Devils Cataract on the Zimbabwe Side

Devil's Cataract, on the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, is the lowest of the five Falls, with a drop of 60m. It is separated from the rest of the Falls by Boaruka Island, also known as Cataract Island.
Photo: Dave Glynn

Boaruka is the Tonga word for "divider of waters". The Devil's Cataract is the weakest point in the geological composition of this waterfall system. Here, the Zambezi has cut a 10-metre-deep nick in the hard basalt and, as the nick is eroded away, more and more water will be channelled through it away from the rest of the Falls.

At some point in the future - it could be sometime in the next 20000 years - Devil's Cataract will cut back into one of the east-west joints that are filled with softer material. This may happen slowly over time, or could happen catastrophically if part or all of Boaruka Island should collapse into the gorge below.

Rainforest birds

The tall trees and dense, moist vegetation of the rain forest are an ideal habitat for certain bird species. Among the birds the visitor may see are the trumpeter hornbill, which has a distinctive, screeching call, the African paradise-flycatcher, which is in full breeding plumage during the wet season, and the cheerily orchestral white-browed robin-chat (Heuglin's robin).

Trumpeter Hornbill
African Paradise Fly-catcher
White-Browed Robin-ChatIllustration: Chip SnaddonBrett Hilton-Barber and Lee R. Berger. Copyright © 2010 Prime Origins.

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