Previously there was only one list for the Wonders of the World, and it contained some natural and some man-made wonders. These days there are many individual lists that separate natural from man-made and have various categories. The number seven has historical reference to the ancient Greeks who believed that it represented perfection and plenty, but now there is also debate about whether the list of natural wonders should be longer. As far as I am aware the current Seven Natural Wonders of the World are:
- Aurora Borealis
- Rio de Janeiro
- Grand Canyon
- Great Barrier Reef
- Mount Everest
- Victoria Falls
The Zambezi River winds its way from its source in northern Zambia through Angola, forming the border of Namibia to northern Botswana, then dividing Zambia from Zimbabwe and coursing on through to Mozambique and finally into the Indian Ocean. Our home is the small town in the north-western corner of Zimbabwe where the Zambezi River tips over the fissure that is the seventh Natural Wonder of the World, the Victoria Falls.
This December I was very happy to have both my daughters and their partners join us for the festive celebrations. Liz and Simon and their friend Denand took the opportunity to book a tour of the Falls through the Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe office. Their expert guide, Bheki, took them through the national park and gave them the most fascinating and interesting historical and geographical explanation of the formation of the Falls which has taken place over millennia. The story is very interesting and having a knowledgeable guide is key to really appreciating the magnificence of the Victoria Falls.
Of course, different times of the year show different quantities of water flowing over the Falls. December is the start of our rainy season, causing the water levels to rise and become more voluminous so that they hide the dry exposed rock areas behind a curtain of falling water.
There are some people who visit the Victoria Falls and are so completely in awe of its natural magnificence that they just want to take a moment to meditate and appreciate its grandeur; there are others who almost cannot believe that it is in fact natural. But natural it certainly is, and as our Bheki has had to answer sometimes: “No, nobody turns the water off at night!”
By Marian Myers