Victoria Falls may be the initial attraction to Livingstone, Zambia but for thrill-seeking couples the falls are just the beginning of the fun.
Something came over us when we arrived to Livingstone, Zambia. I don't know if it was the roar of the falls or the spray which you can see for up to 30 miles but it makes you do crazy things...and Tongabezi fuels the fire in the best possible way. Their chauffeurs make getting to any activities a snap, from bungee jumping to microlight flying, and their incredible guides can indulge you in any river or safari adventure you could dream of. Here's a snapshot at our wild ride in Livingstone with Tongabezi at the helm.
The Zambezi river is the lifeblood of the area and its beauty makes you want be near the water as much as possible. With the help of Tongabezi's activities manager, we planned a river and wildlife extravaganza for our first day. First up, a sunrise sail on the river. Watching kingfishers swooping through the air, baboons playing on the sandy banks, and hippos returning from their night of foraging, we sipped our coffee before heading back to the lodge for a hearty breakfast. Then as soon as we finished breakfast we were back out on the river for a fishing trip and Mike caught a beautiful tiger fish!
Just up stream from the lodge, we saw a bit of rustling on the river bank and spotted this feisty pair of elephants having a drink. Press play to see this powerful encounter.
In the afternoon we went on safari at the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (which means “the smoke that thunders,” the native Tonga name for the falls). There we saw giraffe, zebra, warthogs, elephants, baboons...but this hippo sighting? It was at dinner! We were on the patio a few feet above the riverbanks and heard the sound of a big mouth chopping and snarfing; we flashed our light and low and behold it was an adolescent hippo a few yards from our table! You'd think with the light he might scurry away, but no, he ate right alongside us throughout our meal and even joined us for some after-dinner drinks.
Then for the main event...Victoria Falls. At 354-feet high with a single stream of water running 5, 604-feet wide, it is considered to be the largest waterfall in the world. Our guide Brian gave us a very informative tour on the geology and history of the magnificent falls and then he handed us two rubber rain coats. The path opposite the falls turned out to be the world's greatest natural water park! We giggled and squealed like school kids as we got more and more drenched catching glimpses of the cascades and rainbows.
Tongabezi was a true pioneer in early eco-tourism to the falls and the best example of that is Livingstone Island. They have exclusive access to this isle, which literally hangs over the edge of the falls, providing views that will make your stomach drop and your heart soar. Now this is what I love about Africa...we got to walk to the edge of one of the world's biggest waterfalls with no railings, no glass walls, just the pure power nature at your feet. There only a handful of boat trips to the island and Tongabezi was able to get us in for the sunset session to enjoy high-tea with our world-class view.
To fully grasp the magnitude of the falls an aerial view is a must. Many people take helicopter rides but that would be too cushy for us. Instead, we opted for the microlight (essentially a flying moped). We each strapped in with our respective pilots and took flight over the winding Zambezi, the series of profound gorges, and the face of the falls crossing from Zambia into Zimbabwe. The feeling, not to mention the views, was absolutely incredible.
As if we didn't already have enough adrenaline fixes for the week, we decided to do the gorge swing. We had never heard of such an extreme sport nor seen it done until we were in a harness, with our heels teetering over the edge. This may sound crazy but being strapped to your soul-mate as you sweep through the air into the unknown was actually kind of romantic.
As you can tell Livingstone is a place of adventure, and it was that sense of adventure and wild spirit that moved Tongabezi to build a sister resort called Sindabezi. A private island in the middle of the Zambezi river hosting just five open-air villas, Sindabezi became our home for our last night in southern Zambia.
Much Love from Victoria Falls,
Anne & Mike
Note: Tongabezi invited us to be their guests. However, all opinions are our own.