Instagrammers Explore Victoria Falls

For more photos from the falls, check out the Victoria Falls location page.

In southern Africa, where the Zambezi River flows along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the water suddenly erupts into what those indigenous to the region call Mosi-oa-Tunya: “The Smoke that Thunders.” This phenomenon is none other than Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall.

Though not technically the tallest or widest waterfall independently, the combined height (1,708 meters) and width (108 meters) result in the largest continuous sheet of falling water. Spray from the falls rises 400 meters on average and is visible from up to 48 kilometers away—the “smoky” effect that gave rise to the falls’ indigenous name. After plummeting over the edge, the waters of the Zambezi zigzag through a series of six consecutive gorges before continuing along the border.

The falls received their English name after Scottish explorer David Livingstone stumbled upon them in November of 1855 and named them after Queen Victoria. The falls are now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site with both names officially recognized.

As nearly a million tourists flock to the falls each year, the falls have been well documented with photos and videos on Instagram.