Thursday, 16 April 2015

Adrenaline Junkies in Livingstone

I spent last week experiencing the sights and sounds of Livingstone. Lying 10km to the north of the Zambezi River, Livingstone is best known for the famous waterfall the Victoria Falls.

The Mighty Victoria Falls

My friend Ang from Winchester is currently out here visiting me, and so after spending the Easter weekend together in Ndola, we decided to enjoy some holiday time away. I’d saved up a bit of money before I came out here to put towards a couple of trips/holidays during my time here in Zambia, so that I can experience some places and of course enjoy the time out. I’m really enjoying being here but living and working within the same compound can be quite intense at times and so it’s nice to occasionally have a few days away from things.

Livingstone was a bit smaller than I had expected but it is certainly well set up for tourists and offers lots of opportunity to see the views and go on a variety of excursions. I absolutely love holidays, relaxing and spending time with friends and family. I’ve also come to realise that I'm actually a bit of an adrenaline junkie too (or a ‘complete nutter’ as my sister Rach puts it!).

We arrived in Livingstone on Monday afternoon and we were keen to visit the Victoria Falls straight away. Ignoring advice about hiring ponchos, we wandered straight towards the falls. The spray was so huge that we got drenched instantly! Soaked to the skin and far too wet to turn back for ponchos, we carried on enjoying the views. Victoria Falls is absolutely stunning. I can certainly see why it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Drenched from the spray

On Tuesday we went to Angel's Pool which is situated right at the top of the falls. There is no way people would be allowed anywhere like this in England! We had a guide leading us as we scrambled across slippery rocks, through muddy grass and shallow water, until we were only a metre or two away from the edge of the falls! The view was phenomenal and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast overlooking the spectacular surroundings. 

Close to the edge!

Going for a swim...!?

So what next? Well, I went on to do a bungee jump over the Zambezi River! This was a first for me as I’ve never bungee jumped before. I decided that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (although I actually wouldn’t rule out doing another one…just don’t tell my Mum!). Despite bouncing up and down and spinning around whilst screaming, I really did enjoy the experience in such a beautiful location.

The Zambezi River

Getting ready to bungee!

On Wednesday, we walked with lions!  Ang and I visited an animal centre that rescues lions, cheetahs, lynxes and elephants, looking after them until they can be released into game reserves. The two 27 month lions that we met (called Dynah and Terry!) were surprisingly calm. Apparently this was because they had been fed the day before and only eat every three days! I’m not sure what our experience would have been if we had met them the following day...

After all this excitement we decided to stop and relax for the afternoon at the very grand Royal Livingstone Hotel. It has zebra and impala roaming around the grounds and we enjoyed a yummy High Tea there (this meant cakes galore for me!).

Thursday meant an early start as we headed to Chobe, in Botswana. There we spent the day on safari, on a river cruise and a game drive. I have never seen so many wild animals - elephants, giraffes and hippos everywhere.

After debating how much energy and money we had left, we decided to take the opportunity and spend Friday, our last full day in Livingstone, white water rafting on the Zambezi River. I am so glad we did! I think I spent the whole day with a big smile on my face. Rafting certainly had its challenging moments but was a lot of fun. Even the climb down to the river was a challenge in itself…although not quite as worrying as having to sign a waiver before travelling in the cable car back up afterwards! We rafted through quite high waters which are more dangerous at the moment than at other times of year (and also meant not all the rapids were open). Fortunately the guides who took us out on the river were very skilled and there were also some extra staff travelling alongside in canoes, keeping a close eye on everyone.

Well, I managed to fall out of the boat on one of the first rapids! At least it was easy to pull me back in as the boat was still upright. This wasn’t quite the case when the boat flipped, which ended up happening to us twice! The first time I ended up under the boat but managed to escape and help turn the boat back over. The second time, I struggled to hold on to the safety line and ended up drifting down the river. It was exciting but also scary when I came to a cluster of whirlpools and could feel the current pulling me. Another boat rescued me. All in a day's fun!

Oops, I fell out!




We survived!

It was an amazing week; full of excitement and new experiences. Thank you Ang for embracing the fun and joining me in my crazy escapades! I hope that you all had a lovely Easter too.

1 comment:

  1. Ellie, it looks amazing! So much fun. The lions and the bungee jump make my stomach turn just looking at the photos! You are a brave one!!! So glad you and Ang had a good time. xxx