The Victoria Falls are located along the Zambezi River, about halfway through its long journey to the Indian Ocean.
Upstream of the waterfalls there are numerous vegetation-covered isles, particularly near the falls, before a 100-meter jump drops into a narrow cliff, only 120 meters wide.
The large mass of water, up to 550 million liters of water per minute, precipitating in such a narrow gap between basaltic rocks generates a dull noise, such as the turbidity of a motor or thunder noise, and a cloud of drops of water rising up to a height of 400 meters when the Zambezi river is full and it is possible to see it up to 50 km away; The local name of the waterfalls Mosi-oa-Tunya means "the smoke that is blowing".
The flow of the Zambezi River varies greatly during the year, and this is mainly due to the rains that, at certain times of the year, fall incessant and flow into the river and its tributaries.
During the rainy season the Zambezi's range is 9,100 cubic meters per second during this time it is impossible to see the throat where the waterfalls dive while a huge cloud of water rises to the sky; during the dry season, however, when the Victoria Falls are reduced to a few gutters, you can see the rocky gorge and its depth, at this time the water flow is reduced to 350 cubic meters per second.
The Victoria Falls front is 1,708 meters long and this makes it the single largest waterfall in the world.
On the waterfall edge there are two islets that divide the waterway, Boaruka Island or Cataract Island, located near the right bank of the river in Zimbabwe, while the Livingstone Island, in the center of the falls, and it is where David Livingstone looked out to see the throat where the falls precipitate; when the river is not full other islets emerge and further subdivide the water face.
From the right bank of the river in Zimbabwe, to the left bank in Zambia, we can divide the waterfalls into five main parts: Devil's Cataract or Leaping Water, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls and Eastern Cataract.
Devil's Cataract or Leaping Water
It is the Westernmost part of the Victoria Falls and it is located near the shore in Zimbabwe, the jump is 70 meters high and 35 meters wide; its name comes from an island of the Zambezi River, that is located nearby where local people practiced sacrifices and ceremonies.
When the missionaries arrived in these areas, they labeled these practices as demoniacs and tried to banish them.
It is the most spectacular stretch of waterfalls with a 93-meter jump and a width of 460 meters and it is divided by the Devil's Cataract from the Boaruka Island or Cataract Island.
Here the water produces a deafening noise as it falls into the throat below and the cloud of water drops rising, besides being visible at considerable distance, manages to keep alive a portion of rainforest present in the area adjacent to the waterfall.
This waterfall is 95 meters high and has the shape of a horseshoe, usually in October and November, when the range is minimal, this waterfall does not have water.
In front of this water jump, that with its 530 meters width and 108 meters deepth, is the highest in the face, the drops of water rising from the fall almost always form a wonderful rainbow.
This part of the waterfalls is located in Zambia and is the Easternmost part of the front, the jump is 101 meters high and from the rock in front of it you can enjoy a wonderful panorama on the whole front of the Victoria Falls.
After falling into a narrow rocky slope, the waters of the Zambezi River creep into a narrow passage that faces the waterfall, hence violently striking in the gorges excavated in the rock, then proceeding beyond the basaltic plateau on their way to the ocean.
Throughout the centuries and millenniums, the waterfall front faced back significantly, as a consequence of the erosion of the underlying rock caused by the flow of water, the eight gorgeous gorges excavated in the rock that are downstream of the falls and where the impetuous Zambezi River infiltrates, it is believed that in the past the forehead was more advanced and shaped the gorges over the millennia.