Exploring Zambia: Victoria Falls and surrounds

So now that you’ve read all about the awesomeness of our base camp, Royal Chundu (read here if you missed that post), it’s time to tell you about all the activities we did.


When anyone thinks Zimbabwe, or Zambia for that matter, the first thing that comes to mind is Victoria Falls. One of the 7 wonders of the world, it is an absolutely breathtaking sight- one I rank on par with seeing the Taj Mahal in India, Christ the Redeemer in Rio and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

I’ve been before (about 4 years ago, in April), and when booking my second visit, I didn’t actually realise that October is when the falls are at their lowest. There was a massive difference between what I saw on this trip and what I saw on my previous trip. We didn’t see the mass of water that I was expecting. Rather, we saw more the “structure” of the falls. However, both high and low seasons are marketed by Vic Falls tourism. In high season, there’s so much water and mist that you can’t really see where the falls end. In low season, you see the structure clearly, but there isn’t much water.

People often go all the way to Zambia/ Zimbabwe and stay only a night or 2 just to see the falls. As spectacular as they are, you’re really not doing justice to it if you do that- there is so much more to see.

All the rock you see is usually submerged by water in the high season

As you’ll know from yesterday’s post, we went on a daily sunset cruise each afternoon at around 5pm. Everyday was a new experience, we saw a herd of elephants grazing, hippos, crocodiles and of course- the most beautiful sunsets over the Zambezi. I am a bit of a sunset junkie, so this was certainly a highlight for me.

Getting ready to board the cruise

Another couple we met on the cruise. RC is so organised- look at all the snacks they supplied, just for the 4 of us! They also gave us binoculars and birding books.
 
Hippo!

Pretty birds in a pretty sky

Elephants. Can you spot the baby on the far left?

So cool to see them in their natural environment, just doing what they do

Beautiful, right?!
 
RC really went to great lengths to ensure that we were pampered at all times and I was really impressed by their attention to detail.
 
My favourite activity was the canoeing. We travelled in a 4×4 to a little canal off the Zambezi, and we made our way through rapids- it was such fun! What made it even more exhilirating was that there were animals all around us- hippos and crocs! The scenery was also beautiful.
 
 
 
After canoeing for a while our tummies started grumbling and we were told that we’d stop off for lunch. I was imagining a picnic basket with sandwiches on the riverbank somewhere. I should have known better from RC 😉 I kid you not. There was an entire picnic area set up on a remote island, with a hammock, a FULL bar and even a portable toilet. This was bundu bashing with 2 ply 😉 I LOVED it.. it was such an incredible surprise. We had a 3 course gourmet picnic in the most stunning surroundings. Such a memorable experience.
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 


Looks totally idyllic, right?!

I think that you can be quite disillusioned by Zambia if you don’t venture out of your luxury resort. Recently, when travelling, I’ve tried to experience more of the country outside the resort because it just adds a different experience and makes you realise what the country is actually about.

This time, we visited a village situated alongside RC. As I mentioned before, all the resort’s fresh produce is sourced from the local villages, so I was keen to see the vegetable garden that our food was coming from 🙂

I was in for quite a surprise and was reminded of how one shouldn’t have preconceived notions before experiencing something new. The village had a spotless, clean toilet, a shower, kitchen and huge garden/ farmyard. With very little supplies, these people had managed to create everything they needed. I was incredibly humbled by the experience and kept thinking of the minor things I complain about- traffic, my workload etc. I guess I realised how lucky I am to have the life I live where necessities like food, electricity and water are a given. The people of the village expressed their elation at having the opportunity to grow vegetables for RC. They told me how the garden has created jobs for their whole community, and their proudest moment was being able to buy a bicycle with all the profits from the garden. I think RC has really gotten it right in this respect- so well done to them.

Love the doormat

New houses currently being built
 
Chicks

Kitchen
Maize: the staple food of the village
The house “mama” and Rishav at the entrance of the maize pen
3 day old baba chick
Veggie garden
Cutie piglets!

Chicken roosting pen
 
And that brings me to the end of our whirlwind weekend in Zambia. It’s literally on the doorstep of South Africa, closer to JHB than CT- so you must make a plan to go!
If you’d like to enquire about a stay at Royal Chundu, their details are below:
Tel: +27 (0)13 751 1038 reservations@royalchundu.com
We flew 1time because it was cheapest, but SAA and BA also fly there.
Have a wonderful weekend.
xx
H