Everyone who goes to the town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe will be accosted by folks who want them to purchase, through them, the adventure of running the rapids of the Zambezi, downstream of Victoria Falls. It is a thrill, for sure!
I write this on my Zambia page because rafting the Zambezi starts on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. (Part of your ~$100 USD price of rafting the Zambezi is a one-day visa into Zambia; you cross over to Zambia, and the rafting adventure of your life begins here!)
My cousin Kelly and I took this adventure. The Zambezi consists of Class V rapids, the most vigorous class of rapids raftable according to those who create classes of rapids. (God would probably rate the Zambezi Class VI, but I may be speaking out of turn.)
I have always been frightened of water--heights and water--so this was a particularly exhilirating experience for me. You go through training on how to lean into the raft, what to do when, not if, you flip over, and rowing. Our guide, and all the guides, were competent in every respect, and truly loved their work. Each had a unique background, and I was impressed with their dedication to environmental preservation and appreciation of life. For more on the rapids, please check out my 'Rapids' travelogue, way up on the right, which isn't there yet, but will be soon.
I enter this with reservation, but I enter it nonetheless. There is the Blue Train, among the most extravagant luxury vehicles known to our species which runs between Cape Town and Victoria Falls. It is 'Off the Beaten Path' as it were, so I am compelled to make this addition, with one comment.
If you are considering indulging in the Blue Train, please consider this: the money that you spend on this luxury could be better spent as a donation at an HIV clinic in the region. Rather that spending over $1,000 USD on a comfortable bed as you meander through southern Africa, you could spend half of that $1,000, stillenjoy the holiday in comfort, and prevent over 100 newborns from contracting HIV from infected mothers. Please consider the value of your wealth.
Please also see my On the Falls Travelogue.
'THE EDGE' is a place on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls--the side from where the water falls. At rare times during the year, in the first week of December in this picture, the water level of the Zambezi is low enough to permit crossing areas along the cliff that are normally submerged by the river. It's a long hike, and at times it is difficult. You must enter the National Park (admission $1 USD in 1999) near the hotel that used to be the Hotel Intercontinental. Follow the edge of the cliff, and it will become more stony. There will still be water in the deep, round holes that have been swirled out by the river.
Let me tell you, experiencing this was like sitting in the palm of Mother Nature's hand. One of the crevices of her life lines held us secure, thrilled, exultant, and immemorial. The water was cool, the sound of the water rushing over the edge less than a meter away, the grey skies portentious of an oncoming storm over the horizon, and the rest after an hour long trek through pock-marked stone along the cliff of these majestic falls combined to make this the most remarkable experience of my life...
It gets a little sketchy crossing some of the streams and rivulets. We crossed water that was chest high. We brought a cardboard disposable camera with us. The rocks were slippery, the water cool, and the current was...on the swift end of the mild. But getting to that pool, onto the island above it, jumping in, not being able to touch bottom,was euphoric. You absolutely must.
Visiting Soweto Market, the largest market in Lusaka. Stroll around Lusaka's most African market where almost everything and anything can be found. Buy a new pair of shoes, do the grocery shopping or cure that ailment from a tradional healer.
The first part of the 470 km road from Livingstone to Lusaka is mostly through rural and remote areas. Many small villages huts are seen from the road.
You know, we really did have a route planned.... but the more you do the more you want to find....
we got a little adventurous after all we had a GPS right?.
OK Sherlock, get your looking glass out.
Another shot of the derelict coal-fired locomotives outside Livingstone, Zambia. We did see some of their type still in operation crossing the bridge from Zimbabwe.
When I was in Zambia, it wasn't safe to go across to the Zimbabwe side (granted I'm sure it was fine in Victoria Falls--the city). Here's the bridge that separated the two countries...
we just happened to cross the border to Zambia and ended up in Livingstone. We enjoyed strolling around the market there, bought some souvenirs and just had a teriffic time!
The Marumba Market. this is an awesome local market with food, african linnens, and a whole host of locally made items that can make awesome souveniers ect ect.
THE HIGH POINT OF ZAMBIA IS A PEAK IN THE MUCHINGA MOUNTAINS NEAR THE BORDER WITH TANZANIA. IT RISES 6782 FEET (2067 METERS).
More Regions in Zambia