is a town in the province of Matabeleland North
. It lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River
at the western end of the Victoria Falls
themselves. It is connected by road and railway
(109 km away) and Bulawayo
(440 km away), both to the south-east.
According to the 1982 Population Census, the town had a population of 8,114, this rose to 16,826 in the 1992 census. Victoria Falls Airport
is 18 km south of the town and has international services to Johannesburg
The settlement began in 1901 when the possibility of using the waterfall for hydro-electric
power was explored, and expanded when the railway from Bulawayo
reached the town shortly before the Victoria Falls Bridge
was opened in April 1905, connecting Zimbabwe to what is now Zambia
. It became the principal tourism centre for the Falls, experiencing economic booms from the 1930s to the 1960s and in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Since the late 1990s, due to Zimbabwe's political and economic unrest, the primary tourism base for the Falls has moved mostly across the border to Livingstone, Zambia