One of Livingstone’s largest natural heritage sites is the mighty Victoria Falls Zambia, one of the spectacular natural wonders of the world.
The gigantic water falls is 1,188 meters in width and occupies 1,500cubic meters of water.
The local people call this gigantic falls as (Musi-otunya) for the Lozi speaking people and (Shungu namutitima) for the Tonga people. Notwithstanding a minor difference in languages, the meaning of the water falls remains the same, The water that thunders.
The place around the falls was used by the local people as a sacred place where it was believed that a huge snake called Nyami nyami (river god) lived. As it was an enshrined place, it was an abomination for an ordinary person to set foot on this sacred place.
The mighty Musi-Otunya was later on the 16th of November 1855 renamed as Victoria Falls, after the British Queen of England, Queen Victoria in her honour. The Victoria Falls Zambia was unveiled by Dr. Hubert Francis Wilson at a commemoration service held on the cemetery of his grandfather’s discovery of the mighty falls. Though Dr. Livingstone’s body was buried in Europe, his precious heart was buried on the Zambian soil in Livingstone town.
Later in the year 1989, the mighty Victoria was named the heritage Valley, breaking and being registered in the Guinness book of records. People from all walks of life, of different backgrounds and destinations have always had the greater desire to travel and have an opportunity at least in their life time to see this mighty Victoria Falls Zambia.
The word tourism has taken a new meaning for the people in Livingstone, the same way as agriculture and mining have for people living in these areas. Most people you meet here have businesses or engaged in activities promoting tourism.
With time, Zambia will see a great shift of economic dependence from copper to tourism, which has recently shown an upward trend. The Zambian government has been forced to extend the Livingstone airport due to the increased number of tourists visiting the tourist capital city of Zambia. This major development has partially addressed the higher unemployment levels.
The famous Bunji jumping that has attracted a lot of courageous men and women from all over the word is one of the interesting activities enjoyed by people who like expeditions. The jumping is done off the Victoria Falls Bridge, into the gorge, only secured to a rubber code called a bunji. The bridge was built in 1904-1905 at a cost of 72,000 pounds.
The sunset booze boat cruise on the Zambezi River provides a remarkable and wonderful experience to tourists visiting Zambia and Livingstone for the first time and gives them solid memories to remember - Imagine watching the sun go down, with a glass in your hand as you are floating on the Zambezi River!
A visit to Livingstone is not complete without taking a walk down the Boiling Pot. This is the place below the falls where the over 1.7 km broad Zambezi River above the falls suddenly collapses in to the falls and gets reduced to about just over 80 m wide channel and zigzags through the narrow gorges.
The Pot really boils with the sheer power of the angry waters. The NHCC (National Heritage Conservation Commission) acting Falls manager Stanley Lukonga observed:
Boiling Pot does not literary boil but swirls and is under great pressures. It is not advisable for people attempting to swim in the area. Water entering the second gorge makes a sharp right turn and has curved out a deep pool there called the Boiling Pot which can be reached through a 629 m steep foot trail to the bottom of the gorge below the falls only accessible from the Zambian side.
It’s a trail not for the faint-hearted visitor because coming back up is extremely boiling. Its surface is smooth at low water, but at high water is marked by enormous, slow swirls and heavy boiling turbulence. Objects and humans that are swept over the falls are frequently found swirling about here or washed up at the north east end of the second gorge.
This is where the bodies of Mr. Moss and Mrs. Moss, mutilated by crocodiles, were found in 1910 after two canoes were capsized by a hippo at Long Island above the falls.
Yes, if you want to test your endurance, a visit to the Falls Boiling Pot is a must!
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