Victoria Falls National Park
Victoria Falls National Park is situated on the western tip of Zimbabwe. The Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as Mosi oa Tunya- The Smoke that thunders, is one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth.
The falls are 1,7 kilometres wide and nearly 550 million litres of water cascade 70 to 108 metres into the chasm below -every minute- during the Zambezi River’s peak flow. Victoria Falls is made of five different “falls”. Four of these are in Zimbabwe: The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls -and one, The Eastern Cataract, is in the bordering country of Zambia.
The Devil’s Cataract
The falls here are about 70 metres deep. They derive their name from an adjacent island in the Zambezi River where it is reported that locals used to conduct sacrificial ceremonies. With the advent of the missionaries, this practice was frowned upon and considered “devilish”, resulting in the name of the area.
The falls at this point are at their most majestic. With a wide curtain of water thundering down 93 meters into the gorge below and peak water flows of 700,000 cubic meters per minute, this section throws out a magnificent spray that continually nourishes the evergreen rainforest around the area.
This section is horseshoe shaped and is 95 meters deep. This section usually dries up at the height of the dry season between October and November. Rainbow Falls A beautiful rainbow can clearly be seen from this viewpoint. The falls are 108 meters deep at this point and are the deepest of the whole series.
The Eastern Cataract
These falls are situated completely on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls but have a stunning view from the Zimbabwean side. They are the second deepest falls of the series at 101 meters deep.
A unique view of the falls below can be found by descending 73 steps into the gorge.
David Livingstone Statue
The David Livingstone statue can be found at the left end of the Falls near the spectacular Devil’s Cataract viewpoint. On 16 November 1855, Livingstone (the first Western explorer to view the Falls) wrote in his journal: “…scenes so lovely must have been gazed on by angels in their flight.”
The rainforest area of Victoria Falls is filled with many unique species of flora and fauna. One can wander amongst the Fig, Mahogany and Date Palm groves while gazing at the falls from magnificent viewpoints. Many species of birds and small mammals may be spotted beneath the protective canopy of the forest.
The Boiling Pot
This place is appropriately named to describe the turmoil where water from opposite sides of the falls collide in the Zambezi River as it turns in a southeasterly direction passing through several gorges.
The Big Tree
This is a large baobab tree near the Falls. The tree which has withstood the test of time is 16 meters in diameter and 20 meters tall.