The Zambezi River, the fourth-longest in Africa, offers some memorable one-of-a-kind experiences. Liesl Venter looks at some of the options.
This is an experience unlike any other, says Natasha Parker, Marketing and Communications Manager of Tongabezi Lodge. It is, after all, the world’s most insane infinity pool. “You are literally swimming on the very edge of Victoria Falls. The immensity of the waterfall is awe-inspiring when you are taking a dip. Clients can look over the edge, to the boiling pools below, and take a selfie that nobody would ever believe.”
This experience, like many on the Zambezi, offers unparalleled natural beauty and authenticity, says Betty Mumba Chabala, Zambia Tourism Agency’s Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager. “This is as close to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, that you can get.”
Sean Edington, activities manager at Safpar Zambia, says the Zambezi River in the Batoka Gorge is arguably the finest one-day white-water rafting trip on the planet. “The rapids are closely stacked, with minimal flat water between them. The adrenaline doesn’t stop for 24 kilometres of pure fun, starting directly below Victoria Falls.”
The second secret gem, he says, are the multi-day trips. “This involves four days of exploring the Zambezi River, expedition-style.”
Travelling 56 kilometres in total, tackling ominous-sounding rapids such as ‘Upper Moemba’ and ‘Chimamba’, these trips are a must-do for adventure-minded clients.
Whether it is dinner or just to watch the sunset, cruising the upper Zambezi River in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is almost a rite of passage for the savvy traveller, says Edington. “Expect to see river-dwelling wildlife up close from the comfort of the boats, while indulging in a variety of local snacks and beverages.”
The Zambezi offers some of the best fishing spots for the very popular tiger fish, says Parker. “It is one of the most thrilling fishing experiences to be had. Tigerfish are beautiful but also lethal, with razor-sharp teeth and an extremely strong pull.”
Canoeing down the river
This, says Honour Schram de Jong, Director of Honour Way, is possible in the Upper Zambezi area but especially favoured in the Lower Zambezi National Park region. “This is a safari from a different angle. It also takes a different type of adrenaline because of the slow pace. It is incredible for sighting birds and smaller animals, but hippos and elephants crossing the river are often seen.” – Tourism Update