Saturday 23 December 2023


The Victoria Falls (the group of falls is called Mosi-o-Tunya in Tong, which in Portuguese means the smoke that thunders) are one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.  They are located on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and are around 1.5 km wide and have a maximum height of 128 m.  When jumping, the Zambezi plunges into the Kariba gorge and crosses several basalt waterfalls.

Both the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and the Victoria Falls National Park, in Zimbabwe, have been inscribed since 1989 on the list of Cultural Heritage of Humanity maintained by Unesco.  It is also preserved as it is within the Cubango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The predominant vegetation in the park is mopane forest (Colophospermum mopane) with small areas of “miombo”, but with a strip of tropical forest along the Zambezi, the most important and vulnerable is that which developed in the area where the falls release water , which is a fragile discontinuous ecosystem on alluvial sand.  Here you can find species of trees that are considered “precious wood”, such as the blackwood or “African ebony”, Diospyros mespiliformis, the “jambirre”, Afzelia quanzensis, in addition to other typical species of the “Zambeziac Flora”, such as the spinosa, Acacia nigricans, the “ivory palm”, Hyphaene ventricosa, the African olive tree, Olea africana, the date palm, Phoenix reclinata, the “water broom”, Syzygium guineense, the “mafurra”, Trichilia and several species of huge fig trees (Ficus spp.).

Large herds of elephants, Loxodonta africana, inhabit the park, sometimes crossing the river to the islands and going as far as Zambia during the dry season, when the water level in the river is lower.  Small herds of buffalo, Syncerus caffer, cocones, Connochaetes taurinus, zebras, Equus burchelli, wild pigs, Phacochoerus aethiopicus and Potamocherus porcus, giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) and groups of hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) are also found above the cataracts.

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