Written by Phin Upham,
Victoria Falls, situated in the South of Africa, is an amazing waterfall that dwarfs Niagara Falls in the US. The falls have undergone extensive geologic changes over time, but maintain much of the fabled beauty that draws tourists to the area. The falls can be spotted from over 30 kilometers away, with a misty spray that blankets the area in rain a full 365 days a year.
The Zambezi river runs through six countries, and it is Africa’s fourth longest river. The only African rivers longer than Zambezi are the Congo, Nile, and Niger. The falls are at the halfway point, almost 1677 miles from where the river meets the sea.
Victoria Falls is one of the world’s natural wonders. Victoria Falls was designated a UNESCO Heritage site in 1989, which defined a boundary and laws for protection of the region.
The falls were originally called Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates to “Smoke that Thunders.” When Dr. David Livingstone reached the falls, he renamed them to Victoria Falls in 1855. The government of Zimbabwe is currently weighing whether to change the name back to its original, in honor of the site’s natural heritage.
Devil’s Swimming Pool
For a few months out of the year, swimmers can frolic at the top of Victoria Falls without fear of dropping to their deaths. A thin rock wall protects swimmers from a fall over the edge, helped by lower levels of water to form what has become known as “The Devil’s Swimming Pool.”