Discover Victoria Falls African Safari

Discover Victoria Falls

David Livingstone

David Livingstone first 'discovered' the Falls in 1855, naming them in honour of Queen Victoria. His written accounts caught the imagination of Victorian Britain and, together with the paintings of Thomas Baines, brought the Falls to the attention of the world.

David Livingstone

Travelling downstream with a group of Makalolo paddlers as guides, Livingstone was struck by the beauty of the river above the Falls, recording "scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". This quotation has often been used in reference to the Falls themselves, but it was the stretches of river immediately upstream of the Falls which had enchanted Livingstone.

Livingstone must have wondered what lied ahead as they travelled down the rapids towards the rising columns of cloud, with the ever present roar growing closer. One can only image his awe as the local boatmen arranged by Sekeletu took him to an island right "on the very edge of the lip over which the water rolls".

Arriving at the island which now bears his name, on the very lip of the Falls, he gained his first view of them from what must be one of the most breathtaking of viewpoints, describing it as "the most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa".

Many explorers and early European pioneers followed, but when Livingstone first set eyes on the falls in 1855 he could have hardly imagined that less than 50 years later engineers and workmen would be planning to construct a steel railway bridge across the gorge immediately below the great waterfall.

Read about about specialist David Livingstone history tours and the Livingsone Island Tour for more information.

Discover more on the history of the Victoria Falls at 'To The Victoria Falls'.

Discover Victoria Falls

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Discover Victoria Falls

David Livingstone : Rhodes and the Railway

Victoria Falls Bridge : Victoria Falls Hotel

Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls

A Tour of the Victoria Falls