In 10 years, Victoria Falls hits the highest point

The Victoria Falls appears to be thoroughly enjoying its alone time, reaching its highest flows in a decade in a powerful display of breath-taking beauty and intensity, whilst ironically, no-one is there to witness.

The Victoria Falls rainforest is closed, as like the rest of the world, Zimbabwe is in lockdown to protect against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Zambezi River Authority public relations and communications manager, Elizabeth Karonga, said the high water levels were due to a significant increase in both rainfall and run-off in the catchment area upstream of Victoria Falls during the current rainfall season.

Data from the authority shows that four times more water is now flowing over the world’s largest waterfall than at this time last year – on April 20, 3 922 cubic metres per second was recorded compared to 1 007 cubic metres per second on April 20, 2019.

“The Zambezi River normally experiences two peaks or floods, which are more evident in the upper catchment area, upstream from Victoria Falls, and depending on their magnitude, their effects are translated downstream,” Karonga said.

The first wave of floodwaters was recorded at Victoria Falls on March 31, 2020 with a peak flow of 4 289 cubic metres per second, and the second reached the Victoria Falls on April 14, and water levels were, again, rising, Karonga said.