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Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls is one of the world´s most astonishing waterfalls. This lovely scenery lies on the Zambezi River which contours the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, in Southern Africa. On 16 November 1855, David Livingstone was the first-known European to see the falls and named them the Victoria Falls, in honor of Queen Victoria. The falls were formed by a deep crack in the rock which lies directly across the path of the Zambezi River; this crack was caused by the movement of the earth, millions of years ago.

The Victoria falls are renowned as one of the largest in the world; it is 1700m wide and 100m high. The falls are divided into the Devil’s Cataract (27m wide and 60m high), the Main Falls, which in turn are divided by a projecting rock (524m and 297m wide and 83m high), the Rainbow falls (550m wide and 100m high) and the Eastern Cataract (304m wide and 96m high).

During the month of April, the falls usually reach peak volume, 620 000 kiloliters a minute thrusts over the boundary of the falls. The columns of thundering spray sent up by the water have at times been sighted 80 kilometers away. Due to this amazing scenery, many years ago the Kololo tribes-people that lived along the upper reaches of the river named the waterfall “Mosi o Tunya” - the smoke that sounds, and the Matabele called it “Manza Thunqayo” – water that rises like smoke.

A beautiful rainbow can be seen during all summer hours, and sometimes even during intense moonlight. The driest months are from August to November. The game park which borders the banks of Zambezi is home to giraffes, elephants, hippos and many other animals. When tourists launch up the river by motor, they have a chance to see wildlife coming down to drink, as well as hippos and crocodiles lying around on the sand banks in the sun.
The Rain forest, which is at the edge of the falls, is full of exotic plants, they are always green and dripping wet from the spray of the falls. Even the rail-road bridge over the gorge is often drenched with spray.

There are many awe-inspiring and phenomenal places on this lovely planet, with origins that sometimes can and can´t be explained. The Victoria Fall is without a doubt, one of those places...

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