10 Fastest Animals On Earth Fastest Animals In The World The Zambezi River – Zambia’s Finest Safari Feature

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The Zambezi River – Zambia’s Finest Safari Feature

The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth largest river; flowing for about 3000 km across central Africa. The river originates from a small stream in the upper northwest corner of Zambia and then flows through Angola and borders Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe before finally passing through Mozambique where it empties its waters into the Indian Ocean through a delta.

The Zambezi River ebbs and flows depending on the season. If there is prolonged rain, the river swells and bursts its banks in specific areas displacing thousands of people. On the other hand, if there is no rain, the waters recede. The river is divided into three sections; Upper Zambezi, Middle Zambezi and Lower Zambezi.

Although the river has a lot to offer with every square kilometer it passes, it has the best features in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Perhaps the most spectacular feature along the Zambezi is the magnificent Victoria Falls. Known locally as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (roaring smoke), Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The deafening sound of the falls as millions of liters of water cascade down its rocky cliff can be heard from meters away. A shimmering blanket of mist rises from the falling water, making the sight even more mesmerizing.

The best time to visit the falls is during the dry winter season, which lasts from July to August. Around the rainy season, the mist cover becomes so thick that it makes it impossible to see the falls. The peak of the dry season is also not the best because the falls are dullest during this time. If you want, you can take a helicopter ride and see the falls from a bird’s eye view. However, most people prefer the experience from the ground where they can feel the spray of the fall on their faces. If you plan to view the falls from the ground, bring a raincoat as you will get soaked, however most people get a kick out of it.

Not far from the falls is the huge Victoria Falls Bridge. The bridge is a treasured piece of fine architecture that unites Zambia and Zimbabwe while also offering a sweeping view of the Zambezi and the adjacent rainforest. The most popular activity on the bridge is bungee jumping. The drop is 111 meters long making it the second longest bungee drop in the world. Other notable sights along the Zambezi include the extensive Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams.

The Kariba Dam in Zambia boasts a whopping 300km length. The Cahora Bassa Dam lies in Mozambique and is 20 km smaller than Kariba making it 280 km wide. Both dams are deep and quite popular for their sport fishing activities. You can choose whether to fish from the shore or go out on the water in a canoe. The most common fish in these areas are the Tiger fish which can grow up to 10 kg, the yellow bellied carp and the red bay among others.

In addition to fishing, the dams provide the local community with sufficient irrigation water for those who practice agriculture along the river. Dams are also a source of hydropower. The Kariba Dam supplies power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, while the Cahora Bassa Dam supplies power to both Mozambique and South Africa.

There are a number of game parks and game reserves located along the Zambezi that offer some of Africa’s best safaris. The most popular of these include Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls National Park, Mana Pools Park and Wide Horizons Elephant Camp. Here, visitors can view a wide range of wildlife along game routes or in fenced and controlled reserves. The activity for which the Zambezi is world famous is its eventful whitewater rafting expeditions. The Zambezi’s rocky river beds and steep, estuarine terrain and pressure pools provide an excellent flow strip for exhilarating rapids.

The Zambezi Rapids are classified as class five, which means they are very difficult to negotiate, very fast, violent and unpredictable as they do not have a clear pattern that a negotiator can learn to do every journey different from the other. The rapids are also popular because they have few bare rocks that remove the fear of injury, allowing kayakers to make the most of the experience.

There is a wide range of hotels and lodges to choose from along the Zambezi. They range from camping lodges with tents and outdoor mattresses to five-star luxury hotels. Whichever you choose, they all promise different adventures that will make your stay unforgettable. Some of the more popular hotels and lodges include; the Royal Livingstone Hotel, Tongabezi Lodge and Thorn Tree Lodge at Victoria Falls. Mwambashi River Lodge, Kasaka River Lodge and Mtondo River Camp are good choices for those who want to be close to the river and around wildlife. And for those who want to spend their days fishing in Lake Kariba, Chete Island Luxury Tented Safari Lodge and Chikanka Island Hotel would be good choices for you.

There are a number of towns and settlements along the Zambezi River. The main ones include; Katima Mulilo in Namibia, Mongu, Lukulu and Livingstone in Zambia, Victoria Falls and Kariba in Zimbabwe, and finally Songo and Tete in Mozambique. Interestingly, over 70 different languages ​​are spoken by people along the Zambezi. Most of these locals depend on the Zambezi for their livelihood and have a fascinating culture as well as unique practices. The Bundu people of Zambia, for example, believe that there is a living spirit called Nyaminyami in the river. They believe that the spirit offers them protection and therefore regularly perform rituals on the river bank to appease the spirit.

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