The Victoria Falls: the smoke that thunders


Rising up 108 metres above the mighty Zambezi river and often quoted in the top ten attractions in the world to visit , lies the mighty Victoria Falls (otherwise known as Mosi-oa-Tunya , literally translated as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’). Many claim that these mighty falls are the largest on earth, based on the phenomenal width and height of the vast falling waters.

Located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the falls were first discovered by Europeans when the intrepid explorer David Livingstone came across them during his Zambezi river journey in the early 1850’s. So impressed by the vision before him, Livingstone promptly named the falls after the ruling monarch of the time.

Since the early 1900s, the falls have been well known worldwide as a tourist attraction and more than 300,000 people visit the falls every year as part of their African itinerary. Numerous luxury hotels hug the cliffs and surrounding areas, with the aptly named Royal Livingstone Hotel providing the ultimate in colonial elegance for even the most discerning traveller.

Afternoon sundowner boat trips and river cruises adorn the Zambezi on a daily basis, bringing hundreds of people that little bit closer to the smoke and spray which thunders from the falls. African wildlife line the banks of this mighty river and elephants are often seen crossing the large water mass which provides an unique opportunity for even the most well travelled explorer.

Justin Smith is CEO of Nights-Away.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Dananjaya silva says:

    First discovered by european explorers and named after the ruling monarch? Yes because the local Indigenious population obviously did not have a clue that this was sitting on their door step. And waited till a missionary came round to point it out to them?!

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    I think it rather depends on how you read that sentence. You can either interpret it as the falls were first discovered by them or (more correctly) that it was the first time Europeans had discovered them. Livingstone actually knew about the falls before he reached them so let’s give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter was meant… ;-)

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