“No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”
Now why settle for just ‘imagining’ such beauty when you too can enjoy it for yourself? See the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls on our Discover Africa, Wildlife and the Falls, Stars of South Africa and Golden Trails of Africa itineraries.
The Smoke That Thunders
Recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the combined height and width of Victoria Falls makes it the largest waterfall in the world. At twice the height of Niagara Falls, the spray and mists rise upwards to about 260 miles and can be seen from over 30 miles. Millions of cubic liters of water crash upon the ground every minute. These thunderous echoes give the UNESCO World Heritage Site its local name – Mosi-oa-Tunya, which literally translates as “The Smoke That Thunders.” The roars can be heard for many more miles.
I Spy a Moonbow
Spectacular wildlife are also drawn to the Falls. Herds of elephants, hippos, crocodiles and impalas populate the area -- along with beautiful florals and fauna. Vibrant rainbows are often spotted as well – at both daytime and nighttime. Victoria Falls is one of the few places in the world where this elusive nighttime moonbow can be seen.
Fear of the Falls
Skirting the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and along the Zambezi River, there was a time when locals would not dare venture towards the wonder, having a sacral fear of it for centuries. In David Livingstone’s time, despite traveling through the continent with a large team, only two tribal members dared accompany the explorer. Even Europeans rarely braved the adventure – but this all started to change in 1905 with the construction of a new railway, making travel here easier.
The Honor in a Name
It is interesting to note that Victoria Falls, whom Livingstone named after his then-current queen, Queen Victoria, is one of the few areas in Africa which retained its British name after gaining independence. Livingstone was an ardent abolitionist and strongly believed that the slave trade could be stopped by promoting trade and Christianity in Africa. As he explained, his explorations were fueled solely to get this message across to Westerners. When he died in 1873, loyal attendants transported his body thousands of miles to the coast so he could be returned to England and be buried in Westminster Abbey. Other areas with a Livingstone attribution include Livingstone Island, the city of Livingstone and the city of Blantyre (the name of Livingstone’s birthplace). The names of most other townships and places were restored to their original African roots. A symbol of the great respect towards the explorer.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Victoria Falls each year. No doubt a symbol of their own awe, fascination and respect.
Glimpse this breathtaking natural wonder on itineraries such as Discover Africa, Wildlife and the Falls, Stars of South Africa and Golden Trails of Africa.