Livingstone, Zambia is one of the tourist towns in southern Africa. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Livingstone annually mostly to see Victoria Falls and experience other touristy activities offered. We barely scratched the surface of the must-do experiences, but with the limited time, our host Thorn Tree River Lodge organized some activities for us that I highly recommend trying whenever you get to visit Zambia.
If you haven’t read about my stay at Thorn Tree River Lodge by African Bush Camps, click here.
A sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River
If you are visiting Zambia for the first time, it is advisable to get a reputable tour company or the hotel you are staying at, to organize the expeditions for you. This will save you the hustle of figuring everything out usually with little knowledge and give you an opportunity to sit back and enjoy the magical city Livingstone is.
The sunset boat cruise was a two-hour cruise on the expansive Zambezi River which is one of the oldest rivers in the world. The Zambezi originates from Zambia near the Angolan border, meanders across five other African countries, and drains into the Indian Ocean. We were in luck to catch the breathtaking sunset that evening because the remaining days of our stay the weather in the evening was always grey and gloomy. I had never seen something as magical as the sunset from the upstream Zambezi. Ezzy our guide on the other hand made the experience better with his exquisite wealth of knowledge of the Zambezi Eco-system. Not only was he a perfect guide but an even better host; he ensured we had more than enough snacks and refreshments on board. Gushing waters, golden sunset, and a cold drink in the backdrop of an African game park were unmatched.
A Tour of Victoria Falls
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is between the months of February to May. During this time you get to experience this natural wonder of the world in its full glory.
One never really understands why Victoria Falls is a natural wonder of the world until they set foot on the side of Mosi-Oa –Tunya National park where the falls are. I choked with emotions when I laid my eyes on the falls. My small human imagination would never have guessed how gigantic and incredibly long and voluminous the falls were. The native name of Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates to the smoke that thunders in English. This was from the fact that a big cloud of splashes of water rises from the bottom of the falls because of the massive force and pressure that the waterfalls with. I loved how Quintino our guide gave us a detailed history of the falls, common traditional practices, and beliefs of the locals with the falls. The nature trail along the waterfalls offered different unobstructed views of the falls with some of the areas having rain 24/7. The further one walked along the knife end bridge the nearer they got to Zambian-Zimbabwean border. Zambia and Zimbabwe share Victoria Falls.
Rhino tracking in Mosi –Oa-Tunya National Park.
Rhino tracking is the one activity I would recommend to game lovers. It starts with a fifteen-minute game drive then the rest of the activity is a guided walk to where the rhinos are. Each of the rhinos has at least two guides who monitor them 24/7. In 2006, Zambia traded in their Sable antelopes for four southern white rhinos. After a successful relocation of the four rhinos to the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National park, it took a long time for the rhinos to breed. This called for research to be conducted that later concluded that the frequent passing of Micro flights and aircraft above the park, the Zambezi and over Victoria Falls, together with noise from a nearby school and night clubs stressed the rhinos hence delayed reproduction. The rhinos were moved to the Northern part of the park which was quieter and more relaxed. They bred four months later. Once in a while, they cross over to the southern part of Mosi-oa-Tunya. By 2018, the numbers had increased to thirteen Southern white rhinos. In September that year, two rhinos where poached, then two of them died of natural causes, and another two were killed in Feb 2020, by a truck driver who is currently in police custody for traffic offenses. They two were killed on the road that goes to Botswana and Namibia from Zambia that is within the park. The current total population is eight rhinos including a newborn.
The game drive ended with a sundowner at the banks of the Zambezi River. I could have easily gotten used to the G&T life and finger-licking good snacks with a sight to behold of the sun gracefully setting behind the thick clouds. I this brief list of top things to do in Livingstone, Zambia will provide a nice lead when you visit.
Other activities offered by thorn tree river lodge include museum tours, a soothing and relaxed fishing expedition on a catch and release policy, canoeing, picnic at an island on the Zambezi, a traditional village tour, and others. If there is one lodge you should visit at least once in a lifetime… Then make it Thorn Tree River Lodge.
Nothing beats warm Zambian hospitality in the heart of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park next to the smoke that thunders.
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One of the activities I totally enjoyed during my stay at @africanbushcamps’s Thorn Tree River Lodge was Rhino Tracking. In 2006, Zambia traded in their Sable antelopes for 4 southern white rhinos (the only in the country at the time). After a successful relocation of the four rhinos to the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National park( The African name of Victoria Falls which translates to the Smoke that thunders) that is located in Southern Zambia and North of the Zambezi, it took a long time for the rhinos to breed. After a research was conducted, it was discovered that the frequent passing of Micro flights and aircrafts above the Zambezi and over Victoria Falls, together with noise from a nearby school and night clubs stressed the rhinos hence delayed reproduction. The rhinos were moved to Northern part of the park which was quieter and more relaxed.They breeded 4 months later. During the dry season, the rhinos are fed with lucern grass. Once in a while, they cross over to the southern part of Mosi-oa-Tunya. By 2018, the numbers had increased to 13 Southern white rhinos. In September that year, two rhinos where poached, then two of them died of natural causes, and another two were killed in Feb 2020, by a truck driver who are currently in police custody for traffic offenses. They two were killed on the road that goes to Botswana and Namibia from Zambia that is within the park. The current total population is 8 rhinos including a new born. #Zambia #mosioatunya #Africanbushcamps #Zambezi #postcardsfromtheworld #optoutside #goexplore #wonderfulplace #traveling #wanderlust #momentsofmine #travelstories #roamtheplanet #traveltheworld #instatravelling #mytravelgram #traveladdict #globetrotter
When Mosi-Oa-Tunya (what mzungu called Victoria Falls) is full, like in the month of March, this point next to the Knife edge bridge ‘rains’ 24/7. #Livingstone #Zambia #MosioaTunya pic.twitter.com/kVcLh7a2A3— Bonnie 🇰🇪 (@bonitaonsafari) May 10, 2020