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Zambia is one of the most water-rich countries in Africa and her many rivers cascade into fabulous displays of falling water as they wind over the undulating landscape. The most spectacular is of course the not-to-be-missed Victoria Falls, but there are 17 other beautiful falls dotted around the country. Waterfall Tours are becoming a popular trip providing access to these out of the way delights as well as opportunities to see rural village life in Zambia.
The northern provinces of Zambia are very remote and uncommercialised. A two or three-week self-drive circuit from Lusaka is the only practical way to explore these off the beaten track areas of the country. The northern waterfalls are like finding the treasure chest from a secret map. Many of them have no tarred roads leading to them so it is quite an adventure locating them. The local villagers are always helpful and will tell you what they know about the traditional lore behind each waterfall, all of which are viewed as sacred places. Several operators offer tours around these areas and include visits to local villages to get a feel of authentic rural life in the beautiful unspoiled Zambian countryside.
The Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800's as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' – 'The Smoke that Thunders'. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below.
The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
Facing the Falls is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor prepared to brave the tremendous spray, with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.
One special vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls Bridge, Devils Pool and the Lookout Tree, both of which command panoramic views across the Main Falls.