Back in 1855, Scottish explorer David Livingstone was nearing the end of his exploration of the Zambezi River when he came across a sight that was quite unexpected at the time. For days he had heard from the local tribes about a great water fall that lay ahead on his journey, but because the region he was traveling through had no mountains, valleys, or plateaus, he found no reason to believe the reports. That is until he came face to face with the most magnificent and beautiful sight he had ever seen, the 360 foot tall waterfall that he would name Victoria Falls in honor of Queen Victoria of England.
Today, the Falls remain one of the top tourist draws for Zambia, with thousands flocking to the country every year to make the journey to see Livinstone’s wonderous discovery. Victoria Falls is the biggest waterfall in the world, stretching nearly a mile in width, and when combined with its impressive height, it forms the largest sheet of water anywhere in the world.
Recently, David Abel of the Boston Globe, made the journey for himself, and returned to share his experiences with the rest of us. While he was there, Abel discovered first hand why the Zambians call the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders” when he finally looked upon the falls that measure twice the height of Niagra.
From there, he moved on to the five-star, $900 per night, Royal Livingstone Hotel, where he enjoyed crumpets and tea while monkeys played in the trees overhead. The adventure didn’t stop there however, as he followed it up with other wildlife encounters and an exciting ride down the Zambizi River through Class V rapids.
Clearly Zambia has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler, and it extends beyond just the falls. But a chance to walk in the Livingstones footsteps sounds too goo to be true, and yet 150 years after the famous explorer visited the region, we’re still going back for more.