Along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Zambezi River makes a drop of over 300 feet, creating a spectacular waterfall. At that point the river is about a mile wide and is relatively shallow in several places. David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls in 1855, though the local Africans had known about it for many years. He named the place after Queen Victoria, the Queen of England in his day. In 1905 a railroad bridge was completed over the gorge not far below the Falls. Access by rail opened the area to tourism. Today, as one of the great natural wonders of the world, it is a popular tourist destination.
One of the features that makes Victoria Falls so amazing is that the river drops into a narrow slot-like chasm about 200 feet or so wide. This allows people to walk along the opposite side and view the Falls for most of its 1 mile width. About 2/3 of that mile is on the Zimbabwe side, with the balance being on the Zambia side. The amount of water going over the falls varies widely through the year. It peaks about April, at the end of the rainy season, at which time the spray from the river rises high above the falls. In April everyone gets soaked and there is so much spray that it is hard to see the falls! The Zambezi River is shallowest about November, at which time the water going over the falls is about 1/10 of what it was in April. At that time you can see a lot of the rocks in the river bed and large sections of the falls are dry. Most of the pictures shown here were taken in July when the Falls are somewhat past their peak.
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