In a nutshell: The African continent's – and arguably the world's – greatest waterfall.

The Lozi language of Zimbabwe and Zambia always had it right. While “Victoria Falls” – the name given to this epic cascade on the River Zambezi by explorer David Livingstone in 1855 – is known across the planet, the local phrase for what is one of Africa's most spectacular natural “landmarks” comes with a romantic power that does the job far better.

Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke That Thunders” – is the entirely accurate indigenous term for a water feature that plunges 108m (355ft) in two drops, sending up a sprawling cloud of spray and a ceaseless roar of noise as it does so. Simply, “Victoria Falls” is one of Mother Nature's most impressive masterpieces, the Zambezi frothing and churning as it races towards the abyss. While it is neither the tallest nor the broadest waterfall on Earth, the combination of its height and its width (1,708m/5,604ft) means it is generally regarded as the largest. That it forms part of the border between two countries – Zambia upon the east side of the currents, Zimbabwe on the west – only adds to its rare mystique.

And yet, for all its wild aura, “Victoria Falls” is remarkably accessible. It has its own airport (on the Zimbabwean side), which welcomes direct flights from South Africa (from Cape Town and Johannesburg). Zambia and Zimbabwe have a simple visa system in place which allows tourists to make day-trips to the other side of the Zambezi, to see the waterfall from the opposite bank.

Those of a more intrepid mindset can also sit in the Devil's Pool – a hollow in the river, on the Zambian side, where a protective wall of rock means you can splash and swim safely, metres from the precipice.