Livingstone, Zambia; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
GPS: -17.923403093966, 25.858409282237
Originally called Mosi-oa Tunya (“the smoke that thunders”) by the Kololo local tribe, Victoria Falls owes its contemporary name to the explorer David Livingstone. This Scottish scientific and missionary was the first European to discover this place in 1855, during an expedition that saw him cross the African continent from east to west. Dazzled by the spectacle in front of him, Livingstone named the falls after the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen Victoria.
Victoria Falls is a major transboundary site based in Southern Africa on the Zambezi River. This winding river flows through a series of spectacular natural gorges carved by the force of water over millions of years. A steel bridge nearly 200 metres long was built in 1905 to span the falls. It serves as a border post between Zambia and Zimbabwe in a breathtaking setting. Victoria Falls are considered one of the most beautiful in the world. They are unique in that they constantly emit spray, clouds of mist and a series of rainbows caused by the spraying phenomenon. This continuous humidification is also at the origin of the remarkable ecosystem of the nearby rainforest. A true masterpiece of nature, Victoria Falls is spread over two separate national parks: Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side (66 km²) and Victoria Falls National Park on the Zimbabwean side (23 km²). Several hiking trails on both sides of the border allow you to combine the discovery of the falls with the exploration of its wildlife and plant resources.
Depending on the time of year, this curtain of waterfalls can reach an impressive width of almost 2 kilometres and a maximum height of over 110 metres (February to May). The mist caused by the contact of the Victoria Falls with the Zambezi River can be seen from more than 20 kilometres away. The thundering sound of the powerful waterfalls can be heard within a 30 kilometres radius. In addition to being a major wildlife reservoir, the natural environment of the waterfalls also has a historical dimension as it is believed to have been home to the first humans on Earth over 2 million years ago.