Victoria Falls

 Victoria Falls : Uniting by Dividing Africa & Africans

The Kololo tribe used to call her  Mosi-o-Tunya – The smoke that thunders.  Her royal name came later, yet pride & love for the Victoria Falls cuts across language & cultures.  Certainly, this towering curtain of water pre-dates the fancies & things of man.

I don’t  know anyone of Africa who doesn’t regard the Victoria Falls as part of their own personal real estate – The water pulses through African veins & exists in that place where paradoxes live.  From my vantage point, these falls uplift & unite the people they separate like nothing else ever has or ever could.

Brutally beautiful, chaotically melodious,  savagely powerful but immensely fragile – The Victoria  Falls mirrors the continent that they crown.

Railway lines & travel links transport hundreds of thousands of tourists & sightseers to & fro every year.  Theme parks & other changes are bound to follow the sporting & leisure facilities that already exist.  These things will generate feelings of loss & sadness & anger, but in a continent where only the tough or the wily survive, there are no free rides.

Andrew Woodley took a trip on & over the area in April & September this year.  He brought back some pictures that I like because they lack the lustre of the tourist brochure & show the area the way it should be seen – Honest & through the human eye.  I hope you enjoy them, too.


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Facts about the Victoria Falls


Located on the Zambezi River

Define the border between Zambia & Zimbabwe

Largest waterfall in the world, at 1700m wide  & over 100m high

Can be heard 40kms away

Spray & mist can rise 400m, & visible up to 50kms away

Discovered by David Livingstone in 1855

Named after Queen Victoria

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Water level peaks in  April, lowest in October/November

Supplies energy to Zambia & Zimbabwe

One of the seven natural wonders of the world

Man lived around the falls continuously for about two million years

Devil’s Pool is a natural pool, separated from the abyss by a bridge

In flood time, the largest sheet of falling water in the world

The forest topped basalt wall facing the falls is the only place in the world where it  rains 24/7

Falls within falls


There are falls within the falls, namely the

Armchair Falls

Horseshoe Falls  &

Main Falls


Interested in other sites in this part of the world?  Checkout

Great Zimbabwe

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Photographs used with kind permission of the photographer, Andrew Woodley.  All rights reserved.