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Royal Livingstone Hotel

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Part Two- Victoria Falls Mid November, 2006, by gan63©

The Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambezi river, right on the falls was our home for a short “decompression stop” between bush lodges.

This 5 star hotel was great for a 2 night stop over. The spa services delightful and professional. The hospitality and food/beverage aspect impeccable. This was however a very crowded place, sharing the large area with the Zambezi Sun hotel. The fenced grounds gave a somewhat “zoo” type of experience, not really our cup of tea; but for travelers unable to experience the true bush safaris some wildlife interaction is possible.

There are a multitude of scheduled activities and tours available, and for the adventure junkies gorge bungee jumping, ultra light flying and such are readily available. Unfortunately our scheduled helicopter sightseeing was cancelled due to the rains.

Given our time frame and desires for this leg of our trip we choose a quiet, long hike on the falls/gorge rim trail system to see the falls and surrounding area. The day was rainy and misty and the lack of folks on the trails that day added to the experience for us. The trails can range from under a mile or two up to 3 or 4 miles approximately. We spent the majority of a day hiking. The gorge and fractional water falls (just the start of the rain season) were a fantastic sight. We often fantasized what the area must have been like at the time of Livingstone’s exploration. I’m sure the falls at full flow would be an awesome sight, comparable to the Niagara Falls we are very familiar with. However the added benefit of being able to view the gorge(s) themselves was most enjoyable for us.

Two days here was just right for us to rejuvenate and we were very glad we had included this area in our trip plans. Access from Mfuwe was via Zambian Airlines to Livingstone.
One note regarding the Livingstone, Zambia airport; this airport has obviously not been able to keep up with the growing numbers of travelers to the area. Arrival areas are somewhat more adequate due to no need for added security. The departure areas though are woefully inadequate, to the point of dangerous. Security was basically for show only. The baggage and passenger screening was actually quite a joke. If you happened to be departing at the same time a tour(s) group was there for departure, general mayhem and madness ruled. There is no way security could adequately check and x-ray all the luggage and passengers and most luggage were simply “waved through”. Realizing this area is probably not a “hot bed” of terrorism, we were not really concerned, but thought it worth mentioning.

This page of material of this report, part of a larger report and travel article, are copyrighted and the property of the author, registered “trip advisor and fodor’s member” gan63©

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