In Africa, on the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, sits the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls was named by a Scottish missionary and explorer, Dr. David Livingstone for Queen Victoria, the queen of England at the time. It is 1 mile wide and 360 feet high.
The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa, running over 1,600 miles from its source to the sea. Along the way, it passes through the countries of Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the river plunges more than 350 feet. Here is Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.
Victoria Falls Facts for Kids
- It’s in Africa, on Zambezi River.
- Locals call it “The Smoke that Thunders.”
- Twice as tall as Niagara Falls!
- It’s 1 mile wide – huge!
- Borders Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Home to rainbows and mist.
- Lots of hippos and crocs live there.
- Can walk across on a bridge.
- It’s a World Heritage site.
- You can swim in Devil’s Pool.
Often dubbed ‘the smoke that thunders,’ Victoria Falls is an awe-inspiring natural spectacle located along the Zambezi River, a key landmark that straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
With a breathtaking width of approximately 1.7 kilometers, it boasts the title of the world’s largest sheet of falling water. The falls are situated on Africa’s fourth largest river, the Zambezi, a thriving aquatic habitat for a myriad of species, including various fish, birds, and mammals.
More than merely providing a home for these creatures, the river’s intrinsic role in the ecosystem extends to nourishing the lush rainforest encompassing the falls with its nurturing mist, thereby solidifying Victoria Falls’ status as a significant ecological marvel.
Also known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or ‘The Smoke That Thunders,’ Victoria Falls is a spectacular natural wonder situated in Livingstone, Zambia. As one of the world’s largest waterfalls, it proudly stands at a height of 108 meters, stretching across an impressive 1.7 kilometers.
Its name, bestowed by explorer David Livingstone, pays tribute to Queen Victoria. The awe-inspiring sight is not merely a beautiful landmark; it also houses a rich biodiversity within its surrounding rainforest, offering an enriching exploration of various plant and animal species for children.
Adding to its grandeur, the spray from Victoria Falls can be seen from miles away, crafting a stunning rainbow that enhances the wonder of this breath-taking spectacle.
Victoria Falls, often referred to as ‘The Smoke That Thunders,’ is a breathtaking natural marvel in Zimbabwe, straddling the Zambezi River, the boundary line between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Its dimensions, 1.7 kilometers in width and 108 meters in height, establish it as the world’s largest sheet of falling water.
This impressive waterfall is not only a symbol of national pride for Zimbabwe but also a significant tourist draw. Its surrounding area, a vibrant rainforest habitat, is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including a variety of bird species and the rare Victoria Falls rain frog.
A fascinating fact for youngsters is the astonishing height of over 400 meters that the spray from the falls can reach during the rainy season, visible from as far as 50 kilometers away!
World Heritage Sites
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional cultural and natural significance, Victoria Falls, also known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, stands as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders.
It is located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa, and is known for being the largest waterfall globally, boasting a width of 1.7 kilometers and a height that’s nearly twice that of Niagara Falls at 108 meters.
The falls’ enormous volume of water that cascades into the Zambezi River creates a mist visible from miles away, thus earning its local name. Adding to its status as a World Heritage Site is the diverse and unique ecosystem that surrounds it, teeming with various plant and animal species.
Often hailed as ‘the smoke that thunders,’ Victoria Falls, situated on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa, is one of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls globally. The sheer magnitude of the falls, with a combined width of 1,708 meters and a height of 108 meters, forms the largest sheet of cascading water in the world.
The stunning mist, visible from miles away, further enhances its grandeur. The falls owe their breathtaking spectacle to the Zambezi River’s plunge into a narrow gorge. Besides the visual feast, Victoria Falls also nurtures a unique rainforest thriving in its spray, housing a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Additionally, it serves as a hotspot for thrill-seekers, offering adrenaline-fueled activities like white-water rafting and bungee jumping.
Victoria Falls, renowned as one of the globe’s most breathtaking waterfalls, harbors a captivating feature called Devil’s Pool, which provides a thrilling learning opportunity for adventure-loving kids. Situated on the Zambia side of the falls, Devil’s Pool is a natural formation at the precipice of the cascade.
During the dry months of September through December, when the water level recedes, it becomes an extraordinary swimming location where one can literally swim to the edge and gaze down the falls, safely secured from being swept over by a natural rock barrier.
This unusual and exciting experience offers a unique perspective on the strength and splendor of Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls, renowned for being one of the world’s most breathtaking waterfalls, also hosts a distinct rainforest teeming with life. Located adjacent to the falls, this lush ecosystem boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna that have evolved to thrive amidst the perpetual mist and spray from the waterfall.
The rainforest is a unique location, experiencing constant rainfall round the clock throughout the year, thanks to the ceaseless spray from Victoria Falls. This results in an exceptionally fertile and biodiverse environment. It is a place where children have the opportunity to explore a plethora of tropical plants such as ferns, palms, and an array of flowering plants.
The rainforest also houses numerous bird and insect species, making Victoria Falls an ideal spot for young nature lovers to gain insights into the significance of rainforests and biodiversity.
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, aptly translated as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, nestles the breathtaking Victoria Falls and is positioned in Zambia, one of the two countries that the falls span across, with Zimbabwe being the other.
Renowned for its abundant wildlife that includes elephants, zebras, and giraffes, the park offers a trail leading to the Knife-edge Bridge, offering children a grand view of the Victoria Falls.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park isn’t just the steward of one of the world’s largest and most picturesque waterfalls but also serves a vital role in the conservation of diverse species and their habitats.
Famed as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls, straddling the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa, offers a plethora of thrilling escapades that are perfect for children.
As one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls, it presents a fantastic opportunity for adventure tourism, with adrenaline-charged activities like white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and zip-lining. Alternatively, more serene experiences such as scenic helicopter rides or tranquil boat cruises are available for those who prefer a quieter escapade.
The adjacent national parks are also teeming with diverse wildlife, adding another dimension to this ultimate adventure destination, and making Victoria Falls a must-visit for families and children alike.
Rafting and bungee jumping
Recognized as one of the largest and most breathtaking waterfalls on the planet, Victoria Falls serves not only as a visually stunning spectacle but also as a hotspot for thrilling family-friendly adventure activities.
The waterfall’s tremendous flow and deep gorges create a unique environment perfect for white water rafting, where kids can experience the exhilaration of navigating through exciting rapids under the watchful eyes of seasoned guides. Moreover, older children and teenagers can test their courage by bungee jumping from the 111-meter-high Victoria Falls Bridge, with the awe-inspiring waterfall as their backdrop. Safety precautions are prioritized, guaranteeing an exhilarating yet secure experience.
Engaging in these adventurous activities enables children to explore and appreciate the magnificence of Victoria Falls in a fun, interactive way.
When you visit Victoria Falls, you’ll see a lot of mist rising from the falls. The falls are also called Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “smoke that thunders.” Victoria Falls is protected by two national forests. Lots of wildlife lives near the falls, including elephants and hippos.
During the rainy season, 300,000 gallons of water pour over the falls every second. During this season, spray from the falls shoots over 1,000 feet in the air. The surrounding rain forest experiences constant rainfall from the spray.
Fun Facts about Victoria Falls for Kids
- Many people hike on the trails to see the falls. Some people take helicopter tours.
- Victoria Falls has a rainy season and a dry season.
- During the dry season in late August to October, you can walk across the top of the falls. People swim at the top of the falls. A group of rocks form a natural swimming pool known as the Devil’s Pool. Elephants, birds and other animals flock to the river and the falls during this season.
- During the rainy season of November through April, there is so much water and mist that it’s hard to see the falls. The river and the falls can be very dangerous during this season. June and July are good times to visit.
- Native people called Victoria Falls “Mosi-oa-tunya,” which means ‘smoke that thunders.’
- David Livingstone named the falls in 1855 after Queen Victoria.
- In 1964, Zambia gained independence from Great Britain. The people renamed most of the streets and cities in their countries with African names. They kept the names of Victoria Falls and the city of Livingstone because they love Dr. Livingstone.
Victoria Falls Vocabulary
- Missionary: a person who preaches to others
- Mist: fog
- Independence: freedom
- Plunge: quickly drop
- Flock: gather
- Native: original; having lived in the area for many years
Watch this Easy Science for Kids Video All About Victoria Falls
Take a tour to the beautiful Victoria Falls through this video:
A video all about the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls Q&A
Question: Can people swim in Victoria Falls?
Answer: At certain times of the year, a natural pool forms at the top of the falls. This pool is known as Devil’s Pool. You can swim there, but don’t get too close to the edge.
Question: When are the falls most beautiful?
Answer: The falls are at their biggest during the rainy season. During this time you may see rainbows during the day and moonbows at night. The river is beautiful during the dry season too because during this time you’ll see more birds, hippos, fish and other animals.
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