Travel bloggers, Jeff and Kerryn, from Pass The Map caught their first glimpse of the Victoria Falls out of an airplane window just before touch down at Livingstone’s little airport. The excitement kicked in that they were bush-bound to a natural wonder of the world at Robin Pope Safaris’ Stanley Safari Lodge.
Set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking the unspoilt bush, Stanley Safari Lodge is the discerning traveller’s paradise to succumb to the beauty of the falls. It is here that the birds sing louder and the falls thunderous smoke is an ever-present beacon on the horizon.
As tempting as it was for the couple to put their feet up poolside with a couple of ice-cold Mosi Lagers, they only had 48 hours to experience the area. The FOMO (fear of missing out) was settling in and so a jam-packed calendar full of adventure it was!
Here’s their 48-hour adventure guide to the Victoria Falls:
1. Canoeing down the Zambezi River
The Zambezi is one of the world’s greatest rivers, supporting an astonishing density and diversity of living things. We chose to fill our first half of the day with a 10km canoe trip down a more languid section of the Zambezi.
It was a truly amazing experience, although at times it was a little nerve-wracking sitting on a ‘glorified lilo’ with so many crocs and hippos around.
When one particularly agitated hippo got a little too close for comfort, we even had to get out of the water and carry our boats along the bank for a bit. But our guide Dominique had spent the last 20 years leading canoe trips down the Zambezi, and we felt pretty safe following his orders. At one point a herd of around 40 elephants materialised out of the lush riverine forest for a morning drink. It was a surreal experience floating quietly past, no more than 20 meters away.
2. Guided tour of the Victoria Falls
Having seen Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side on a previous trip, we were really excited to get a Zambian perspective. After our epic canoe trip, we did just that.
Curtis, one of the super-friendly guides from Stanley Safari Lodge, accompanied us for the afternoon. Curtis must have seen the falls hundreds of times, yet he says every time is like his first. I think he took more pictures than we did!
He was also more than happy to kill some time with us while we waited for the light to improve. It’s really hard to do Victoria Falls justice with any words or pictures.
The sheer scale, power and incredible beauty of the place is something that you really have to experience for yourself. We’ll say this though; there can’t be many better places in the world to spend the golden hour.
3. A visit to Livingstone Island
The next morning we made a trip out to Livingstone Island, right on the lip of the falls. Our boat captain was quick to remind us that although we were following in David Livingstone’s footsteps, he by no means ‘discovered’ these falls. People have lived in the area for thousands of years, and a waterfall of this magnitude is fairly hard to miss!
The most incredible thing about Livingstone Island is that you can literally stand right on the precipice of the falls and peer down into the cauldron below.
In September and October, when the water levels have dropped (and presuming you’re brave enough), you can even take a dip in the infamous Devil’s Pool.
There is no shortage of cool stuff to do in and around Livingstone during one’s visit to Stanley Safari Lodge. Canoe with elephants down the Zambezi or enjoy a bubble bath whilst the sun sets; the choice is ultimately yours!