I hope that from the above picture you are able to guess what this week’s post is about. Almost two months ago, I visited home, Zambia. During my short stay there, I took a short trip to Livingstone, the tourist capital of Zambia. In today’s post, I have a short review/summary of my trip to Livingstone.
Livingstone is a town in Southern Province. It lies north of the Zambezi River and is a tourism centre as it is the home of the Victoria Falls and is a border town, connecting you to Zimbabwe. The town is named after British Missionary Explorer David Livingstone who was the first European man to visit the place. The people of Southern province mainly speak Tonga which I am not conversant with. However, English, Bemba and Nyanja are also widely spoken so language barrier is nothing to worry about.
On our first day in Livingstone, we went to see The Victoria Falls. Fun Fact: The Victoria Falls is the largest sheet of falling water in the world. It is also one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. A true beauty to behold. Driving towards the falls, there is a very noticeable change in the humidity of the air. The temperature suddenly drops and you are surrounded by a coolness that I can’t exactly describe. From certain points on the road you can feel the water droplets from the falling water. As you drive, you also notice a “cloud of smoke” constantly rising which really adds to the excitement. The local name for the falls is “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which translates to “The smoke that thunders”. Amazing. when you reach the gate leading to the falls, you have to pay a small fee of course and then make your way to the falls. Some people sell rain coats there if you don’t want to get wet but for me, if you don’t get wet then you haven’t been to the falls. Going through the gate you are surrounded by thickets and a small path between which has been designed for you to walk on. A few metres from the gate you get your first glimpse of the falls.
This has to be one of the most beautiful sights man can lay their eyes on. I had visited the falls two times prior to this visit but I felt like it was the first time I was seeing them. The water droplets hit your face and the feeling is magical. As you keep walking down the path, you get to the Knife Edge Bridge. The feeling as you walk across this bridge is so overwhelming. Of course, there are a few fearful moments but the beauty and uniqueness of the moment overcomes the fear. On the bridge you get mighty wet and sometimes you can’t even open your eyes. When you stand at the halfway point of the bridge and look back at the direction you are coming from, you come face to face with a full rainbow. Full as in a full circle. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. On the other end of the bridge, everything becomes so bright. It’s hard to explain the type of bright but every colour pops. Be it the colour of the clothes you are wearing, the green of the plants surrounding you or the colours on the rainbow. Everything is just so bright and beautiful. It would do you good to have sunglasses with you. There are some really good picture spots here too. Of course, you have to cross the bridge again to go to where you came from and then if you want to, you can take a trip down to the boiling point. Unfortunately, The Devil’s Pool which is at the top of the falls wasn’t yet open because of the large amount of water flowing. At the time I was there, it wasn’t safe for use. That was bitter-sweet.
On our Second day in Livingstone, we visited The Reptile Park. Reptiles are animals that have dry scaly skin and typically lay soft-shelled eggs on land. animals like snakes, crocodiles and tortoises. As you can guess, the park had Crocodiles and snakes in abundance and a small number of tortoises. The crocodiles are in enclosures so there’s no need to fear for your life. I remember one huge crocodile that is said to have eaten about 5 people from the Zambezi River. He was huge! Did you know crocodile biltong is a thing? Well it is. We also saw the snakes and got a change to hold the small ones which was frightening at first but extremely cool as time went on. We saw one tortoise which was blind and that was really sad.
On the same day, we took a drive through Mosi-oa-Tunya National park. Mosi-oa-Tunya, as I stated earlier, means Smoke that thunders. The national park isn’t as big as other parks I have been too and doesn’t have the big cats such as lions, leopards and cheetahs because it is surrounded by places of residence so such animals are a life hazard. However, we got to see Elephants, giraffes, Zebras, Antelopes and many other animals. the most spectacular animal I saw was the White Rhino. Fun Fact: The Rhino isn’t white. the first people to come across this specie were the dutch who communicated with the Americans and told them thy had seen a Wide Lipped Rhino. Sadly, The Americans heard White Rhino because of the way the dutch pronounce some words and so from that day many years ago, that particular specie of rhinos were known as White Rhinos. It’s a funny story.
the Rhino’s are heavily guarded 24/7. this particular animal is widely hunted by poachers and so the have to be guarded. the interesting thing is the horn of the rhino can easily grow back (made of Keratin) but because these animals are very dangerous when threatened, poachers opt to kill the animals and then cut of the horn so as to spare their own lives. Poaching must end.
On one of our nights there, we took a sunset cruise on The Lion King. The experience was great and so was the live music. The sunset viewed from the Zambezi was magical!
On our third and final day, we visited Mukuni Big Five Safari. Here we did the Elephant Safari ( elephant back riding) and Lion walking. This is by far one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done. The elephants were so friendly and so were the guides. The Lion walking was amazing. My heart was in my mouth most of the time. definitely an experience I would encourage all of you to have.
That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did.
Have an amazing week.