On the canoe, you just glide by; we past a herd of elephant including babies drinking quietly by the bank. We were no more than 5 metres away and yet the elephant were not agitated or disturbed.

When could you do that in a vehicle?  Further down the river, between a sand back and the bank, we surprised a group of impala. The beauty of these gazelles running a few feet away from me in the water is a memory which has stuck with me for some time.

When our guide did speak, you listened as he did not waste his words with no purpose. “When you take the rapid, turn a sharp left as there is a pod of hippo dead ahead.” My partner and I listened, a Canadian couple did not. After getting in position on the side of the bank, we turned around to see what was happening to our kanuk friends. In a flash, we saw the huge jaws of a hippo open beside their canoe. I am not sure whether they did a trial that day for the Canadian Olympic kayaking team, but the effect was the same. You had never seen people paddle as fast and as hard. They lived to tell the tale and have probably recounted the story to many dinner guests in Toronto.

As always, the best things in life end quickly. This is an adventure I will repeat many times and will supply my anecdotes for dinner parties to come. The Zambezi is not the only river you can partake on these safaris but coupled with the beauty of the Victoria Falls, it is something special.

By Nicolas Edwards, see Victoria Falls Lodges here

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