The History of Victoria Falls
European discovery as late as 1855
The first European to set eyes on the Victoria Falls was David Livingstone, on 17th November 1855. Although the Falls were well known to local tribes, the Europeans were very disbelieving of the true nature of the Falls, given the surrounding landscape and lack of mountains and valleys on the plateau.
However, when Scottish-born Livingstone made his now famous journey down the Zambezi, and eventually reached the Falls, he found them to be incredibly impressive, and named them after his Queen at the time, Queen Victoria.
He wrote of the Falls - "No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight".
Indeed, the thousands of tourists that have since flocked to view the Falls would not disagree with this statement !
The Victoria Falls Bridge, that crosses the river between Zimbabwe to Zambia, was commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes in 1900.
His wish was that a "railway should cross the Zambezi just below the Victoria Falls and have the spray of the Falls over the carriages".
His wish was certainly granted, as the bridge affords magnificent views of the Falls from one side and down the gorge on the other.