VICTORIA FALLS. Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ - ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in more modern terms as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as 550 million litres of water per minute (750 million in peak) fall over the wide basalt cliff of 1,688 meters width into a deep gorge over 100 meters below. The immense curtain of water is interrupted by gaps of small islands on the lip of the falls. One of these islands is called “Livingstone Island”, as it was from here that he first saw the Falls and slept. One can arrange to have a picnic on the island and in dry season, one can swim on the lip of the waterfall next to the island, in a small rock pool!
SOUTH LUANGWA. This has been dubbed by many one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of game around the Luangwa river and its ox bow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this park (Norman Carr started commercial tourist safaris in this area) and is still one of the finest ways to experience this pristine wilderness first hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness ranging from a lush green wonderland in the summer months to a dry, bare bushveld in the winter.
NORTH LUANGWA is half the size of South Luangwa National Park and has mostly the same vegetation and wildlife. The difference is that about 24% of North Luangwa lies within the Muchinga Escarpment, where only about 5% of South Luangwa lies within the escarpment. This means that North Luangwa has a more diverse range of habitats, which is interesting for birdwatchers and there are also mammals found on the hill, which aren’t normally seen on the valley floor.
SHIWA NG’ANDU is a grand English-style country house estate. It was the life-long project of an English aristocrat, Sir Stewart Gore-Browne who fell in love with the country after working on the Anglo-Belgian Boundary Commission determining the border between what is now Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Construction of the mansion began in 1920 when Zambia was the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. It took a journey of many days over rivers and swamps to get there. At that time there were no roads to the area.
As well as building the estate's access roads and bridges, Gore-Browne built roads and bridges for the local colonial authority. Almost everything had to be made on site, including every brick used in the construction. Hundreds of labourers were employed, and with the help of oxen to haul the bricks in scorching heat, a substantial house was constructed within a few years. The house was surrounded by nursery gardens, tennis courts, a walled ladies' garden and much more. The estate had its own schools, hospitals, playing fields, shops, and post office.
KAFUE NATIONAL PARK. Kafue is Zambia’s oldest park and by far the largest. It is spread over 22 400 square kilometres - the second largest national park in the world and about the size of Wales. It has remained underdeveloped until the most recent years. Despite the depravations of poaching and lack of management, the Park is still a raw and diverse slice of African wilderness with good game viewing and birdwatching.
LIVINGSTONE MEMORIAL. In admiration for the man who trekked across most of southern Africa in search of the source of the Nile. It is a simple plaque placed upon the spot where he drew his last breath, apparently suffering badly from malaria, exhaustion and dysentery. His servants buried his heart under a nearby tree, then wrapped his body and carried it for 11 months for 1500km to the coast where it was shipped back to England.
NSEFU CAVE AND ROCK PAINTINGS. These painting near Kanona can be seen clearly from outside the fence and anyone wishing to enter the cave may do so on payment of a small fee to the caretaker. The main cave contains evidence of occupation during the Stone Age and the paintings are the most extensive to be seen at any single site in Zambia.
SIAVONGO fossil forest. Not far from Chirundu are fossil trees belonging to the Karoo period and are about 50 000 years old.
KALAMBO FALLS. This spectacular jet of water falls in single uninterrupted stream 221 m down into the gorge below and then on into Lake Tanganyika. They are the second highest falls in Africa and the twelfth highest in the world. The rare Maribou stork nests in the gorge below the falls.
CHIMFUNSHI WILDLIFE ORPHANGE is close to Chingola in the Copperbelt, a place not known for it’s tourism, but for it’s great copper mines. Sheila Siddle owns a farm there and in 1983 a ranger brought a dying orphan baby chimp to her. This was the beginning of her project to start a chimp orphanage. The orphanage now has over 130 chimps. Some came as orphans whose mothers where killed by poachers, to sell the babies off to countries as far off as Russia and South America. Others come as adults from zoos, circuses or from homes where they were kept as pets and become too hard to handle. The farm is mostly a trust now for the chimps and it is a great place to visit if you have a heart for animals. Sheila and her late husband David, where jointly awarded the MBE for their work and travelled to London where their medals were presented at Buckingham Palace by the Queen.