When David Livingstone arrived at one of the islands on the Zambezi River during his journey in Africa, one of the tribal chiefs told him not to leave without seeing the waterfalls. Livingstone, a Scottish missionary, who was the first European to see this natural wonder, wrote the following in his diary, “[…] scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight!” He, then, named the waterfalls after the Queen of England. In fact, they already had a poetic name given to them centuries ago by the natives: Mosi-oa-Tunya, i.e. “The Smoke That Thunders.”
Victoria Falls are 1,708 meters in length and 108 meters in height. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the water here falls at a dizzying speed and with a great roar. The waterdrops continue their journey with the river, arriving to the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. The falls are surrounded by an ecosystem resembling rainforests. Comprising, among others, mahogany, fig, and date trees, this ecosystem is essentially created by the mist formed by the rising drops where the falls meet the pool. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit this part of Africa to see “The Smoke That Thunders,” to fly above it with a helicopter, to partake in a canopy tour, to watch the rainbows created by the falls, or to observe wildlife in the national parks. Others are looking for more adventurous experiences such as bungee-jumping or diving into the natural formations called “devil’s pools,” where the water takes a fall.
The period between November and early April is when the falls have the highest flow rate, when they meet -and shake- visitors with all their might. Formed by the sprinkling drops of water, the mist can sometimes affect one’s field of vision. Meanwhile, photographers visit the falls between August and November. There are three means of transportation from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, to Victoria Falls. The bus takes about seven hours. You can also take the train from Lusaka to Livingstone, or a plane to Livingstone Airport after a flight of about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You can also arrive at the falls via bus, train, or plane from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

Other Articles from This Issue

Skylife Archive