Views of Victoria Falls
Mosi-oa-tunya 'the smoke that thunders'
Victoria Falls lies between two countries Zambia and Zimbabwe and can
be viewed from both sides both sides offer spectacular views of the falls
from different angles, in the dry season it is possible to walk along
the top of the falls from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.
Zambia side has the advantage of being able to
gaze down the length of the gorge
View from Zambia in the dry season
While from the Zimbabwe side there is always more
water to see (making the walk wet all year around) but here is no view
down into the gorge.
View from the Zimbabwe viewpoint dry
Take the time to gaze upon this awesome site without any time constraints,
soak it up, get soaked, see what Mother Nature is fully capable of…
and for the more adventurous, fly over top to view the numerous gorges
and fully comprehend the power of 'Mosi-oa-tunya'.
During low water (August-December) it is almost a trickle compared with
the mighty thunderous clouds of smoke that appear during high water season
When the water is at its peak, you will most certainly be drenched from
head to toe.
View from the air of Victoria Falls and nearby
towns of Livingstone (Zambia) and
Victoria Falls Town (Zimbabwe)
How the Falls came to be
Think back, way back, now go back in just a little bit further …
to a time before bungy, before dinosaurs and even before Coca-cola had
come to Zambia (I know it's hard to imagine!). About 200 million years
ago, the super continent that was once the Earth's landmass began to separate.
Cracks appeared throughout the Earth's crust which allowed molten lava
to flow towards the surface and cool into soft loose-joined basalt.
The Batoka Gorge was formed as the Zambezi slowly, slowly, ever so slowly,
over millions of years, carved its way through this basalt. Amazing how
persistent water can be!
Perhaps the most notable point in history was the 'discovery' of the mighty
waterfall. As we all know, the falls had been there for millions of years,
but David Livingstone was the first white man to view what the locals
call 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' (The Smoke That Thunders).
The experience moved him so much that he famously quoted in his journal
'on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed',
and named them after his reigning monarch.
So today, we all know this great waterfall as The Victoria Falls (but
the local beer is now called Mosi if that's any compensation).
Victoria Falls and Livingstone
Livingstone town was the original capital of Northern Rhodesia and still
carries a decidedly colonial feel that the people are incredibly proud
of. Purple jacarandas and flaming red flamboyant trees line the streets.
The architecture brings forth memories of days gone by. The women sit
by their stand of tomatoes and other assorted goods in the market and
attempt to make a living. The blue taxis zoom by. The locals stop and
chat about the weather - it is always too hot. The kids skip home in their
pressed school uniforms. The church bells ring and the people laugh and
sing as they walk down the street.
It's just another typical day "Somewhere in Central Africa"...
Livingstone is considered the gateway between Central and Southern Africa.
If you've come up from the South, you will notice the potholes in the
roads, that the shops only sell what is in season and that everyone is
chattering away in Nyanja, Bemba, Tonga or one of the other 73 languages
of Zambia. If you've come down from the North, you will probably notice
that the locals have a much more western attitude… the men wear
suits to the office, the beers are cold and the showers (usually) have
hot water. This is the place where travellers meet to swap stories of
their different experiences before they venture forward, again into the
unknown. Livingstone is an essential stop on any traveller's route: even
without the National Park, even without the river, and even without the
mighty Victoria Falls. But the point remains that we do have an excellent
National Park (with Zambia's ONLY 5 white rhino), we do have the mighty
Zambezi and we do have one of the most spectacular (if not the MOST spectacular)
waterfalls on the planet! And to top it off, Livingstone and the Victoria
Falls area is most certainly the adrenaline capital of Africa - if not
the world! Suffice to say, there's a bit of something for everyone here…
whether you want to mingle with the locals, soak up the African atmosphere
or brave the waves of some of the best white water on Earth!
History of the town
The original settlement north of the Zambezi at Old Drift is now within
the confines of the present day Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Due to the
prevalence of malaria and its effects, the settlers chose to move to the
higher ground (less mosquitoes) of Constitution Hill where the town of
Livingstone remains today.
Established in 1904, Livingstone is significant to the history of colonial
rule in Africa and its eventual independence. Several buildings from this
bygone era still exist and a concerted effort is in place to maintain
these beautiful structures. In 1935, the capital was moved to the more
central Lusaka. The once bustling town of Livingstone fell into disrepair
but has, in the last decade, risen again to be the hub of tourism and
industry that it once was. Today, Livingstone has seen a new surge of
life. With the advent of tourism and its accompanying infrastructure,
the town is once again bright and cheerful yet has been able to keep its
laid back, African way of life. Various manufacturing companies from timber
mills and textiles to farming and food processing have returned with their
associated employment. There is a real sense of community with everyone
working together for the better good.