Livingstone, Zambia. Home to the mighty Victoria Falls it is known as Africa’s adventure capital. Dr. Livingstone discovered the falls in the 1855 and people have been flocking to see “The Smoke That Thunders” ever since. It is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world and the country has done an amazing job of preserving its beauty while developing an impressive Eco-tourism destination.
Everything you could possibly want in an adventure holiday can be done right from this town. Safaris, white water rafting, bungee jumping and helicopter flights. Days can be filled with one adventure after another.
As any true adventurer can tell you, one can’t be on an expedition while staying in luxury accommodation. Good thing there are plenty of campsites near the falls. Livingstone Safari Lodge is a great deal at $4 per night. Situated on the main road leading to the falls it is a good central location for all activities. From here you can book any adventure at a reasonable price with door-to-door service.
A trip to Victoria Falls wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the gorge swing as seen on The Amazing Race. Doing your best Tom Cruise impersonation, your day starts with a 55-meter (160 ft) abseil down the cliff into Batoka Gorge. After a nice hike back up the ravine, your legs are warmed up for a Superman jump. You soar over the gorge on a zip line trying to make it to the other side. As you stare into the depths below you are pulled back to safety only to do it all over again. After two jumps, you are now more than ready for the final activity of the day.
The Gorge Swing is a bungee jump with a twist. It is your choice, do you want to fall back into the gorge, or are you going to be more daring and jump face first? Don’t worry, for the bargain price of $90, you are allowed two jumps so you can try one, and then the other. The 55m free-fall is a thrill, but it is the abrupt snap at the end that takes your breath away. The line tightens and whips you across to the other side of the gorge at 120km (75 miles) per hour. You swing back and forth several times until you are safely lowered to the ground. It is a thrill like no other.
It is only half way through the day, and it is time to catch a helicopter to take you to an Ariel view of the falls. They call this thrill, white water rafting in the sky. The pilot takes you right down to the Zambezi River. The high cliffs rise above you as you twist and turn your way through the canyons following the river gorge. Just when you start to feel air sick, you lift off high into the sky for a bird’s eye view of the world’s largest waterfall.
Now that you have seen the falls from above, it is time to go for a walk and see them up close and personal. Entering the national park right beside the falls, a network of trails takes you right up to its face. Covered in spray it is a heart pounding experience being so close to the thunderous water. The path takes you to a narrow bridge that you can walk across. Be careful though, it can be slippery and difficult to see, as you are only a couple of hundred meters away. Staying dry is not an option and the water is so loud that you have to shout to talk to each other.
Add to the excitement by heading over to the bridge down the road that leads to Zimbabwe. Straddling the border of two countries, you will find another yet another adrenaline experience. A 166 m (545 ft) high bungee jump over the rapids of the Zambezi River. You have already done the gorge swing, so why not add one of the highest bungee jumps in the world to your repertoire.
A jump over the rapids is one thing, but a ride on them is spectacular. Book a full or half day trip of white water rafting on one of the top ten white water rivers on the planet. Long violent class 5 rapids known as the Devil’s Toilet and Stairway to Heaven will get your blood pumping. As Safari Par Excellence says, “It is clearly the wildest one-day whitewater trip on the planet.”
Adventure doesn’t have to be heart pounding. No trip to Africa would be complete without a wildlife safari. From Livingstone, you can book a trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana. It has one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife found on the African Continent. You can go for a day or a multi day trip. A river cruise is not to be missed. Elephant sightings are guaranteed with a population of 12,000 and it is more than likely that you will see nearly all of the major species. Zebras, lions, hippos, hyenas, they are all there waiting for you to spot them.
Zambia is truly one of the most adventurous places on earth with something for everyone. Most excursions are quite reasonable costing about $100 USD each. One week will allow you enough time to experience many of the activities, but more time will give you the chance to explore Livingstone and the surrounding area to the fullest.