Country Nr 53 – Zambia – getting up close and personal with the country’s diverse wildlife on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls

Country 53/196: Zambia
Destinations: Livingstone, Victoria Falls
We were very excited about visiting Zambia, as Zambia is home to the majestic Victoria Falls. But as it turns out, Zambia has so much more to offer than ‘just’ one of the largest waterfalls in the world. We loved the food, the friendly people, and the many unexpected wildlife encounters. Zambia quickly became one of our favorite countries in Africa. ♥

What to do and what to see in Zambia?

Zambia is known for its many wonderful national parks, abundant wildlife, amazing outdoor activities, and of course the stunning Victoria Falls! Luckily, you can enjoy all of the above just outside of Livingstone. 😉
Livingstone 
The historic British colonial city was named after David Livingstone – the first European to explore the area. The city is mostly known as the tourism center for Victoria Falls and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. However, it is also a lovely, laid-back place where you can try some of Zambia’s national dishes, visit their vibrant markets, learn about their rich history in museums, and visit a traditional dance show.
If you get the chance, visit the awesome Cafe Zambezi restaurant and enjoy the flavors of Zambia. Btw, go easy on the jalapeños. 😉
Victoria Falls 
David Livingstone was the first European to see Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) in November 1855. He renamed the waterfall in honor of Queen Victoria. Seeing such beauty took his breath away. This is how he described his experience in 1858:
“The whole scene was extremely beautiful; the banks and islands dotted over the river are adorned with sylvan vegetation of great variety of color and form…no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” David Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, 1858
We can totally relate to his lovely description. ♥
Victoria Falls aren’t the widest nor are they the highest waterfalls in the world, but based on their combined width (1,708 meters) and height (108 meters) they are considered the largest. But their unparalleled beauty and immense power aren’t the only things that make them so appealing. For us, its abundance of wildlife is what makes this place so majestic.
We walked the Photographer’s trail, which offers beautiful views of the misty falls, the Boiling pot trail, which offers a great view of the famous Victoria Bridge connecting the Zambian and the Zimbabwean side of the falls, and we visited the Danger point, where you can see (and feel) the falls from the first row. Needless to say that we were soaking wet afterward. In the park surrounding the falls we saw dozens, maybe even hundreds of baboons and vervet monkeys. There were also some warthogs and wild zebras feeding just outside the park. These many unexpected wildlife encounters were what made the experience so unique. 😉

Avani and Royal Victoria Falls Resort
Avani and Royal Victoria Falls Resort are considered the most luxurious accommodation option in the area. As their prices are way above our budget we didn’t stay there. But we did visit their grounds and we’re happy we did, as we saw a huge family of vervet monkeys and baboons, some big antelopes, and zebras feeding by the pool. 🙂 We also saw some hippos in the Zambezi River flowing next to the fancy resort. As the resort is located just a few dozen meters from the edge of the famous waterfall, it offers a magical view of the misty waters that reflect the beautiful colors of the sunset every evening. 😉

Environmental issues

Zambia is a beautiful country, but it faces a lot of environmental threats. One of the biggest issues is deforestation due to excessive land use for agriculture and human settlements, as well as charcoal burning, which represents a cheap source of energy for poor people who cannot afford electricity. The country’s wildlife is threatened by poaching and illegal wildlife trade; in freshwater bodies by pollution and overfishing. Some of the most pressing issues also include soil degradation, air pollution, and over-exploitation of resources.

According to Pure Earth, Kabwe, a city in Zambia, is one of the most polluted places on Earth. Kabwe is known for the Kabwe mine, which is now closed, but heavy metal (mostly zinc and lead) tailings keep making their way into the local water supply.

Found lots of LOVE in Zambia. 😉 ♥

Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Zambia is known for its countless natural wonders, including many stunning national parks and the amazing Victoria Falls, therefore it makes a wonderful honeymoon destination.

* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.

*Are you planning a trip to Zambia? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂
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