Travel

Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
1 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Operating on Africa time

Genevieve Vieira

For those who live in the city, e-mails, cellphones and laptops has become the norm. Many are unable to function without these technological travelling companions, always seeking to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and family.

Pictures: Genevieve Vieira.

Often people embark on lavish holidays, costing an arm and leg, but forget to take in the wonder of it all, because they want to check the rugby score or Whatsapp their friend about a dinner party when they get back.

Africa is blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, which sadly, many take for granted. Interacting with the Zambezi River is a wonderful way to explore and realign yourself with nature. There’s an assured tranquillity that comes with being in the wilderness and a sense of calm that washes over you when you set off into the sunset.

 

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The Lady Livingstone ferry, belonging to the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa, offers cruises up the river every day with the guaranteed splendour of a sunset in an array of colours. And the sheer volume of water that flows through this meandering gateway to the Victoria Falls is bound to elicit an emotional response.

Unlike other sundowner cruises, characterised by revelling crowds out to party, the Lady Livingstone is a quieter affair, as people sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife that inhabit it. Pods of hippos in the water, fish eagles gliding across the horizon, wildebeest grazing in the veld – these are uncontrived visuals; animals in their natural environment.

 

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The locals have a great deal of respect for the land, are filled with a wealth of knowledge and always using the word “mighty” when referencing the river. Regional folklore has it that the river has a spirit called Nyami Nyami, who brings them water to grow their crops and fish to eat, and therefore the Zambezi is called “The River of Life.”

The David Livingstone Safari Lodge’s four-star accommodation is unpretentious, offering great service in a peaceful and rugged environment. There is no rush to do this or that, but rather an opportunity to enjoy every moment, whether it be relaxing next to the pool, sipping cocktails on the terrace or indulging in some bordering-on-insanity adventure activities in the surrounding area.

 

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Zambia is acknowledged as a very safe country to visit, and it’s claimed that guests can feel secure enough to leave their expensive belongings in the hotel room while venturing out. For the sake of testing this claim, I conducted an experiment, switching off all my electronics and leaving them freely visible in my room. Happily, everything was untouched upon my return. There is still a risk, obviously, as no one place is completely crime free, and safes are provided in the rooms for guests who require a little more peace of mind.

 

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Leaving your communication devices behind, though, and engaging with people in friendly conversation is easier than you think – after all, it’s the way humans are designed to operate.

If you’re out to experience nature at its best, Zambia remains a diamond in the rough. No photographs can adequately represent the splendid nature of central Africa in its most natural form.

 

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