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Victoria Falls - Mosi-oa-Tunya

One of the most popular tourist sites and natural wonders in Africa, Victoria Falls spans the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is a truly spectacular sight to behold - particularly at high water! Huge plumes of water tumble down from the Zambezi river, 2km wide at that point, into the narrow gorge below forming miles and miles of twisting rapids before flowing out into the huge, wide, Lower Zambezi basin and Mana Pools and eventually making it's way out through Mozambique to the Indian Ocean.

The Falls were for sure well known to native African tribes for a long time prior to the arrival of the western world explorers. The San Bushmen would have been one of the earliest tribes to inhabit the area then the Tokaleya people and the Ndebele but it was the Makololo who knew the Falls as Mosi-oa-Tunya, a name still used today which translates to The Smoke That Thunders.

The first written description in European history came from Dr David Livingstone in November 1855 who came upon the Falls from the west from Linyanti (in what is now Botswana) along the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. Because of the location of the falls near to the border of so many countries, traders, missionairies and hunters soon heard about the area and settled here in the first 'town' near to the falls on the river, known as Old Drift. But malaria was rife so close to the water and the town was moved inland to the still current site of Livingstone, with the completion of the Victoria Falls bridge linking to industry in the northern Zambia copperbelt mining region.

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Victoria Falls - Mosi-oa-Tunya accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT + 2 hours

Flight time:

Flights from UK to Harare or Victoria Falls are usually via Johannesburg and can take 12+ hours, although once the new Victoria Falls airport is fully operational there may be an option of direct flights – watch this space.

Language: English is the official language of Zimbabwe. Shona or Ndebele are also widely spoken by the majority of the population.

Visas:

Visas are required for UK passport holders and can be obtained on entry into Zimbabwe.  

Health:

Malaria is a risk in many areas of Zimbabwe.

 

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