Although Victoria Falls constitute neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, their claim to be the largest is based on a width of 1.7 km (1 mile) and height of 108 m (360 ft), forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The falls' maximum flow rate compares well with that of other major waterfalls.
The unusual form of Victoria Falls enables virtually the whole width of the falls to be viewed face-on, at the same level as the top, from as close as 60 m (200 ft), because the whole Zambezi River drops into a deep, narrow slotlike chasm, connected to a long series of gorges. Few other waterfalls allow such a close approach on foot.
Many of Africa's animals and birds can be seen in the immediate vicinity of Victoria Falls, and the continent's range of river fish is also well represented in the Zambezi, enabling wildlife viewing and sport fishing to be combined with sightseeing.
Victoria Falls are one of Africa's major tourist attractions, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The falls are shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and each country has a national park to protect them and a town serving as a tourism centre: Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Livingstone in Zambia, and Victoria Falls National Park and the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.