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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

By: Melissa Breyer on July 8, 2014, 9:01 a.m.
Victoria Falls Zambia Zimbabwe

Photo: Przemyslaw Skibinski/Shutterstock

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Victoria Falls

Although 19th century explorer David Livingstone named the magnificent waterfall which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe in honor of Queen Victoria, the indigenous (and much more poetic) name — Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means "the smoke that thunders" — is commonly used and is thankfully recognized by the World Heritage List. While this chronically rainbow-creating waterfall is neither the highest nor the widest in the world, it is still considered the world’s largest sheet of falling water based on height (354 feet) and width (5,604 feet) combined. It is an exquisite vision, the product of the full width of the Zambezi River — 1.25 miles wide here — flowing along a basalt plateau, only to suddenly plummet in a single drop into the deep chasm that divides the countries. This wonderful waterfall is considered by many to be the most awe-inspiring of all.