Victoria Falls is the world's largest, most spectacular waterfall and one of the world's seven natural wonders.
It is 1.6 km wide with a maximum drop of 128 m (420 ft), in the Zambezi River, on the Zambia and Zimbabwe border. The falls are formed as the Zambezi plummets into a narrow chasm (c.400 ft/120 m wide) carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the earth's crust. Numerous islets at the crest of the falls divide the water to form a series of falls. The thick mist and loud roar produced there are perceptible from a distance of about 25 mi (40 km). The Boiling Pot, the beginning of a winding gorge (c.50 mi/80 km long) through which the river flows below the falls, is spanned by a 650 ft (198 m) long bridge that is 310 ft (94 m) above the river. In times of flood, it discharges as many as 546 million litres (143 million gallons) of water each minute. But the statistics are hard to fathom. Suffice it to say that the mighty cascade of the Zambezi River, as it plunges into the Batoka Gorge, is the widest curtain of falling water on the planet.David Livingstone, the British explorer, visited the falls in 1855 and named them for Queen Victoria. The falls were formerly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the "smoke that thunders." The falls are part of two national parks and draw many tourists to the area.