One of the 7 Wonders of the World
Trip Start Jan 30, 2009
88Trip End Aug 01, 2009
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The first European to see the falls was David Livingstone on 17 November 1855, during his 1852-56 journey from the upper Zambezi to the mouth of the river.
Livingstone had been told about the falls before he reached them from upriver and was paddled across to a small island that now bears the name Livingstone Island. Livingstone had previously been impressed by the Ngonye Falls further upstream, but found the new falls much more impressive, and gave them their English name in honor of Queen Victoria. He wrote of the falls, "No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England
The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm 5604 ft wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the basalt plateau. The depth of the chasm, called the First Gorge, varies from 262 ft at its western end to 360 ft in the center. The only outlet to the First Gorge is a 360 ft gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through which the whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges. At a rate of 264,000 gallons a second!