“Thundering Smoke” of Africa – Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Located in Africa on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is one of the most popular destinations on the continent, with thousands of tourists from all over the world visiting it every year. Formed from the water flow of the Zambezi River, plummeting into a crevice. Victoria Falls are over 100 meters high and about a kilometer long.

It was discovered in 1855 by the famous Scottish traveler and explorer David Livingstone, who, as soon as he looked at this powerful overthrow of water down, called it royal. So the waterfall began to bear the name of the Queen of Great Britain – Victoria.

The history of its discovery is very interesting: missionary David went to Africa on an expedition that pursued only one goal – to bring a new belief for her to this area – Christianity. These were the first Europeans to cross the southern continent from south to north. During the expedition, people were accompanied by more than 300 warriors of one of the African tribes, but among such a large number of people, only two ventured to approach the waterfall itself. The fact is that all the locals spoke with horror about the “Thundering Smoke”, as the natives have called the waterfall from time immemorial, and therefore they were very afraid of the roar of the falling water. After all, this “roar” can be heard at a distance of almost 40 kilometers.

And this is not surprising – every minute more than 400 million liters of water rush into the gorge, and during floods this figure rises to 546 million liters. Victoria Falls is called the largest in the world. And this is not because it is the tallest or widest, it just has a rather high height – about 108 meters and a width – 1708 meters. At the very edge of the waterfall there are several so-called small islets, thanks to which the flow of the river is divided into many branches.

For a long time, Victoria did not have much popularity either among tourists or among local residents. But after inIn 1905, a railway was built to the waterfall, the number of its guests began to exceed several hundred people a day. However, due to the guerrilla fighting in the late 1960s in Zimbabwe, the number of tourists was reduced by more than half. After 1980, when Zimbabwe became an independent country, the flow of visitors rushed in with renewed vigor and stopped again in the early 2000s, after the outbreak of popular unrest over the rule of the brutal dictator Robert Mugabe. Now there are no obstacles to visiting this amazing place, so the number of visitors is growing literally every day.

Directly opposite the Victoria Falls, almost at a right angle to it, a railway bridge was built across the gorge, which is 94 m high and 198 m long.

Relatively calm water flows down a natural mountain reservoir, which for some reason is called the Devil’s Pond. The quietest time, when you can even swim a little, is from the beginning of September to December. During these months, the water level here drops significantly, but the surrounding landscape will make even those who are not afraid of anything to worry.

The most courageous in general make jumps from the bridge, which bears the sonorous name “Victoria Falls”. The extremal is tied with a special rope and thrown down the gorges. Flying to the water, the cable springs and after several oscillations up and down it becomes in place and the jumper is pulled up. The sensations from such a flight over water are simply not transferable. An adrenaline rush for a few days is guaranteed.

Victoria Falls are very popular among fans of rafting and kayaking. Immediately after it there is a section on which there are many rapids, quite safe. There are practically no stones, and at the end of the rapids, a section of smooth water surface begins.

One of the most beautiful landscapes of a waterfall is observed when a rainbow appears above it. Many tourists cannot get away from this miracle of nature until they see this unique spectacle with their own eyes. But they do not have to wait long – ring rainbows are almost always visible here, they disappear only occasionally. Also on the waterfall you can see the so-called “lunar rainbow”, which appears in only a few places around the world. At this time, everyone strives to take their own photo of the Victoria Falls, because this spectacle cannot be described in words. Well, if you manage to take a selfie against the background of the “moon rainbow”, then all your friends will simply be envious. Another beautiful moment is the evening sunset.

Note: the waterfall and the surrounding area have recently been included in the UNESCO list and declared a national park.