Victoria Falls, Africa, c 1855.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Victoria Falls, Africa, c 1855.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving showing a bird's eye view of the 'Great Cataracts of the Zambesi, (called Musioatunya, or Victoria Falls) and of the Zigzag Chasm below the Falls through which the River escapes'. In 1855, Scottish missionary Dr David Livingstone (1813-1873) first saw the Victoria Falls, now in Zimbabwe, while searching for a route to the African interior. The African name for the falls means 'smoke that thunders', but Livingstone named the falls after Queen Victoria (1819-1901). One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is the largest curtain of falling water on Earth. Illustration from Livingstone's 'Narrative of an expedition to the Zambesi and its tributaries', published in London in 1865.

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