Victoria Falls in southern Africa is one of natural wonders of the world
Victoria Falls, located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa is considered to be one of the world's largest waterfalls.
In full flow, Victoria Falls easily qualifies as one of the natural wonders of the world. It spans 1.7 km at its widest point and has a height of more than 100 meters.
Locals refer to Africa's greatest waterfall as "the smoke that thunders".
This amazing feature is formed as the Zambezi river plunges into a chasm called the First Gorge. The chasm was carved by the action of water along a natural fracture zone in the volcanic rock that makes up the landscape in this region of southern Africa.
In 2019, however, Victoria Falls was silenced. In a drought described as the worst in a century, the flow of the Zambezi was reduced to a relative trickle and the Falls ran dry.
As one of the region's biggest attractions for tourists, Victoria Falls is a valuable source of income for Zimbabwe and Zambia. As news of the low waters spread, local traders noticed a visible drop in tourist numbers.
As well as hitting the countries' economies, it also hit electricity supplies, which are dependent on hydroelectric generation.
The region is recording a sequence of extreme droughts that reflect what climate modellers have predicted will occur as a result of an increase in greenhouse gases in the world's atmosphere as a result of human activity.
Observers of weather patterns in the Zambezi Basin believe the changing climate is resulting in a delay to the monsoon season, concentrating the rains into bigger, more intense events.
This makes the storage of the water in the region more difficult, and makes the impact of the extended dry season more damaging to people and the environment.