The Smoke that Thunders, also known as Victoria Falls, is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world. Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, this majestic waterfall is a must-see for any traveler. In this article, we will explore the history, geology, and activities surrounding the Smoke that Thunders.

History of the Smoke that Thunders
The Smoke that Thunders was first discovered by Europeans in 1855 by Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone. He named the waterfall after Queen Victoria, but it is known by its indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “the smoke that thunders” in the local language.

The waterfall has been a sacred site for the indigenous people of the area for centuries, and it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors reside in the mist created by the waterfall. The local Tonga people call the waterfall “Shungu Namutitima,” which translates to “the place of the rainbow.”

The Geology of the Smoke that Thunders
The Smoke that Thunders is part of the Zambezi River, which is the fourth-longest river in Africa. The river flows through a series of gorges before reaching the waterfall, which is 1,708 feet wide and 355 feet tall. The water plunges into a narrow chasm, creating a deafening roar and a cloud of mist that can be seen from miles away.

The waterfall is formed by a series of fault lines in the earth’s crust, which have created a zigzag pattern in the river. The water flows over a basalt plateau, which is a type of volcanic rock, and then drops into the gorge below. The constant erosion of the basalt has created the horseshoe shape of the waterfall.

Activities at the Smoke that Thunders
There are many activities to enjoy at the Smoke that Thunders, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers. One of the most popular activities is bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, which is 364 feet above the Zambezi River. This is one of the highest bungee jumps in the world and offers a thrilling experience for adrenaline junkies.

For a more relaxed experience, visitors can take a scenic helicopter ride over the waterfall, providing a bird’s eye view of the majestic smoke that thunders. There are also boat tours available, which take visitors on a cruise along the Zambezi River, providing a unique perspective of the waterfall.

For those looking to get up close and personal with the waterfall, there are guided tours that take visitors to the edge of the waterfall, where they can feel the mist on their skin and hear the thundering roar of the water.

The Smoke that Thunders Today
Today, the Smoke that Thunders is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The area surrounding the waterfall has been developed to accommodate tourists, with hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops lining the streets.

However, efforts have been made to preserve the natural beauty of the waterfall and its surrounding area. The Victoria Falls National Park was established in 1949 to protect the waterfall and its ecosystem. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, and antelope, making it a popular destination for safari tours.

How to Get to the Smoke that Thunders
The Smoke that Thunders can be accessed from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. The closest international airport is in Livingstone, Zambia, which is a short drive from the waterfall. There are also domestic flights available from major cities in South Africa to Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe.

Visitors can also cross the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe by road, but it is important to have the necessary visas and paperwork in order to do so.

Conclusion
The Smoke that Thunders is a truly magnificent natural wonder that should be on everyone’s bucket list. With its rich history, unique geology, and thrilling activities, it is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are seeking adventure or a peaceful escape into nature, the Smoke that Thunders is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.