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Then and now: When silence descended over Victoria Falls

By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter

Published1 day ago
In our monthly feature, Then and Now, we reveal some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of a warming world. Here, we look at the effects of global heating on Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world – and how Sub-Saharan Africa is learning to cope with the climate crisis.

In full flow, Victoria Falls easily qualifies as one of the natural wonders of the world. Spanning 1.7km at its widest point and with a height of more than 100m, 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.

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