Your correspondent has been travelling and going on safari in Africa since the early 1980s. I have lost count of the many, majestic sunsets, of the unique wildlife moments accidentally captured by camera and of the multitude of happy days with friends in remote places. Of all safaris, I rate the experience (along with riding on horseback) of canoeing on the Zambezi (upper) as one of the very best you can ever have in Africa.
We drove about 60 kilometres up on the Zimbabwe side of the river to be met by our river guides and crew. Make no bones about it, the guides are highly professional and know the river like the back of their hands. Like most Zimbos, they are relaxed in their manner and in sharing their knowledge but extremely switched on in terms of security and looking after their guests. We were due to camp out on the river banks for 2 nights and to make landfall not far from the town of Victoria Falls.
With a motley and inexperienced group of tourists from all points of the globe, our progress was remarkably quick, and that is the crux of the matter. The river does most of the work, you do not have to paddle hard and you just follow the guide. My constant bug bear over the years on land safaris has been disturbing the tranquillity of nature; of driving around in a Land Rover constantly turning its engine on and off to catch a sighting of game.
To be continued……
By Nicolas Edwards, see Victoria Falls Lodges here