The Victoria Falls are claimed to be many things – the largest , greatest, biggest waterfall in the world. In truth, you can find taller, wider and bigger waterfalls , but are they better? And how do we measure them? Here we take a completely unbiased look at waterfalls of the world and observe how they compare.
Depending on how you measure and classify a waterfall , different falls will come from top. There are lots of different lists of the world’s top waterfalls , predicated on varying classifications and measurements.
The easiest category to ascertain, the tallest waterfall in the world , is universally decided to be Angel Falls (or Kerepakupai Merú) in Venezuela kalev kosk which drop a fantastic 979 metres. Vic Falls , with its maximum drop of 105 metres , does not make the top 100. It is not the tallest waterfall in Zimbabwe, that is taken by Mutarazi Falls , which are 479m high.
As it pertains to the rest of the categories, two other waterfalls contend with the Victoria Falls for the general title – Niagara Falls , in Canada, and Iguazu Falls , Argentina. Whilst neither of the score highly on height (Niagara deepest drop is just 51 m, Iguazu’s 82 m), all three compete for the general title of the largest waterfall in the world.
With a complete width of 1,708 metres , Vic Falls are often claimed since the widest waterfall in the World. The Iguazu Falls claims a better total width of 2,682m. Niagara , with a complete width of 1,204 m, are out of the running here.
However these total widths don’t represent a single or unbroken line of water. Iguazu is broken up into countless separate, smaller, cascades, of different levels and heights. Even the Victoria Falls is divided, by two islands (Cataract Island and Livingstone Island) towards its western end, although it still regarded a single, continuous, fall-line. As a result of this technicality the Victoria Falls are often claimed since the largest continuous curtain of falling water.
The ultimate, and most difficult, category for measuring the world’s waterfalls is by volume of flow , here measured in cubic metres per second (cms). The Victoria Falls have an average volume of 1,088 cms , and are beaten both by Niagara (2,407 cms) and Iguazu (1,746 cms).
However, the Victoria Falls and Zambezi River fluctuate with an enormous seasonal variation of flow , and an annual average flow figure hides these variations. At its highest point, in March/April, it is estimated that the monthly average of 3,000 to 6,000 cms of water flow over these Falls , and its highest recorded flow was over 12,000 cms. Iguazu holds the same record, although lower standard annual range, whilst Niagara has a highest flow of only 6,800 cms.
What stands apart, in contrast with the major waterfalls of the world , is that the Victoria Falls are unique. No other Falls of such size are so perfectly formed, with a nearly constant vertical drop of 100m over a nearly straight fall-line of 1,700 metres in width.
All categories considered, the general title of biggest, greatest or largest waterfall in the world is highly debatable. For all of us, Niagara is really a comfortable third, Iguazu second and Victoria Falls an easy first.