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My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience.

I love to escape! For me, it is the concept of getting away from the everyday. It is about going out there to appreciate the beauty and adventure that can be found in the big wide expanse of the world. And then there is velvet. I immediately think of the fabric with its distinct and memorable feel. So, when I ponder upon the words ‘velvet escape’ I think of a one of a kind getaway experience that is unique, exciting and personally evocative.

Canoeing on the Upper Zambezi
Canoeing on the Upper Zambezi

There is a certain place that demands some activity that draws out the feeling of a ‘velvet escape’ for me. The place is the Zambezi River before it reaches the cavernous catapulting drop of the Victoria Falls in Livingstone in the southern African country of Zambia. Depending on the time of year and your placing on the river, here all is calm, interrupted only by gentle rapids, bird song and wild animals. The activity is canoeing.

The sun is warm. The water reflects. You will catch sight of crocodiles basking lazily on the river banks. You will probably spot a majestic fish eagle at work. You’ll be able to listen to your guide who will dish out the most amazing stories, facts and figures about the surrounding landscape, animals and birds. There will also be wonderful moments of stillness when your guide seems to know that the power of nature demands silence. You will see a whole parade of colourful and ugly birds. The unforgettable deep murmur of hippos will make your heart race. The hippo is exceptionally territorial and you may have to change course or paddle as fast as you can to a nearby island as we had to. Elephants will grace you with their ironic gentle giant presence that must also be respected. They will eat their fill of greenery and drink from the river as you paddle past. This is nature. This is peace. This is true velvet escapism!

About this week’s guest writer
profile photo Sara Brown was born in Zambia and spent the first 18 years of her life in rural Zambia. Sara moved to England to pursue her studies and now runs her family design company in the UK. According to Sara, “In early 2008 the idea for the Best of Zambia was born. It seemed obvious – we love Zambia and travel, design websites and recognised the missing link for Zambia tourism was that it was not yet marketed effectively online. We now have a growing office in Zambia and my dream is to have a positive effect on Zambia and other African countries by working with them to showcase what they have to offer on the web and promoting sustainable tourism, growth and investment.” Follow Best of Zambia on Twitter.

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