Fall­ing for Vic­to­ria

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - FEATURE -

A trip to Zam­bia would not be com­plete with­out a visit to Vic­to­ria Falls – the largest wa­ter­fall on the planet and one of the nat­u­ral won­ders of the world. It is also known lo­cally as Mosi- oa- Tunya ( Tonga for ‘ the smoke that thun­ders’). One mil­lion litres of wa­ter plunge down the Zam­bezi gorge ev­ery sec­ond, cre­at­ing a thun­der­ous roar and a mas­sive mist spray that soaks you from head to toe, es­pe­cially on the bridge, roughly a kilo­me­tre away from the ac­tual falls. Dur­ing full moon, vis­i­tors can view the mys­ti­cal magic of a lu­nar rainbow (‘ moon- bow’) – one of the few places in the world where this nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non oc­curs. Liv­ing­stone, on the Zam­bian side of the Falls, is a tourist mecca that caters to back­pack­ers as well as the more lav­ish at heart and is con­sid­ered the ad­ven­ture cap­i­tal of Africa. Ad­ven­ture- junkies can choose from a long list of op­tions to get their pulses rac­ing in­clud­ing a bridge bungee jump, ‘ swing and slide’, ab­seil­ing, river board­ing, he­li­copter and mi­cro­light trips and the ul­ti­mate ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­ity, white- wa­ter river raft­ing. With such a di­verse menu of ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties, the choice was dif­fi­cult and due to our hec­tic sched­ule, there was only time for one. To max­imise our ad­ven­ture out­put, some of us opted for the white- wa­ter river raft­ing in the mag­nif­i­cent Ba­toka gorge. Pass­ing through mas­sive canyons stretch­ing into the heavens, it looked like another river sa­fari, but that was un­til we heard the roar of the rapids ap­proach­ing in the dis­tance. That’s when things started get­ting se­ri­ous. This four- hour trip con­sisted of a to­tal of 25 rapids, many of them clas­si­fieds as Grade 5 tor­rents fea­tur­ing ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, long and vi­o­lent rapids, steep gra­di­ents, big drops and pres­sure ar­eas. It wasn’t long be­fore the rapids cap­sized our in­flat­able and dumped us into the wild wa­ters. Luck­ily, we emerged un­scathed, but the ex­pe­ri­ence is scary and ex­cit­ing at the same time and we quickly gained a new re­spect for the mighty Zam­bezi. What’s more, the op­er­a­tors are highly pro­fes­sional with support crew ( on land and wa­ter) al­ways on- hand and ready to as­sist.

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