From the Zambian side: Adult – US$ 20. Moonlight tour – US$ 25. Children 6 to 15 years old – 50% of adult cost. Children under 6 years old are free.
On the Zimbabwe side: Adult – US$ 30. Moon tour – US$ 40. Children 6 to 15 years old – 50% of the cost of an adult. Children under 6 years old are free.
Victoria Falls – Africa’s most famous waterfall and one of the largest waterfalls in the world. A large basalt plateau, where the Zambezi River flows, is interrupted by a strong cliff, which is just rippled with cracks. From this precipice from a great height streams of water pour down – this is the famous Victoria Falls.
Numerous tourists come to Victoria Falls daily to admire the local beauty and see the power of the natural wonder of Africa.
Panorama of Victoria Falls from the side of Zimbabwe, opposite Livingstone Island on Google Maps:
Upstream of the waterfall, small islets can be seen along the course of the river; closer to where the waterfall falls, their number increases. These islets on the edge of the abyss divide the falls into 4 parts: near the right bank of the river there is an inclined stream 35 m wide and 61 m high called Jumping Water; then behind Boaruca Island comes the Main Falls, 83 m high and almost 460 m wide, then Livingston Island separates the Main Falls from Rainbow Falls, about 530 m wide and 99 m high; and near the left bank of the river is the East Falls, 98 m high, which is entirely on the Zambian side.
Victoria Falls is located above a deep gorge, so unlike Niagara Falls, it is not viewable from afar.
There is an unusual place on the Falls property, the Devils Pool Victoria Falls. Devils Pool is a swimming pool located at the very edge of the falls. The pool can only be accessed by the edge during the dry season. The Devil’s Pool is surrounded by rocks that protect you from falling. The pictures in this place are spectacular.
You can see the famous Victoria Falls from the observation deck. One of the most popular is the one on the iron bridge called Knife Edge Point. It is from this angle you can see the East Stream and the Main Falls. The Devil’s Cataract on the Zimbabwe side and Gorilla Head ViewPoint on the Zambian side are also available.
Not far from the waterfall itself, near the parking lot where tourists are brought, everyone can visit the Victoria Falls Museum. The museum is dedicated to the history of the waterfall, and its exhibit tells how the waterfall has changed and how the water acts on new areas of this natural wonder.
Where is Victoria Falls and its coordinates
Victoria Falls is located on the border of the two African countries Zambia and Zimbabwe, namely the Zambezi River. Both states equally own the territory of the waterfall.
Victoria Falls has found its place in two national parks. One is called Smashing Smoke (Mosi-Oa-Tunya) with an area of 23.4 km² and the other is Victoria Falls with an area of 59.3 km². Both parks have rich flora and fauna. Plant life is represented by grasses, vines, shrubs and trees-red and ebony, wild date palm, phytelephus and others. Among the animals here are birds, elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras, antelopes, rhinos, crocodiles and many others.
Who discovered Victoria Falls?
The first person to see this waterfall and tell the world about it was the explorer from Europe, the Scotsman David Livingstone. He was able to view the waterfall from the present-day Zambian side, a place that was later called Livingstone’s Island. The discoverer named the waterfall after Queen Victoria of Great Britain, the ruler at the time.
Victoria Falls in Africa were formed where the Zambezi River falls into a 120 m wide rift cut by water in a rift in the earth’s crust. Many islets divide the waterfall, forming channels. Over time the waterfall has retreated upstream, creating new crevasses for itself. These chasms now form a zigzag riverbed with steep walls.
Victoria Falls was discovered on November 17, 1855, during the voyage of the Scottish explorer and missionary Livingstone from the headwaters of the Zambezi River to the mouth of the Zambezi River.
The natives of Africa were afraid to approach the place. Brave Livingstone, while in Africa, decided to travel downriver to explore the little-explored parts of the continent. Passionate about his expedition, he traveled a great distance and swam to a waterfall. As Livingstone later wrote in his book of travels, it was the most incredible sight he had ever seen.
For a long time nobody visited Victoria Falls until in 1905 when the railroad was built enabling many people to see the falls with their own eyes. The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe and is the border bridge between Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Livingstone, Zambia. Its total length is 198 meters, its span is 156.5 meters, and its height is 128 meters. Currently, there are rail connections on the lines Livingstone – Bulawayo and Livingstone – Lusaka.
The waterfall became an even more popular attraction during the British colonial rule of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). By the end of the 1990s, almost 300,000 people were visiting the Falls annually.
Today, Victoria Falls is one of the most popular natural attractions in the world, admired by many tourists and the locals themselves, who consider the falls their pride.
Facts of interest
Victoria Falls have the following interesting facts:
- The island from which David Livingstone saw the waterfall, today bears his last name. The island is located in Zambia, where there is also a monument in his honor, on the pedestal of which Livingstone’s motto is written: “Christianity, Commerce and Civilization” (“Christianity, Commerce and Civilization”).
- A colossal number of small waterfall droplets rise all around, allowing irrigation of the surrounding vegetation, from which the droplets constantly run off. If you step farther away from the abyss and listen, you can hear a humming sound, as if the forest were “singing.
- Before the waterfall got its present name, it had several others: Soengo (Rainbow), Chongue-Weizi (Unsleeping Water), and Mozi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that Rattles).
- The highest point of water fall is the Rainbow Falls – 110 m.
- During the rainy season, the flow rate is over 500 million liters of water per second. But in 1958 there was an absolute record, when the figure exceeded 770 million liters per second due to flooding in the Zambezi.
- Tourists originally came to see the falls via Zimbabwe, but the economic crisis in the country has had a negative impact on its popularity. Today, Zambia hosts the main number of tours to the waterfall.
- The vast area of land around Victoria Falls is classified as a national park, as a result of which there are restrictions that include a ban on any construction in the area.
- Victoria Falls has found its place on the border of once feuding countries.
- Victoria Falls is the only waterfall considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
- In 2019, a severe drought caused the waterfall to dry up completely, which has become so severely shallow that only a single stream remains.
Victoria Falls is one of South Africa’s top attractions.
It is about 1,800 meters wide and 120 meters high.
Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world, which is both over 100 m high and over 1 km wide, and the fourth widest in the world and one of the largest in terms of water flow. Thus, the waterfall is approximately 8-9 times lower and simultaneously 16 times wider than Angel, the highest waterfall in the world.
Now Victoria Falls is one of the most striking and popular tourist attractions in Africa, a sought-after tourist destination included in the main tourist routes of the continent. Despite the fact that Africa at the moment can not guarantee stability and safety, tourists still come here to see its unusual world, wild animals, learn its customs and, of course, to see the waterfall itself firsthand.
You can come to Victoria Falls on your own or take a tour in Zambia. The duration of the tour is about 1.5 hours. To get more emotions from the falls, you can book a tour to the waterfall by helicopter or ultralight aircraft. The route of such an excursion runs along the river and opens all the most picturesque places. In time, the helicopter tour lasts from 15 minutes and longer, at the discretion of tourists.
For the brave there are special descents in a canoe or rubber raft, walks on a boat on the Zambezi River, horseback riding on the Zambezi and surrounding forests, safari jeep or elephant in the national park, walking with lions without leashes and collars through the African wilds, riding quad bikes, mountain bikes or jet skis on specially paved tracks along the gorge, and even organized fishing on the Zambezi River. For the most adventurous who like adrenaline, here is the entertainment of bungee jumping, which is the most “scenic” jump from the highest point of a waterfall on a rope.
Safari tours and other favorite activities in Victoria Falls, offered by tour operators, can be booked in advance on the link.
Victoria Falls is located in the southern hemisphere and has a subtropical climate and 3 seasonal periods with different weather conditions. The most favorable time to visit the Falls is during winter, which lasts from May to August. During this time, there is less rainfall and air temperatures go down. The most unfavorable time is from September to November, when the season of drought, heat and lack of precipitation begins, and the waterfall begins to become shallow.
How to get to Victoria Falls in Africa
Since the Falls are in Southern Africa, many people wonder how to get there.
The whole route to Victoria Falls can be divided into 3 parts:
- Flying by plane to Zambia.
- Flight to the city of Livingstone.
- Transfer to the waterfall.
The first part involves flying to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Flights to this city are via Moscow and only with connections. Click here to see flight times and prices.
After landing in Lusaka, you will fly to Livingstone. You can also do it by plane. You can check the timetable by clicking here.
The third step, getting from Livingston to the waterfall, can be done in several ways: as part of a tour group or by transfer from Livingston Airport to the main site.
Video: Victoria Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, Zambia & Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls: description, facts and driving directions
Located in the heart of the African continent Victoria Falls are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Each year millions of tourists visit it to admire the spectacle and take pictures.
Victoria Falls on the World Map
The waterfall is located in a neutral area of the mainland between the two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The former is known as an organizer of safari tours, while the latter is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Its only wealth remains the beautiful nature in these latitudes.
Geographically Victoria Falls on the world map is located in the subtropical belt of the southern hemisphere at the coordinates 17 ° 55′ south latitude and 25 ° 51′ east longitude.
The source of water is the Zambezi River. It is about 3 times shorter than the Amazon and is the fourth longest on the continent after the Nile, the Congo and the Niger. The source is located in Zambia, the waters pass along the borders of Namibia and Botswana, then flow not into the sea, but into the Indian Ocean near Mozambique. At the point where the vertical flow of water is formed, this river falls from the ridge that divides it into a narrow gorge.
Who discovered Victoria Falls, history of the name
Among the local population, the water stream flowing into the gorge was known as Mosi-oa-Tunya. The literal translation from the language of Zambia is “Rattling Smoke.” This natural phenomenon got its name because of the huge columns of water spray. Their height exceeds several tens of meters.
For the first time for Europeans the Victoria Falls were discovered by David Livingstone. He was a famous explorer, traveler, missionary, and spent more than 30 years exploring Central Africa.
Livingstone was from Scotland, so he gave the coordinates of Victoria Falls, discovered on the continent, by a name that later became canonical. It was named after the Queen of England. Under this name the waterfall appears in all atlases and hiking trails, although the local population of Africa more often uses the Zambian designation.
Europeans learned of its existence in 1856, when the discoverer, returning to Great Britain, published his observations. The notes he made gave European travelers an idea of Central Africa.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Europeans began to explore the area more actively, and a railroad bridge was built across the Zambezi River. It was then (in 1905) at the wonder of the world the first tourists appeared.
Description of the falls, photos
Victoria Falls are located above a deep gorge, so unlike Niagara, you cannot see it from afar. Victoria has four main streams, each with its own name:
- Leaping Water;
- The main waterfall, which is the highest point of the entire composition;
- Rainbow Falls;
- East Stream.
The main source of water is shared by two islands, Livingston and Boarooka. They are not flooded even in high water.
The width of the stream exceeds 1.8 km and its height reaches 120 meters. These figures make Victoria Falls the largest not only in Africa, but also in the world.
According to tourists, the most breathtaking view is from above. There are also often pictures of people in the water right at the edge of the falls. Some people think that such photos of Victoria Falls are the result of photoshop. In fact, the pictures are real and available due to the existence of the Devil’s Cauldron.
This is a special area – a small pool in the rock, which is separated from the abyss by a high barrier. This peculiarity of relief gives tourists the opportunity to swim, take a spectacular photo, as well as admire the abyss below, carefully approaching the very edge of the cliff.
The Devil’s Jacuzzi is accessible in September and December, when the Zambezi dries up and water currents slow down. Even with this factor, every year at least one person who in pursuit of a beautiful photo came close to the edge of the font dies.
Interesting facts about Victoria Falls
There are several interesting facts about Victoria Falls, which are unknown to the bulk of tourists:
- During the rainy season, the flow rate is over 500 million liters of water per second. The record was set in 1958, when it exceeded 770 million liters per second. The reason was the flooding of the Zambezi.
- Initially, tourists came mainly through Zimbabwe, but the current economic crisis in the country has reduced its popularity. Zambia, on the other hand, provides visitors not only tours to Victoria, but also the opportunity to hunt wild animals.
- It became part of the Unesco World Heritage Site in 1989. Much of the land around it is classified as national parks. Therefore, restrictions are in place to prevent changes to the area. For example, construction is prohibited in the Victoria area, so tourists have to drive several hours to get to the Zambezi.
- Rainbow Stream got its name because of the specific coloring of the water during the full moon. When the Victoria Falls are full, the “moon rainbows” are clearly visible.
- Victoria Falls is located on the border of once warring countries. During the 1964-1979 war, the bridge over the Zambezi became the center of peace negotiations. They were unsuccessful.
- It is 68 m higher than the Niagara Bridge, which is located in North America.
- The water literally boils when it hits the ground from a great height. The clouds of steam rising from the gorge are clearly visible on the far approaches to it.
- Tourists are offered the following activities: visits to the islands, “roam-jumping” and a helicopter tour to admire one of the wonders of the world from a bird’s eye view. Extreme divers canoe down the stretch of the Zambezi below the falls – there are many rapids.
- Victoria Falls on the map of Africa is located 10 km from the town of Livingstone.
- Another nearby village is Victoria Falls. Because of its location in Zimbabwe, there are hardly any tourists coming to it lately.
- From 1976 to 2016, the average temperature in Victoria rose by 1.4 degrees. The rains have become shorter, but stronger, and the dry periods last longer.
These are not the only features of one of the Wonders of the World, many more facts can be learned by visiting it.
How to Get to the Falls
The most popular tourist town nearby is Livingston. It has its own airport that accepts international flights, so tourists from other countries more often fly to the city by plane. From other African settlements you can get by bus or train. To Zambezi from the settlement go on foot or take a bus. Do not travel by personal vehicle without a special permit – only employees of the National Park and tour organizers receive them.
When to go to Victoria Falls
The city of Livingstone and Victoria are open to visitors all year round. Those who want to admire the view of the huge stream of water falling from many meters height, as well as lovers of “moon rainbows” prefer to visit the area during high water – from November to March.
In the remaining months, which are considered the dry season, tourists come to the falls in order to make a photo from the “devil’s pool”, to tickle the nerves of the opening spectacle from above, as well as to wade the Zambezi River a little further from Victoria.
In recent years, the wonder of the world has been in danger of drying up. Scientists blame the climate factor, and UNESCO experts are trying to figure out a way to preserve the almost-dry December 2020 waterfall in its original form. If the drought worsens, the Zambezi River may become shallow and Victoria may dry out and disappear from the map completely.