Victoria Falls
Vic falls.jpg

Victoria Falls is a name of the resort town located in the Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe and named after the waterfall. The town is located on the northern border which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia, on the Zambezi River, about 1000km from it's source.

The Victoria Falls is home to the Tonga community. The falls were referred to as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which in the local Tonga language means 'the smoke that thunders'.[1] David Livingstone became the first European explorer to discover the Victoria Falls in 1855. He mapped the location and made it known to the outsider world. Livingstone named the place Victoria Falls in honour of the Queen of Britain at that time.[2]

Background / Pre-History

The falls are rated among the seven best natural wonders of the world. 1708m wide and an average depth of 100m, they form the biggest single curtain of water in the world. Flow varies from 20 000m³ (November / December) to 500 000m³ at the end of the rains over western Zambia and Angola. At the time of record breaking floods of 1958, flow reached 700 000m³. The falls were declared a World Natural Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[3] One of the most striking features of the falls is the epic deafening sound and the continuous mist which is seen from miles away curling upwards from the town.[3] In the soils of the area are some of the richest archaeological sites in southern Africa.


Victoria Falls Bridge was constructed in 1905. It is 202m across, with a single span of 152m, 90m above teh Zambezi, and was the first link between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was originally only two rail tracks, but one rail track was replaced by a road deck in 1930. Road decking was replaced in 1980.

On 25 August 1975 the Victoria Falls Conference was held on the bridge in a railway dining car. Following meetings in Lusaka, in December 1974 Rhodesia released many nationalist political prisoners, and a ceasefire was arranged. Finally, talks were held in the car on the international border, between Ian Smith, Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole, Joshua Nkomo, James Chikerema, and others. Kenneth Kaunda and John Vorster also attended the first sessions. The conference broke down the next day.[4]

Victoria Falls hosted the 20th edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly from the 24th to the 29th of August 2013.[5] The event attracted over 900 delegates from member states all over the world.[6]

Popular Places

While the major attraction of the town is the falls, Victoria Falls town is also home to

  • the bridge,
  • bungee jumping (from the bridge) into the gorges,
  • the Rain Forest,
  • white water rafting,
  • game viewing at the Victoria Falls National Park and Zambezi National Park. These two major parks are home to diverse wildlife including the 'Big Five' - elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and white rhinoceros. In addition, herds of buffaloes, antelopes, zebras and giraffes add diversity to the game parks.
  • river cruises,
  • fishing (tiger and bream).

[7] [3] The resort nature of the Victoria Falls town make hotels and lodges the most notable of all places. These include the Elephant Hills Hotel, Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Budget Hotel and Gorges Lodge. Some small lodges and camping sites are available throughout the town to offer accommodation and resting facilities for the touring communities.


The 1969 Census shows 2880 Africans, 567 Europeans, 3 Asians and 4 Coloureds (Total 3450) people living there.
The Chinotimba high-density suburb accommodates the majority of the residents. Currently, there are over 50 000 residents. [8] In this multicultural community, Asians, Arabs, and Europeans are the majority of the tourists who frequent the town.

Visitors Guide :Tips and Events

  • Victoria Falls Jazz Festival,
  • Victoria Falls Carnival,
  • Victoria Falls Marathon
  • Any time of the year is a good time to visit, however one might want to avoid April (peak rainy/flood season) when the falls are at their fullest. They create so much mist that not only will you get soaked but it is also nearly impossible to even see the falls through the haze.
  • The Devil's Pool: Hanging off the edge of Victoria Falls. The devil’s pool is only accessible from Zambia. Visit at the end of the dry season around November. This is when the rate of flow is at its lowest which makes going to the Devil’s Pool safest.

Further Reading





Victoria Falls Facts

  • The Victoria falls are known as "Mosi oa-Tunya" which means "the smoke that thunders")
  • In Nov 1855 the falls were made known to the outside world by David Livingstone
  • There are an estimated 75 species of fish inhabiting the falls.
  • Victoria Falls is approximately 5577 feet wide and varies in height from 262- 304 feet.


The Victoria Falls At Its Peak In 4K!


  1. The Victoria Falls Zambia, Published: 16 June 2014, Retrieved 16 June 2014
  2. Victoria Falls, Retrieved: 16 June 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 , VICTORIA FALLS & ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARKS, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, ,Retrieved: 16 June 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  5. UNWTO General Assembly, NewsDay, Published: 26 August 2013, Retrieved: 16 June 2014
  6. Melisa Mpofu, ’20th UNWTO best attended’, NewsDay, Published:26 August 2013,Retrieved: 16 June 2014
  7. Victoria Falls Bungee Jumping, Retrieved: 16 June 2014
  8. Victoria Falls Guide, Retrieved: 16 June 2014"
  9. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  10. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"