Friday, August 28, 2015



Executive summary by darmansjah

The largest curtain of falling water in the world

ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE They were ‘the most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa,’ said Scottish explorer David Livingstone. Victoria Falls, which Livingstone named for his queen, were known more aptly by the local people as Mosi oa Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders.’ Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the falls of the Zambezi River are among the world’s largest, spanning more than a mile (nearly 2 km) and dropping 355 feet (108 m)-twice as wide and twice as deep as Niagara Falls. The rainbow-infused cloud that rises from the gorge can be seen 12 miles (20 km) away. Narrow gorges downstream show earlier locations of the lip of the falls, which has been eating away at its basalt basin for thousands of years.

THE Smoke that Thunders In full flood, the Zambesi River drops 132 million gallons (500 million l) of water a minute over the 5,600-foot (1,700 m) span of Victoria Falls, the torrent is then funneled into a series of narrow gorges downstream.

Flipping for the Falls Not quite as risky as it looks, a Zambian man’s somersault drops him into a pool alongside the main cascade of Victoria Falls, 355 feet (108 m) high.

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; the attraction is accessible by bus and train, and is therefore comparatively inexpensive to reach.

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-US$50. 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 the naturally formed Devil's Pool, near the edge of the falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. When the river flow is at a certain level, usually between September and December, a rock barrier forms an eddy with minimal current, allowing adventurous swimmers to splash around in relative safety a few feet from the point where the water cascades over the falls. Occasional deaths have been reported when people have slipped over the rock barrier.

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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