What a great place to start our third trip to the meet the wildlife of the Okavanga delta! The Victoria Falls are giving us the grand spectacle: lots of water, so the whole length of them are spilling water over the edge, but not too much, because then you just get drenched and miss the falls, as they are covered in mist. Nevertheless we got a good shower when venturing close. You can see what I mean by comparing the two pictures – first one taken this April, the other one from the same location in October 2007 (dry season).
We decided to be really daring and signed up for a tour to Livingstone Island at the very rim of the falls, where the Zambezi River tumbles down 110 meters. A boat takes us across to the island where we stumble through rainforest, change into our bathing suit and then glare at the adventure we signed up for: the Angels Pool. Our guides give us a wide and encouraging grin and a hand – off we go to spread our arms wide and let our adrenaline rush as we lean out over the edge! After calming and drying down our tour finishes with a nice breakfast (on the early tour). An unforgettable experience – don’t miss it.
We spend four days at the Tongabezi Lodge, which is located right on the bank of the Zambezi some distance upriver from the falls, to relax and get into the mood of Africa again. Sunset cruises take us close to hippos, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and lots of birdlife.
As a rail fan, I want to ride the Royal Livingstone Express. We board the beautifully restored wooden coaches that date back to the 1930ies and sink into the fauteuils of the lounge car reliving a bygone area. As we slowly maneuver out of the station, we listen to a talk from a native of Zambia, who tells us the story of the line that was meant to go all the way from Capetown to Cairo. He also talks about the problems and possibilities of present day Africa and gives us a much more positive outlook than what you read in the western press. The train jugs out to the Victoria Falls Bridge where we get a drink but no sunset and then backs up to a siding where we are served a five course dinner.