CLASSIC SAFARI : VICTORIA FALLS AND BEYOND SAFARI
Victoria Falls – awesome is the only word that aptly describes the mile wide vista of cascading cataracts, towering plumes of spray carried heavenwards on the updraft swirling wildly above the cauldron of cross currents and foam flecked eddies far below in the malevolent shadow of the gorge as the mighty Zambezi composes itself for the final rush east to the Indian Ocean…
Thankfully, this wild state remains unchanged since David Livingstone first gazed in ‘awe and wonder’ to the roar of the ‘smoke that thunders’ before dedicating his discovery to Queen Victoria and by so doing ensured its future existing as a heritage site of global significance…
A guided walk to the falls is a mandatory MUST DO at the start of the safari, ahead of a spectacular sunset game viewing cruise above the falls with a sundowner in hand at the end of the day.
Overlooking the iconic railway bridge across the gorge, the ‘grand old lady’ in the form of the stately Victoria Falls Hotel of colonial times, presents itself admirably as the preferred accommodation option within the surrounding national park that is home to wandering herds of buffalo and elephant.
As such the hotel provides an authentic insight into an era now sadly long past when magnificent flying boats landed on the upper Zambezi for passengers to overnight in opulent luxury before travelling on to the next destination along the flyway between Africa and Europe.
Today, Victoria Falls offers easy international access to incoming tourists, and is ‘base camp’ from which to radiate out in all directions in response to the many safari options available to the adventurous eco tourist in search of adrenaline enriched excitement beyond bungee jumping and white water rafting!
Within the selection our choice, based on first hand experience over the years, is a flight south to one of the two Wilderness Safari bush lodges situated in the remote outback of the Hwange Game Reserve for game drives and walks on the wild side within this wildlife rich environment that is home to some of Africa’s most sought after mammals and colourful birds.
Downstream, an alternative safari option on the banks of the Zambezi river is Mana Pools, a complex of seasonal waterholes in one of the wildest remaining parts of Africa offering tented accommodation in the grand safari style and tradition of explorers of yesteryear as a unique experience on the wild side. Here you can expect to engage with elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard as well as wild dog and hyena, in conspicuous evidence by day, and vocally beyond the comfort of the firelight as the nightly hunt gets underway…
For those seeking a unique safari experience rich in tranquillity and relaxation, as an alternative to a dusty game drive, a leisurely cruise on the placid Chobe river in the luxurious overnight comfort of a houseboat from which to view elephant sporting about in the shallows, herds of dust encrusted buffalo coming down to drink, crocodiles and hippos lazing on the sand banks together.
All this with fish eagles circling high overhead and a suite of storks and herons foraging within the confines of the lily encrusted lagoons and papyrus choked channels to look forward to.
So much on offer as the wide variety of wildlife delights leads on to a blazing sunset, followed by a crystal clear night sky of billions of stars set above and beyond the foreboding mood of the dark river bank, and primordial sounds of the African night as an unforgettable safari experience.
An optional but highly recommended add-on to this itinerary is to spend a few nights on the Chobe river on a safariboat (a luxury houseboat) for a completely different safari experience – up close and personal views of birds and wildlife and excellent for photographers. Read more about this Chobe option