My velvet escape travel tip: Zambezi River

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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6 Responses to “My velvet escape travel tip: Zambezi River”

  1. Dennis Laidler 27/04/2010 10:06 am

    I grew up in Zim and spent many fabulous holidays at Kariba. The earliest holidays were spent camping on Redcliff Island in the very earliest days after the dam was constructed. – Heaven on earth.

  2. Sandy Salle 21/01/2010 2:56 pm

    Love this, I have to say the Zambezi River is one of my favorite places. My dream is to build a school in the Mana Pools area, do you know that some of the people that work in the Mana area only get to see their families once a year. Wouldn’t it be cool for them to have their families and kids at school nearby and live as a happy family all together.

    Michael, love Kariba too. I was very fortunate growing up in Zimbabwe and going to Kariba many times. Spurwing is one of my favorite places to take the kids as it’s a very family friendly lodge. So glad you like it too!

  3. Africafreak 30/12/2009 2:43 pm

    Great contribution Sara, thank you! 🙂 I can so relate to you when you talk about the Zambezi River…

    Also love the Lake Kariba area, ever been to Spurwing Island? Such an amazingly peaceful paradise…

    Cheers and have a stunning year 2010: may it bring you love, peace and prosperity!

    Michaël aka Africafreak


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