With a height of 108m and width of 1078m, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It lies on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River. Here are 10 interesting facts about its discovery, its indigenous and European name, the Devil’s Pool, moonbow bungee jumping on the bridge and more.
#1 Victoria Falls lies almost halfway along the Zambezi River, which flows through six countries and is the fourth longest river in Africa.
#2 The first European to discover Victoria Falls was the Scottish explorer David Livingstone who came across the falls on 16 November 1855. He named the falls Victoria in the honor of Queen Victoria, who reigned over Great Britain during that period.
#3 The indigenous name of Victoria falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya which means “the smoke that thunders“. The fall is still referred to by this name by many people in Africa and even in other parts of the world.
#4 The Victoria Falls is neither the highest not the widest waterfall in the world. Victoria Falls is 108m high while the Angel falls in Venezuela is 979m high; and its width is 1708m which is less than a few waterfalls around the world.
#5 However, Victoria Falls has the largest sheet of falling water (the surface area of the sheet of water is more than any other fall) and hence it is called the largest waterfall in the world.
#6 As compared to Niagara Falls, the height of Victoria Falls is approximately two times while its width is nearly one and a half times.
#7 Victoria Falls is the only waterfall on the commonly accepted list of the seven natural wonders of the world by the Seven Natural Wonders (CNN) organization.
#8 The spray of Victoria Falls rises to a height of over 400m. On full moon nights, at times, a moonbow appears in the spray rather than the usual daylight rainbow. A moonbow is a rainbow which is produced by moonlight refracting off moisture in the air and Victoria Falls is one of the few places in the world where this phenomenon is known to be seen.
#9 Between September and December every year, due to the dry season the level of water in the fall is such that the natural rock on the edge of the falls forms a barrier and creates, what is known as the ‘Devil’s Swimming Pool‘. Adventurous people descend in the Devil’s Pool, where the rock separates them from a fall of a 100m. Some thrill-seekers even jump in the river and allow themselves to be carried towards the fall at terrifying speed before the rock prevents them from falling. Although people consider Devil’s Pool considerably safe, a few deaths have been reported.
#10 A bridge was built over the second gorge of the Victoria Falls and as the river lies on the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, it connects the two countries. It was originally called the Great Zambezi or Zambezi Bridge but is now known as the Victoria Falls Bridge. People bungee jump from the bridge and many regard the 111m jump as the most thrilling.