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August 13th 2012
Published: September 7th 2012
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Viewed from A CopterViewed from A CopterViewed from A Copter

We viewed the Falls 3 ways: from Livingstone Island where we took a boat to take us to the edge of the cliff, from the air, from the ground when we hiked around the Falls. Hiking trail is just behind our hotel.
I've never been so wrong about any country. If my safari experience in Entabeni is the highlight of my African travels, this Zambian adventure definitely is a very, very close second.


Not Just the Victoria Waterfalls




In all my readings and research, I have simply concentrated on Victoria Falls. As one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World methinks it was certainly worth a visit. For good measure, I signed up for the helicopter flight for a majestic full view of what is touted as the largest (not highest nor widest) curtain of waterfalls in the world. For a hefty price, of course. Methinks I might as well. You come here. View the Falls. And never head back. So might as well do all you can in this single visit.





It was without much expectation that we landed in the Livingstone International Airport. Not much of an airport if you ask me. Quite a change having just visited the Western Cape of the very cosmopolitan South Africa. From there, our airport transfer arranged with Zambezi Sun Hotel whisked us past dusty roads and what passed as the "central business district" of Livingstone, Zambia. When we passed
Double Rainbows by the Falls!Double Rainbows by the Falls!Double Rainbows by the Falls!

Not one, but two. God was truly busy handing out lovely landscapes here in Zambia!
baboons on our way to our hotel, I wasn't surprised. Hey, this is hardcore Africa. But wait, is that a giraffe towering above us as we entered the hotel compound? We also spotted zebras feeding on the grass as a welcoming group of Zambians dressed in tribal attire fiercely beat their drums as we entered the hotel lobby.




Sunsets in Zambia




That same afternoon, we joined the African Queen Sunset Cruise. What a relaxing, pleasurable experience. Cruising along the Zambezi River, don't be surprised to spot elephants and hippos going about their business unmindful of tourists busily snapping photos till those elephant ears flap or till those hippos open their mouths for a big yawn. Photo opps, yeah. But what makes the day for me is watching the sun set along the Zambezi, with little boats and mini-cruisers gently cruising along the calm river waters. It helped that they have pica-picas and an open bar on this boat. And I certainly enjoyed chatting with the 3 locals making up the crew on the upper deck. A few more things I got wrong: these Zambians speak English fluently! And yes, some of them are Catholics who hear
The African Queen Sunset CruiseThe African Queen Sunset CruiseThe African Queen Sunset Cruise

Very relaxing. Cruise along the calm waters of Zambezi and allow yourself to be surprised with sightings of hippos and elephants.
Sunday mass in Saint Theresa's Church which we passed earlier along the Airport Road. I'm telling ya. I'm an epic failure on my "research" on Zambia.




Victoria Falls From The Air, Boat Ride To The Cliff Edge, or Hike Around the Falls?




I did all 3. The 25 minute heli flight burned a big hole in my pocket but I never had second thoughts about doing this. I readily signed up and have no regrets about it. If only for the aerial shot of the Falls from nearly all angles, as well as the perspective I gained seeing our Zambezi Sun Hotel, side by side with Royal Livingstone Hotel, the Knife Bridge we crossed, the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, the Livingstone Bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe, the edge of the cliff when we did the Livingstone Island Tour, the majestic rainbows, the Devil's Pool by the edge and the Boiling Point under the Livingstone Bridge, the Batoka Gorge. All these viewed from the air!



PLUS ...... We spotted some 7, maybe even 9 elephants from the air. How lovely to see them freely roaming in one of many islands around Livingstone. I also liked how the copter flew right over the Zambezi River through the
Livingstone BridgeLivingstone BridgeLivingstone Bridge

Underneath is Boiling Point. Bungee jumpers off this bridge. Reminds me of that bungee jumping accident earlier this year where a young lady's cord snapped and she fell into the waters with her feet tied. She survived. Lucky and smart of her to swim under currents to pull her feet out of the rope and swim up to the rocks to wait for rescue.
Batoka Gorge. Beats starring in a Lucas film. Lol.



But wait. Neither would I forget the walking tour around the Falls. Thank God there were no nasty baboons around! Rainbows are a dime a dozen here. Double rainbows even! It was so refreshing to feel the spray from the waterfalls. Crossing Knife Bridge has its hazards too -- slippery as it gets much of the water spray on that part, but the views across the bridge are so worth the "risks". Victoria Falls up close. Plus a free shower! 😊





Alpha Omega. That's the name of our guide at the Livingstone Island. Shrieks of awe can be heard as we neared the edge of the cliff. Without breaking a stride, I made for the rock by the edge from where you get a good view of the double rainbows and the Falls. Alpha Omega tightened his grip on my hand and then my shoulders. He then took my camera and said he'd take my photos. I abruptly moved to another side, and he barked at me to keep still. Hahaha. I must have given the guy a major, major headache. When I
Hiking Trail Around the FallsHiking Trail Around the FallsHiking Trail Around the Falls

Just 4 kms return. More rainbows waiting for you.
told him I wanted to crawl to the edge, he unhesitatingly said NO. Geez, the guy was so serious. He only broke into a smile when he caught me on cam with my hair blowing into my face and my hands promptly holding them back and away from my face. I asked someone else in the group to take my photo with Alpha Omega, braids and all.



Alpha Omega eased up after the tour. By that time, our royal breakfast by the Falls of Eggs Benedict was ready. A quick trip to the "loo with a view" and we're ready to dig in. Before long, we boarded the boat back to Royal Livingstone Hotel's Sundeck. Passed a lone elephant as we did. What a treat!


Luxury By the Eastern Cataract of the Falls




This blog won't be complete without mentioning the 2 sister hotels by the eastern cataract of the Falls. Royal Livingstone Hotel in all its colonial grandeur. And Zambezi Sun Hotel with its more African resort-theme and earthy colors.



You better believe this. Still full from our royal breakfast, we couldn't resist claiming a lounging chair by the
Knife BridgeKnife BridgeKnife Bridge

This bridge is quite slippery as it gets a good amount of water spray from the falls. Around this area, a man fell off the edge of the cliff when he wrestled with a baboon who attacked him and snatched his camera bag. This happened June 2011.
Royal Livingstone porch from where you see the mist from the Falls. No wine, no Mosi beer. Just sparkling water for an excuse to extend our stay here. The porch, the breakfast nook, the very colonial-inspired dining area, the bar where a pianist strikes all the right keys, the pool where guests tried to get a tan with Zambia's near-perfect clime.



Not to be outdone, Zambezi Sun Hotel has that resort and wildlife park feel. While knowing they're there, the giraffes and zebras still manage to spring a surprise with their presence. Our room is by a river where I found a lone bench perfect for reading and just some travel downtime. Well, the sign "Beware of Crocodiles" made me push myself out of that bench in a heartbeat. I opted to read my book in the comforts of my air conditioned room. So much for adventure. Other hotel guests did their safaris here and claim it's more "raw" and "natural". Some went for the elephant rides, while those with more spunk went for the adrenaline-pumping white water rafting, bungee-jumping off Livingstone Bridge and the micro light flights over the Falls.



Well, this is
Victoria Falls Viewed From the AirVictoria Falls Viewed From the AirVictoria Falls Viewed From the Air

Burned a hole in my pocket but worth it if only for this aerial shot of the majestic Victoria Falls. Spot the Livingstone Bridge connecting Zambia to Zimbabwe, under which is the Boiling Point of the Zambezi River.
Zambia. The heart of Africa? Who's to say? I like it here!



And if you have 9 minutes, here's a vid clip of Victoria Falls viewed from the air and the ground.






Additional photos below
Photos: 60, Displayed: 27


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Helicopter FlightHelicopter Flight
Helicopter Flight

A word of advice. Take your own video. That would be better than the US$35 paid for the 25 minute vid clip of us INSIDE the helicopter.
PerspectivePerspective
Perspective

Can't make this one out. But it looks like the clarity of the water exposed the depth?
Look at that rainbow!Look at that rainbow!
Look at that rainbow!

Taken from the helicopter.
Brave Bungee JumperBrave Bungee Jumper
Brave Bungee Jumper

Jumping off the Livingstone Bridge, check out this brave soul. He's the "red spot" in the photo.
Taken from the Helicopter. Really!Taken from the Helicopter. Really!
Taken from the Helicopter. Really!

Our helicopter flew right over the Zambezi River. Lovely!
Do you see the elephants?Do you see the elephants?
Do you see the elephants?

Tell me how many you counted.
Elephant Up CloseElephant Up Close
Elephant Up Close

This one seemed to be waiting for us as we took the boat ride back to base.
Hippo!Hippo!
Hippo!

With patience, I finally got a shot of the hippo OUT of the water!
Hippo FamilyHippo Family
Hippo Family

They seem to be enjoying the cool waters of the Zambezi River here.
On A Hiking TourOn A Hiking Tour
On A Hiking Tour

Victoria Falls getting closer now.
Another Shot of the FallsAnother Shot of the Falls
Another Shot of the Falls

The walking tour will allow you to view the Falls from different angles. Lighting will vary from place to place, angle to angle. But wherever you take them, the Falls is simply mesmerizing!
Ready for the Heli FlightReady for the Heli Flight
Ready for the Heli Flight

The van that took us from the Zambezi Sun Hotel to the helipad.
The 2 Roads of Livingstone, ZambiaThe 2 Roads of Livingstone, Zambia
The 2 Roads of Livingstone, Zambia

This is Africa! And yes, those are the blue taxis for hire.


7th September 2012

Excellent Information
Hi...luckily i have found your blog...The information in your blog is so useful for tourists. http://www.valuemart.co.in
7th September 2012

Happy to Know that!
Just got back from Zambia. Glad to know the blog has been useful. You'd like Zambia. so much to do there.
9th September 2012
Right by the Edge

ALL BOXES TICKED
Wow...what a fabulous trip to Vic Falls...you look pretty pleased and content
10th September 2012
Right by the Edge

I am.....very pleased
Yes, I'm quite happy and content. Vic Falls was last leg of the trip. Perfect for the relaxation we badly needed. Plus the weather was so pleasant after all the cold in South Africa. Coming from the Tropics, it was hard to deal with temps in single digit celsius. So imagine my joy in stepping out in cottons and sandals. Simple joys!
10th September 2012

Interesting African adventure! Care to let me know how you arranged this itinerary?
12th September 2012

Thanks
Sent ou an email, Bert
1st October 2012

Another great adventure.
Keep 'em coming, Lili. That's one still on my wish list along with the wilderbeast migration in the Serengeti! There's no holding you! David
2nd October 2012

Thanks, David
Thanks. Hey, where are you guys now?

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