Victoria Falls, found in the Zambezi River, is one of the seven natural wonders of the modern world.
The Kololo tribe, who once lived near it, called it the Smoke that Thunders (“Mosi-oa-Tunya”) presumably because of the combination of mist and deafening sound that it tons of falling water creates.
The waterfall can be seen from miles away. Roughly 546 million cubic meters of water crash through each minute, over a width of two kilometers and a height of 100 meters.
Nearby, the Victoria Falls Bridge is a railway that sends trains just below the Victoria Falls. Commissioned in 1900, the railway bridge has one of the best views of the waterfall, with a view down the gorge on one side of the train and a view through the roaring falls on the other side.
Another great vantage point for the Victoria Falls, but this time on foot, is the Knife Edge Bridge. Walking through the bridge is just like walking on the water itself, but be ready for the spray of water from the waterfall – don’t bring any electronic gadgets that you don’t want to get wet!
The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river system in Africa. The only ones larger than it are the Niger river, the Zaire river, and – of course – the Nile. The river crosses six countries as it finds its way from central Africa to the Indian Ocean.
The appeal of the Zambezi River is its untouched nature – there are virtually no human settlements on its banks, and therefore, there is no pollution that taints the river.
The river stretches through a distance of 2,700 kilometers, starting as a little spring in the northwestern region of Zambia. As it goes on, it slowly builds up size and power, eventually serving as the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As the Zambezi goes through the Victoria Falls, it provides a venue that is perfect for water sports such as rafting, river boarding, and kayaking.
But if you’re not into water sports, casually relaxing as your boat travels through the river is a perfectly fine and calming alternative.
The Lake Kariba is a calm and scenic lake that offers tourists amazing views, spectacular fishing spots, and a venue for just relaxing and soaking up the sun.
Lake Kariba is actually a man-made dam, and it is the largest one in Africa. It is 226 kilometers long, and at certain points of the lake, it is 40 kilometers wide.
The lake is so immense in size that at times, the person traveling through it feels like he or she is in the ocean!
Lake Kariba was created to generate electric power for areas in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The lake is also home to a commercial fishing industry that is slowly creating success for itself.
Going on a houseboat cruise in Lake Kariba is a favorite for both honeymoon couples and families. The best time to go on such a cruise is during sunset until night, especially when the moon is full.
Cruises also get you up close to the lake’s favorite residents – hippos!
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage
The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage lies on the headwaters of the Kafue River. Under the care of David and Sheila Siddle, the orphanage has grown to include other animals.
The couple retired in the early 1970s, returning to farm in Chimfunshi. Sheila, who was known for caring for animals, received a young chimpanzee in 1983 that was rescued from poachers. The chimpanzee wasn’t expected to live, but Sheila took care of it and nursed it back to good health.
This was the origin of the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage. Today, Chimfunshi is recognized internationally as a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for animals. Running mostly on the dedication of the Siddles, along with financial support from donors, Chimfunshi has now begun an ambitious plan to transform a recently bought 10,000-acre piece of land into a fenced enclosure for the chimpanzees, along with a wildlife preserve, educational facilities, lodges for tourists.
Compared to other reserves that rely on commercialism, Chimfunshi thrives just on love from the Siddles ¬– and donations from concerned individuals and groups.
Ishiba Ng’andu and Kapishya
There is a legend that tells the tale of a tribe from Congo that traveled into Zambia. During their journey, they came upon a dead crocodile near a lake, which they believed was a good omen, so they called themselves Bena Ng’andu, which translates to “the people of the Royal Crocodile.”
The lake was then named Ishiba Ng’andu, which translates to “The Lake of the Royal Crocodile.”
Ishiba Ng’andu is a placid lake that is a good visit for tourists who wish to be captivated with scenic views.
Tourists can also visit Kapishya, which is just nearby.
The Kapishya Hot Springs is a natural hot spring that is bound by lush vegetation and trees. Hot bubbles flow out from the white sand of a pool which is crystal clear.
The Kapishya flows out into the Manshya River. Small chalets, which also serve meals to guests, have been erected in the area.