Tongabezi or bust

So many things to talk about it’s hard to know where to start!

The Room: indeed has no walls, we have without doubt ‘a loo with a view’ each morning we are awoken around 6am with by Hippo’s grunting, monkey’s howling and bird’s singing. In some strange way the mossy net around the bed makes us feel safe.

The Sunset River Cruise: on the first night here was fantastic, in a 16ft powered canoe off we went to experience the Zambezi. Brian our river guide explained his expertise in the animals & about the attack zone for hippos and how to avoid getting in their personal space. Fortunately for us his expertise for getting out of their personal space very quickly also came in handy. Being chased by an angry hippo certainly introduced us to Africa.
Hippos kill more humans than the ‘Big 5’ combined!

The Crocs: we haven’t seen one yet but we have eaten one (not a whole one though).

The Elephants: sitting on the back of a bull elephant as it sways through the game park ripping up whole trees for exercise certainly made for an interesting start to Kathy’s birthday. As always a close up experience with these beautiful animals never fails to impress.

The Falls: as you walk closer the thundering of the water can be heard, multiple rainbows appear in the mist and then the shear awesome power of the water surging over the almost 1.8km long falls opens up before you, a truly spectacular sight but this is only the start. Trekking the opposite precipice of the gorge, the mist turns to drizzle, to rain and then to tropical downpour culminating in a walk over a narrow footbridge hundreds of feet up whilst being hit from every angle by water, this is one experience not to be missed (or climb inside your washing machine an set it to 30 degrees spin cycle, it’s probably similar).

The Helicopter: offers a very different (and dryer) view of the falls, we opted for an extended 30 minute flight which not only gave amazing Vic Falls views but also gave the pilot time to scare Kathy silly by flying into and through the gorge before passing over the game reserve where we spotted elephant, giraffe (Kathy pointing this out shouting “look Zebra”) and the 2 white rhino (very elusive from the ground).

The Friends: we met with Brad and Josie for beers after the heli flight to catch up on their amazing trip – half a year making their way from England to Australia. Complete coincidence to be in Livingston at the same time, read all about their trip at

The Snake: Drama back at Tongabezi with the staff throwing stones at a snake to chase it off the reception stairs before they let us pass. Chande kindly informed us that the anti venom for this (deadly) spitting cobra is not available in the area! We hurried back to the room to get behind the all-protecting mosi netting.

The Meal: floating on a private candle lit barge on the Zambezi was I am sure a delight for the mosquitoes however we gave up feeding them and returned back to dry land for our main course and power cut to end the birthday evening (candles lit up the riverbank, walkways and rooms which was all very lovely).

The End: It has been a long and packed day – we’re going to slow down tomorrow with a couple of game drives and some R&R time in the day.
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