Victoria Falls

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Aerial photo taken from a helicopter over the Victoria Falls, Zambezian side.
© istockphoto / Torsten Karock

The largest curtain of falling water on earth

What
The Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya - "the smoke that thunders".

The falls were named after Queen Victoria by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who visited in 1855.

The area is comprised of 2 national parks, the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe.

Where
On the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe, southern Africa.

Area & Why
On average, 5.5 million cubic metres of water per minute plummet over the edge over an edge spanning 1.7 kilometres (1 mile), into deep basalt gorges over 100 metres below.

The Falls are rivalled only by South America's Iguazu Falls. But whilst Iguazu is divided into over 270 (relatively) small falls and cataracts, Victoria is just on massive mile long sheet of falling water. This has earned it the distinction being classified by many as one of the 7 wonders of the natural world.

The Falls were inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1989.

Victoria Falls at sunset, seen from the Zambian side. / ©: WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
Victoria Falls at sunset, seen from the Zambian side.
© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY

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