When Dr David Livingstone reached the edge of what was to become known as Victoria Falls on the 16 November 1855 he wrote: “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. Rolling forward a few years I stepped into a rock pool for a swim on the edge of the Victoria Falls, the drop of some 108 metres just inches away from me. With the force of the mighty Zambezi behind me, it felt as though I was on the edge of the world and about to take flight with the angels.
Thankfully for me, I was under the expert guidance of the team from Tongabezi Lodge who know Livingstone Island and Victoria Falls so well that they can take you to the edge of the world and back again in the space of a morning. The lodge is about 25 minutes upstream and as I sat watching the Zambezi flowing so peacefully and quiet, I started wondering if it knew that it was about to become part of the most spectacular waterfall in the world a little further downstream.
Tujatane school which is on the property of Tongabezi takes part in the regional choir, poetry and dance competition each year. Run entirely by fund-raising and sponsorship of the pupils by some guests, Tujatane, which means “as one”, is a perfect example of everyone working as one to create a better future through education, music and dance. From the youngest child singing the school anthem with such pride to the very moving poems about equal rights for women, I left with a feeling that each child that is able to attend this wonderful school on the shores of the Zambezi, will have a bright future added of them.
With the rhythm of the music still playing in my head, I headed on down to the river’s edge to my next adventure…..canoeing the Zambezi. After a safety briefing by Ronald, our guide, we headed off to Sindabezi Island which would be our overnight stop. Canoeing brings a new aspect to game viewing as with nothing but the occasional splash of water you feel a small part of this majestic river. Getting closer than normal to the likes of hippos, crocodiles and elephants is something rather special and a little unnerving!
In Africa it is a long-standing tradition to toast the sunset with a G&T and today would be no different, well just slightly different, as I opted
for a pink G&T to match the beautiful colours reflecting off the river as the sunset after another amazing day in Africa. When the night sky started to reflect off the waters I fell silent and paid respect to this most beautiful river.
That night, as I lay in my open-fronted chalet looking out at the stars, with the soundtrack of a hippo playing in the background I drifted off to sleep dreaming…….Dreaming that I was one of those angels mentioned by Livingstone all those years ago and thinking how I, after my adventures on it, around it and in it today, had discovered this majestic river for the first time.