Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa. It provides a habitat for several unique plants and animals. There’s a waterfall in Zimbabwe and Zambia that is considered to be among the world’s largest waterfalls because its width is 1,708 meters
The Victoria Falls is a spectacular waterfall located midway along the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia to the north and Zimbabwe to the south. This waterfall spans the entire length of the Zambezi River at its widest point (over 5,500 feet [1,700 meters]), making it approximately twice as wide and twice as deep as Niagara Falls. The river plunges over a sheer cliff to a maximum drop of 355 feet (108 meters). The waterfall’s mean flow is almost 33,000 cubic feet (935 cubic meters) per second.
The waters of Victoria
The waters of Victoria Falls do not flow into an open basin, but rather into a chasm that varies in width from 80 feet up to 240 feet (25 to 75 meters). The chasm is formed by the precipice of the falls and a rock wall opposite it of equal height. Only a narrow channel cut in the barrier wall at about three-fifths of the distance west of the falls allows the Zambezi River to exit; the gorge measures less than 210 feet (65 meters) wide and 390 feet (120 meters) long.
In the Boiling Pot at the mouth of the gorge, the floodwaters churn and foam during flood times. The Victoria Falls (Zambezi) Bridge spans the gorge just below the Boiling Pot, which carries rail, automobile, and pedestrian traffic between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Batoka Gorge is formed by the river’s waters flowing into a huge zigzag trough, which has cut through a basalt plateau for a distance of 60 miles (100 kilometers) to a depth of 400 to 800 feet (120 to 240 meters).
The first European to see the falls
The first European to see the falls was David Livingstone (November 16, 1855). Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was the inspiration for their names. In addition to the falls themselves, which now attract tourists from all over the world, the surrounding Victoria Falls National Park (Zimbabwe) and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia) abound with wildlife and offer recreation opportunities.
Species of acacia, teak, ivory palm, fig, and ebony are characteristic of the forests, and the alluvial flatlands are dominated by mopane (Colophospermum mopane). Klipspringers (a type of antelope) and hippopotamuses are commonly seen near the falls, and roaming the forests and grasslands are elephants, giraffes, zebras, gnus (wildebeests), lions, and leopards. The rock cliffs are home to falcons, eagles, and buzzards. Victoria Falls and the adjoining parklands were collectively designated a World Heritage site in 1989.
For a substantial distance upstream from the falls, the Zambezi flows over A level sheet of basalt, during a shallow valley, bounded by low and distant sandstone hills. The river’s course is dotted with numerous tree-covered islands, which increase in number because the river approaches the falls.
There are not any mountains, escarpments, or deep valleys; only a flat plateau extending many kilometers altogether directions.
The falls are formed because the full width of the river plummets during a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone within the basalt plateau.
The depth of the chasm, called the primary Gorge, varies from 80 meters (260 ft) at its western end to 108 meters (354 ft) within the center. the sole outlet to the primary Gorge may be a 110-meter-wide (360 ft) gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end.
The whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges from this narrow cleft.
Boaruka Island and Livingstone Island
There are two islands on the crest of the falls that are large enough to divide the curtain of water even at full flood: Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank, and Livingstone Island near the middle—the point from which Livingstone first viewed the falls.
At but full flood, additional islets divide the curtain of water into separate parallel streams. the most streams are named, so as from Zimbabwe (west) to Zambia (east): Devil’s Cataract (called Leaping Water by some), Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the highest), and therefore the Eastern Cataract.