Currently buried away in a tiny village in the French Alps where the temperature hit -28 degrees Celsius a couple of weeks ago (!?), it’s hard to comprehend that just under two months ago I was sitting in the Zambian sun at the edge of the biggest waterfall in the world. But I was. And due to a pretty generous budget that wasn’t my own, I managed to squeeze as many sightseeing opportunities a 4 day stay in Livingstone could offer…
My favourite way to experience one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. I had the choice between a 15 minute helicopter ride, or a 15 minute Micro-flight Solely due to the difference in price, I chose the latter, and for once, could not have been happier to have had that little bit less money. Approaching the err… vehicle? the nerves set in. I’m not a big fan of flying at the best of times, never mind in what effectively looked like a motorbike with wings. And an old motorbike at that.
But the nerves were completely unnecessary. Despite being a hell of a long way up, the flight wasn’t scary in the slightest. Well… maybe I exaggerate slightly. But even if I was a tiny, little bit scared the incredible views I got to see certainly made up for it. After a couple of laps around the actual falls, we flew back over the Zambezi river, where I saw a huuuuge crocodile swimming along, Hippos and Elephants. Wowzers.
Rafting the Zambezi
The starting point of one of the most extreme places to raft in the world is just after Victoria Falls. Although you don’t really get to see the waterfall on this trip, it’s still well worth doing to experience the absolutely insane power of all that bloody water. As I’ve written about my rafting experience before, it was the most terrifying/exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. Although activities such as this are (unexpectedly to anyone who has done little to no research on the prices of Zambia) quite steep, it is, like most things, worth sacrificing those couple of nights out for.
Although the falls weren’t at their most magnificent at the time that I visited them, the low water level meant that I could swim across the top of the waterfall and sit at the edge. I say the edge… I may have cheated a little bit here. Instead of jumping into a 6 foot across pool that was on the literal edge of Victoria Fall, I freaked out slightly and opted to just sit on the jumping rock. It looked amazing, but having our less than safety conscious guide hold my legs with only his arms as I teetered over the edge of a 108 meter drop wasn’t really my cup of tea. Needless to say, the rest of the group made it back to land alive and I missed out on being 2 meters closer to – well, realistically, only a panic attack.
We were also offered a boat tour to the top of the falls, but you miss out on the walk across. And it’s substantially more expensive.
Walking on the Zimbabwean Side
Victoria Falls lies between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Right in the middle. So in the middle, that you can walk from the Zambian national park Mosi-oa-Tunya to Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe. The walk is nice, and a bit more easy going if you’re not into or don’t have the budget for the above.