If it is your dream to go on safari in Africa, one side trip of any safari you should not miss is a visit to Victoria Falls. The great explorer David Livingstone set out in 1855 in response to a rumor of a magnificent waterfall. He journeyed down the Zambezi River to stand on an island outcrop above the falls, now titled Livingstone Island, to view what he called “the most wonderful sight I have witnessed in Africa” with “scenes so lovely (they) must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
Livingstone left his mark, naming this wonder “ Victoria Falls” after the reigning monarch of the British Empire, and lending his own name, not only to the island upon which he stood, but also to the nearby town. Of course, long before Livingstone appeared on the scene, the local tribes people, the Kololo, had named this wonder of nature “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “The Smoke That Thunders.” – perhaps a much more suitable name.
Geography of Victoria Falls
The falls occur half way along the course of the Zambezi River where there is a rift in the surrounding basalt rock plunging river water deep (about 300 feet on average) into the narrow Batoka Gorge. The river flows through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique – making it one of the four longest rivers on the continent. The Falls straddle both Zambia and Zimbabwe equally. The mist from the Falls waters a rain forest on either side of the gorge, and creates both rainbows during the day and moonbows at night. Don’t plan on staying dry during your visit!