//by: José Berrocoso//
Immersing travellers in Africa’s wild beauty, The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara boasts a unique location overlooking Victoria Falls. Taking its name from the famous explorer Sir David Livingstone who named the Falls after his queen, poignant reminders of this era embrace guests in nostalgic luxury.
The adventure begins before arrival with an exclusive water taxi transfer along the Zambezi River, and a first glimpse of Zambia’s free-roaming wildlife. Capitalising on an unmatched location overlooking Victoria Falls, The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara is a 10-minute walk away, boasts its own private entrance, and offers unlimited complimentary access to this iconic Natural Wonder.
Known to locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke that Thunders” – the gushing waters throw a cloud-like spray across the bush and sends rainbows soaring hundreds of feet into the air. As the magnificent cascade rushes over a wide basalt cliff, the placid Zambezi River transforms into a ferocious torrent and cuts through a series of dramatic gorges. Across from The Falls, a path along the edge of a sheer basalt wall rewards walkers who are brave enough to encounter the tremendous spray with spectacular views. Those that dare can swim in the Devil’s Pool, at the edge of Victoria Falls, where the water plummets 350-feet down, providing a pulse-racing dip. The pool is also special in that it can only be visited from late August to late December before the summer rains swell the Zambezi River, after which it remains hidden under the river’s pounding flow.
Safari, river and sky thrills
4×4 safari drives through vast and unspoiled national parks explore broad plains and rugged wilderness, with seasoned guides skilled at tracking a rich eco-system of free-roaming animals, including the mighty elephant, rhino and buffalo. Quad bikes zoom along eco trails and through untamed African bush. Wildlife river safaris on the mighty Zambezi reveal excellent game and bird viewing aboard specially designed boats, which have the unique ability to traverse the rapids safely and comfortably, even in water as shallow as 200mm.
Some of the world’s most challenging gorge rapids bring the excitement of white water rafting and jet-boating. Anglers flock to test their skills against the legendary tiger fish. For more relaxing adventures, travellers can opt for a leisurely canoe trip or a mesmerising sunset boat cruise. Offering sweeping bird’s eye views, an adventure flight in a helicopter skims over the African bush, deep down into the dramatic Batoka Gorge and over Victoria Falls, while a microlight flight soars above Victoria Falls and continues upstream over Long Island, Palm Island, Kakunka and Kandahar Islands and onto Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Adrenalin junkies conquer spectacular heights with abseil, gorge swing and high wire thrills in the Bakota Gorge.
African culture and breathtaking rail journeys
The nearby town of Livingstone is a monument to historic intrigue. Reliving a pioneering era, Livingstone’s famous museum has galleries dedicated to archaeology, ethnography and art, history and natural history, and includes an interesting collection of the explorer’s belongings and descriptions of his routes.
Celebrating a heritage of colonial travel, the Railway Museum houses some of the finest examples of Zambia’s vintage steam locomotives. While there are some beautiful 19th century locomotives to clamber aboard in the Railway Museum, the Jewish Museum is also of interest, offering an insight to Livingstone’s Jewish community that settled here in the 1890s via South Africa after fleeing persecution in Lithuania. The town also saw an influx of European immigrants during the next 50 years, including those fleeing WWII.
Preserving Zambia’s crafts and culture, the Mukuni Park and Victoria Falls Curio Markets feature hand-carved crafts and curios.
For an authentic experience of vintage travel, The Royal Livingstone Express steam locomotive combines the luxury of The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara with Victorian elegance and exquisite fine dining. Trundling through the picturesque Zambezi Valley, guests can relive a bygone era as they relax in lovingly restored Pullman-style coaches. Crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge, sunset beside the world’s largest waterfall is toasted with sparkling wine or a cocktail, followed by a gourmet dinner. In addition to the Bridge Route, the Mulobezi Route passes through the heart of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, providing up close wildlife encounters.