorer to set sight on the falls.
- Dr Livingston named the falls after Queen Victoria, the reigning queen of England at the time he discoverd the waterfall.
- The falls is estimated to be over 5,000 ft. wide and 354 ft. high. The width and height of the falls together make it the largest mass of falling water in the world. To put it into perspective, it is about two times the height of Niagara Falls which is located in both North America and Canada.
- The Zambezi River is home to a great number of islands in close proximity to the falls. 'Livingstone Island', named for Dr. Livingston, is the only land accessible right in the middle of the Victoria Falls. Another island, Boaruka (or Cataract) Island, lies at the western end of the falls crest.
- There are six main streams at the falls: Zimbabwe, Devils Cataract, Eastern Cataract, Zambia, Main Falls, and Rainbow Falls.
- There are five gorges, or deep cracks, to which the Zambezi River flows from the falls. They all vary in size and intensity of water flow and are all named from one to five in the order the river reaches them. The entire falls passes through the first gorge and then gradually opens into the rest. A pool at the end of the second gorge is aptly named Boiling Pot due to the swirling motion and extremely rough water. It is at this point where almost anything that falls over the falls is captured. The pattern of these gorges has changed throughout the falls long history and new gorges are in the process of forming.
Victoria Falls Facts for Visitors
- Devil's Pool is the name for a famous pool that was formed naturally by the edge of the falls. For thrill seekers, this infinity style pool is the perfect spot. During dry season, from September to December, the water is shallow enough to swim in the pool and leave you just inches from the 300 foot drop to the bottom of the falls. During the rainy season from the end of November to early April, this is not possible.
- The falls also attracts extreme sport enthusiasts such as bungee jumpers, white-water rafters, and gorge-swingers looking for a free-fall adrenaline rush.
- The falls is an amazing place for seeing both rainbows and moon bows. Rainbows can be seen in the water's spray for some 30 miles and moon bows are essentially a nighttime rainbow that can be seen at the falls during a full moon.
- Many forms of wildlife can be seen at the falls and in the surrounding parks. Buffalo, elephants, giraffe, leopards, and lion are seen from time to time, but more common are various species of baboons and monkeys. Otters, crocodiles and many species of fish inhabit the river area, while eagles, falcons, and various waterfowl inhabit the skies.