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Victoria Waterfall


Nature creation - Earth Waterfall ::--1.Guaza - Brazil|| 2.Victoria - Zimbabwe|| 3.Niagara - USA|| 4.Plitvice - Croatia|| 5.Angel - Venezuela|| 6.Yosemite - USA|| 7.Kaieteur - Guyana|| 8.Gullfoss - Iceland9. ||Dettifoss - Iceland|| 10.Sutherland - N.Z.||Water Fall List||


Victoria Waterfall

Victoria Falls is a town in the province of Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. It lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the western end of the Victoria Falls themselves. It is connected by road and railway to Hwange (109 km away) and Bulawayo (440 km away), both to the south-east.


According to the 1982 Population Census, the town had a population of 8,114, this rose to 16,826 in the 1992 census. Victoria Falls Airport is 18 km south of the town and has international services to Johannesburg and Namibia.


The settlement began in 1901 when the possibility of using the waterfall for hydro-electric power was explored, and expanded when the railway from Bulawayo reached the town shortly before the Victoria Falls Bridge was opened in April 1905, connecting Zimbabwe to what is now Zambia. It became the principal tourism centre for the Falls, experiencing economic booms from the 1930s to the 1960s and in the 1980s and early 1990s.


Since the late 1990s, due to Zimbabwe's political and economic unrest, the primary tourism base for the Falls has moved mostly across the border to Livingstone, Zambia.

 

The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders, and note that the 'i' is silent) is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls
Location
Livingstone, Zambia, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Type
Waterfall
Total height
108 meters (360 ft)
Number of drops
1
Watercourse
Zambezi River
Average flow rate
1088 m³/s (38,430 cu ft/s)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Type:
Natural
Criteria:
vii, viii
Designated:
1989 (13th session)
Reference #:
509
State Party:
Zambia and Zimbabwe
Region:
Africa


The Victoria Falls Gorges

The whole volume of the Zambezi River pours through the First Gorge's 110-meter-wide (360 ft) exit for a distance of about 150 meters (500 ft), then enters a zigzagging series of gorges designated by the order in which the river reaches them. Water entering the Second Gorge makes a sharp right turn and has carved out a deep pool there called the Boiling Pot. Reached via a steep footpath from the Zambian side, it is about 150 metres (500 ft) across. Its surface is smooth at low water, but at high water is marked by enormous, slow swirls and heavy boiling turbulence.Objects—and humans—that are swept over the falls, including the occasional hippo, are frequently found swirling about here or washed up at the north-east end of the Second Gorge. This is where the bodies of Mrs Moss and Mr Orchard, mutilated by crocodiles, were found in 1910 after two canoes were capsized by a hippo at Long Island above the falls.

The principal gorges are (see reference for note about these measurements):

  • First Gorge: the one the river falls into at Victoria Falls
  • Second Gorge: (spanned by the Victoria Falls Bridge), 250 m south of falls, 2.15 km long (270 yd south, 2350 yd long)
  • Third Gorge: 600 m south, 1.95 km long (650 yd south, 2100 yd long), containing the Victoria Falls Power Station.
  • Fourth Gorge: 1.15 km south, 2.25 km long (1256 yd south, 2460 yd long)
  • Fifth Gorge: 2.55 km south, 3.2 km long (1.5 mi south, 2 mi (3.2 km) long)
  • Songwe Gorge: 5.3 km south, 3.3 km long, (3.3 mi south, 2 mi (3.2 km) long) named after the small Songwe River coming from the north-east, and the deepest at 140 m (460 ft), the level of the river in them varies by up to 20 meters (65 ft) between wet and dry seasons.



victoria fall

The Victoria Falls Bridge initiates tourism

European settlement of the Victoria Falls area started around 1900 in response to the desire of Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company for mineral rights and imperial rule north of the Zambezi, and the exploitation of other natural resources such as timber forests north-east of the falls, and ivory and animal skins. Before 1905, the river was crossed above the falls at the Old Drift, by dugout canoe or a barge towed across with a steel cable. Rhodes' vision of a Cape-Cairo railway drove plans for the first bridge across the Zambezi and he insisted it be built where the spray from the falls would fall on passing trains, so the site at the Second Gorge was chosen. See the main article Victoria Falls Bridge for details. From 1905 the railway offered accessible travel to whites from as far as the Cape in the south and from 1909, as far as the Belgian Congo in the north. In 1904 the Victoria Falls Hotel was opened to accommodate visitors arriving on the new railway. The falls became an increasingly popular attraction during British colonial rule of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), with the town of Victoria Falls becoming the main tourist centre.

Tourism in recent years

By the end of the 1990s, almost 300,000 people were visiting the falls annually, and this was expected to rise to over a million in the next decade. Unlike the game parks, Victoria Falls has more Zimbabwean and Zambian visitors than international tourists as they are accessible by bus and train and therefore comparatively inexpensive to reach. This waterfall was the very first destination ever to be visited in The Amazing Race.
The two countries permit tourists to make day trips from each side and visas can be obtained at the border posts. Costs vary from US$20-50.00. Visitors with single entry visas will need to purchase a visa each time they cross the border. Regular changes in visa regulations mean visitors should check the rules before crossing the border.
A famous feature is a naturally formed pool known as the Devil's Pool, near the edge of the falls, accessed via Livingstone Island in Zambia. When the river flow is at a safe level, usually during the months of September to December, people can swim as close as possible to the edge of the falls within the pool without continuing over the edge and falling into the gorge; this is possible due to a natural rock wall just below the water and at the very edge of the falls that stops their progress despite the current.
The numbers of visitors to the Zimbabwean side of the falls has historically been much higher than the number visiting the Zambia side, due to the greater development of the visitor facilities there. However, the number of tourists visiting Zimbabwe began to decline in the early 2000s as political tensions between supporters and opponents of president Robert Mugabe increased. In 2006, hotel occupancy on the Zimbabwean side hovered at around 30%, while the Zambian side was at near-capacity, with rates in top hotels reaching US$630 per night. The rapid development has prompted the United Nations to consider revoking the Falls' status as a World Heritage Site. In addition, problems of waste disposal and a lack of effective management of the falls' environment are a concern.

 

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