From My Archive I Choose…

V is for Victoria Falls…

Victoria Falls were so named by the Scottish Missionary David Livingstone when he found them on 17 November 1855 as he followed the course of the Zambesi River.David Livingstone StatueA statue to his memory has been erected on the Zimbabwe side of the river close to the visitor centre.

The Falls, known as aManz’ aThunqayo (The Smoke that Thunders) to the local Ndebele people, are recognised as one of the most spectacular sights in the natural world and are quoted as being the largest waterfall based on the combination of width and drop.Victoria Falls from The AirThis image taken from the air in 1997 shows the falls immediately after the end of the rainy season

Here are some images from ground level where the noise is deafening and the air is full of spray…Vic Falls_01Vic Falls_02Vic Falls_03Vic Falls_04…As you can see from the last photo – it can get very wet. It is possible to hire umbrellas or waterproof coats from local vendors should you so wish. We just enjoyed the artificial rain after a couple of weeks on the dry and dusty farm! Wet T-Shirt competition anyone 😉

After Livingstone’s visit, only a few other Europeans ventured to Victoria Falls until after 1905 when the Railway arrived from Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls bridge was built to carry the line forward to Livingstone on the other side of the Zambesi – the Victoria Falls Hotel had opened the previous year in anticipation of a growing tourist trade!Victoria Falls BridgeThe bridge was designed by George Anthony Hobson and built by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company in Darlington before being shipped to Beira and carried to site by the railway for assembly. It is now an international border crossing between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and it is also a popular bungee jumping location.

Victoria Falls station has regular tourist steam services operated by Zambia Railways from Livingstone and is the interchange point for freight services between Zambia and Zimbabwe.Victoria Falls StationZambia Railways 10th Class 156Above, a Zambia Railways 10th Class steam locomotive waits with a tourist train whilst below a Zambia Railways General Electric U20C waits in the yard with the daily freight service from Zambia.Zambia Railways O1-251…A visit to a station in Zimbabwe and not a National Railways of Zimbabwe locomotive in sight! Maybe they hadn’t got any fuel that day 😉