General Info 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 adventurer who was believed to have been the first European documented 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 neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world it is famous as the largest.

Victoria Falls Water Flow:
The flow of water varies inconsiderably 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 correct time to view the falls is possibly some time between these two extremes as when the falls are in full flood one cannot get close to them in safety. They are nevertheless spectacular when not in full flood for they are not obscured by the spray.
David Livingstone believed that the falls had been created by some heavy rupture in the earths crust in the distant past. Terrestrial proof now shows that the present chasm is the eighth in a series which has worked it’s way upstream over many many years.

Formation of the Victoria Falls:
The falls have a width of 1708 metres and a height of 108 metres. This forms the largest sheet 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 which progress 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 large flat plateau.
There is a large chasm, carved by the water into the plateau wherewith the water from the river takes a particular 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 center. Livingstone Island is the place from which David Livingstone had his first glance of the falls from Zambia. These islands are generous enough to break up the curtains of water, even at full flood. When it is less than full 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, 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 rest of the year. The Zambezi river’s annual flood season is from February to May with the peak 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 fine mist shoots upward like inverted rain especially at Zambia’s Knife- Edge Bridge. During the dry season the base 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 rival in height and width by South America’s Iguazu Falls.
The all over volume of the Zambezi river pours between the First Gorge. After this it enters a zigzag track of a succession of gorges. Water approaching the Second Gorge makes a sharp right turn carving a deep basin called Boiling Point. It is roughly 150 metres across. It is called Boiling Point because although it’s surface is smooth and calm at low water, it is full of boiling 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 into the basalt plateau to the valley where Lake Kariba now lies.
The walls of the gorges are just about vertical and almost 120 metres high.

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