Downstream of the Falls, the river has carved a tortuous route through the soft areas within the basalt rock in the past 100,000 years, forming a deep gorge in a tight zigzag course for kilometres. This geological formation at the foot of the Victoria Falls is called the Batoka Gorge.
Think back, way back, about 200 million years ago, the super continent began to separate. Cracks appeared throughout the Earth’s surface which allowed molten lava to flow towards the surface and cool into soft loose-joined basalt. As the Zambezi slowly over millions of years carved its way through this basalt the Batoka Gorge was formed. Amazing how persistent water can be!
The gorge is a habitat for a number of rare bird species. Birdlife International lists the Batoka Gorge as an ‘Important Bird Area’ on the basis of its conservation importance. Four species of note breed in the gorge, including the Taita falcon (a small, agile endangered raptor). Another 34 raptor species are also found in the gorge, including rare birds of prey such as Verraux’s eagle (previously known as the black eagle).
Atop the Batoka George is the best of the numerous spots to view the dramatic Zambian sunset. With the distant spray of the Victoria Falls where better to enjoy the view over the falls, the Zambezi and parts of Zambia and Zimbawe with the sunset in your back at the end of a long day!