I flirt with the idea of being a global citizen, and as a result, the feeling of a universal union is one I often relish in. There are certain cultural ideologies and ideas that have grown too big for their original locations and have instead been adopted into broader areas of the world. I take advantage of that because not only does it broaden my personal scope, I can perhaps help to expand other people’s ideas of the world whether through conversation, tweets or Instagram stories. You see it in the constant evolution of cuisine, art and design.
But while dipping really good sushi into soy sauce in the middle of the Zambezi river I was a little stumped. The act seemed so outrageously lavish, and out of place, that for a second I wondered – has being a global citizen gone too far? I mean, just look at it – I’m on a river cruise, in the waters between Zimbabwe and Zambia eating Asian cuisine – and in that moment the beauty of Africa was completely lost.
But just as I started to wonder about this conundrum, five elephants were taking an afternoon swim and it all clicked. It’s not about the what, it’s about the where. If you are eating biltong in the mountains of Peru, the beauty of Peru won’t diminish.
Geographical locations remain a backdrop that can’t be altered, no matter how globalised we become. Victoria Falls fits beautifully into this idea. Britons and Swedes in khaki safari suits are everywhere – taking in one of Africa’s most beautiful sites. And while they expect certain luxuries from home, they are aware that this beauty stays in the Victoria Falls National Park. But you can add to that beauty if you are willing to see the area in more than one way.
Departing from the historic Victoria Falls Hotel, Bushtracks in Africa is cultivating a romance with Africa from a different perspective. Their ultra-luxurious steam train travels to the bridge over the Falls, where it stops for a sunset spectacular. In peak water flow season between May and July, the mist is part of the experience. But at other times of the year there are equal perks thanks to the grandeur of the bridge. While you won’t get an extra passport stamp, since you are crossing country borders, you will need to provide your passport at the onset of the journey. With catering done by the Victoria Falls Hotel, the trip and the lush interior of the train will transport far away you into another world.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – August 2 2019: Steam Train with Engine at Victoria Falls, pulled by Zambia Railways Steam locomotive 204. iStock
ON THE HIGHWIRE
If you’re fearless, even crazy, Victoria Falls has a selection of extreme adventures, none more imposing than the bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge. Combining a 111m free-fall with one of the world’s most iconic bridges makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But if dangling by your feet between two African nations seems too daunting, head over to the Lookout Cafe not far from from the bridge. The cafe, on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, offers fantastic activities, including a canopy tour, two zipline experiences and a gorge swing. At 70m the swing is a hell of a jump, but the gentle swing in the gorge is memorable.
Man jumps off platform in Gorge Swing at Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. iStock
WITH THE FLOW
Bushtracks in Africa also has a stake in the popular Zambezi River cruises. What sets their vessels apart is that they have a licence to travel 800m to the waterfall. The high-end The Victoria is their lounger, where you can enjoy an unrivalled river safari. with hippos bobbing in and out of the water, elephants peeking through the greenery and various birds and other wildlife. Most importantly, while having your sushi, marvel in the surroundings, no matter how worldly you’ve become.
Victoria Falls, located on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. iStock
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