The Victoria Falls, Livingstone and the Upper Zambezi
Victoria Falls – one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. The spectacular falls were discovered in 1855 by David Livingstone who later wrote, “no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” He named them after his Queen, for the first and only time deviating from his practise of naming places and features after their local native names, in this instance “Mo ku sa tunya mosi” (nowadays shortened to mosi au tunya – ‘where there is always smoke rising’).
Spanning a width of some 1700 metres, the waters of the mighty Zambezi actually plunge down five distinct waterfalls, separated by islands which account for just over 300 metres of the total span. The average height is just under 100 metres. During the peak flood season (April and May), the flow increases to some 33,750,000 cubic metres a minute. Below the falls, the turbulent waters of the Zambezi rush away down the Batoka Gorge in a series or hair-pin bends which indicate the previous locations of the falls (over billions of years, the falls are migrating ‘upstream’).
Close to Victoria Falls is the town of Livingstone, which has an interesting museum and some good craft markets but is otherwise largely by-passed. However, above the falls, the Upper Zambezi River offers a wide range of attractions and a number of upmarket lodges offer somewhere to relax and enjoy nature whilst visiting Victoria Falls. There is a National Park, Mosi au Tunya, covering a significant section of the river frontage, but with the exception of a few white rhino kept under close protection, there is little game to see.
However, the Victoria Falls and the Upper Zambezi region is known for the wide variety of activities on offer, including white-water rafting, jet-boating, bungee-jumping, quad-biking, horse-riding, elephant-back safaris, helicopter flights, microlighting, cultural village visits, canoeing, river cruises, birding tours and visits to Livingstone Island.
To find out more information on tours to Victoria Falls please call us on 01787 888590 or contact us to speak to one of our safari specialists.