Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. Its water source is the Zambezi River, originating in northern Zambia. At a total height of 108 m (~354 ft), it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world. However, it is classed as the largest waterfall because of its combined width (1,708 m / ~5,604 ft) and height (108 m / ~354 ft). The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
At the peak of the rainy season (November to April), 546 million cubic meters of water per minute pass over the edge of the falls, and the spray from the falls can be seen from up to 50 km (~31 mi) away. In the low season (August to October), the falls can become no more than trickles of water and sometimes, the water is low enough to walk all the way across the edge to Livingstone Island.
There are estimated to be around 232,000 visitors annually. Many of these come from Zambia and Zimbabwe, in contrast to Africa’s National Parks, which tend to attract more foreign travellers.
There is an abundance of things to do and see. The falls can be viewed from either the Zimbabwe or the Zambia side; and spectacular views can be gained from the air, by helicopter or by microlite. There are two national parks at the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya and Victoria Falls. Both of these are relatively small, but local tour operators can arrange anything from elephant safaris, horse riding and golf to white water rafting, river boarding, jet boarding, abseiling, river safaris and gorge swinging.
Check the visa requirements locally for crossing from Zimbabwe to Zambia, or vice versa. Regulations change regularly.
The falls were named in honour of Queen Victoria by David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, who saw the falls for the first time in 1855. Locally, they are known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ which literally means ‘the smoke that thunders’.