The Victoria Falls – Also Well-Known As The Smoke That Thunders

General Facts for Victoria Falls:

Also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders). It is set in Southern Africa on the Zambezi River within the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. They are the biggest falls in the world. One of the seven natural wonders of the world the falls were named after Queen Victoria by David Livingstone, a missionary and trailblazer who was believed to have been the first European reported to have viewed the falls in 1856 and then made it known to England. He first saw the falls from an island known as Livingstone Island in Zambia. And though it is not the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world it is recognized as the largest. tennis class Singapore

Victoria Falls Water Flow:

The flow of water varies in great measure from season to season. Just after the rainy season in March or April the mass going over the falls in one minute is around half a million cubic metres, but in the dry season occurring in December it can be less than a twentieth of this. The advantageous time to view the falls is perhaps some time between these two extremes as when the falls are in full flood one cannot get close to them in safety. They are notwithstanding spectacular when not in full flood since they are not obscured by the fine mist.

David Livingstone believed that the falls had been created by some great crack in the earths crust in the far-off past. Geographical attestation now shows that the present chasm is the eighth in a continuation which has worked it’s way upstream over many many years.

Composition of the Victoria Falls:

The falls have a breadth of 1708 metres and a height of 108 metres. This forms the greatest layer of falling water in the world. For quite a way upstream from the falls, the Zambezi river flows over a sheet of basalt in a shallow basin bound by sandstone hills. The rivers flow is specked with many little islands that extend in number as the river gets toward to the falls. There are no mountains, deep valleys or escarpments that would be predicted to create a waterfall. There is only a bulky flat plateau.

There is a considerable chasm, carved by the water into the plateau wherewith the water from the river takes an exclusive vertical drop over a 1708 metre wide area and plummets into a gorge. The depth of the gorge, called the First Gorge, is 80 metres deep on the western end and 108 metres deep in the centre. An outlet to the First Gorge, the only one is a 110 metre wide breach about two thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through this outlet, the complete volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges.

The Islands of The Victoria Falls:

At the crest of the falls there are two Islands. Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank and Livingstone Island near the middle. Livingstone Island is the place from which David Livingstone had his first glimpse of the falls from Zambia. These islands are big enough to divide the curtains of water, even at full flood. When it is less than plentiful flood other islets divide the curtain of water into particular streams. The main streams are called Devil’s Cataract (recognized as Leaping Water to some), Main Falls, smoke-island Rainbow Falls and Eastern Cataract.

Rainy Season in The Victoria Falls:

The rainy season is from late November to early April and the dry season is for the balance of the year. The Zambezi river’s annual flood season is from February to May with the climax in April. The fine mist from the waterfall rises anywhere from 400 metres to 800 metres high and can be seen from as far as 50km away. During the day a daylight rainbow can be seen and during a full moon a moonbow can be seen in the spray. In the flood season the spray shoots upward like inverted rain especially at Zambia’s Knife- Edge Bridge. During the dry season the bottom of the first gorge can be seen.

Victoria Falls – Largest Waterfalls:

Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of the Niagra Falls in North America and well over double the width of the Horseshoe Falls. The only contest in height and width by South America’s Iguazu Falls.

The all over size of the Zambezi river pours through the First Gorge. After this it enters a zigzag course of a suite of gorges. Water entering the Second Gorge makes a clear-cut right turn carving a deep basin titled Boiling Point. It is about 150 metres across. It is named Boiling Point because even though it’s surface is smooth and calm at low water, it is full of angered turbulence at high water.

The Gorges of The Victoria Falls:

The First Gorge is the one that the Zambezi river falls into at Victoria Falls. The Second Gorge which is spanned by Victoria Falls Bridge is 2.15 km long. The Third Gorge is 1.95 km long and contains the Victoria Falls Power Station. The Fourth Gorge is 1.15 km south and 2.25 km long. The Fifth Gorge is 2.25km south and 3.2km long. The Songwe Gorge (called after the Songwe river) is 5.3km south and 3.3km long. The Batoka Gorge is about 120km long taking the river through the basalt plateau to the valley where Lake Kariba now lies.


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