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5 of the best activities along the Zambezi River

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As the fourth longest river in Africa that runs through six countries on its journey to the Indian Ocean, the Zambezi has become known as Southern Africa’s “river of life”.

Besides supporting thousands of people and an array of wildlife through it’s rich vegetation, water catchments, floodplain soils and fish life, the river has also become a popular attraction that annually draws thousands of tourists to partake in activities such as sightseeing, rafting, boating and game viewing. We picked some of the top activities that should not be missed for any visitor to the iconic river

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Make a reservation at the café where elephants are the guests of honour

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An African safari teaches lessons not only about wildlife and nature but humanity and the world. As I discovered in Zambia recently, it’s like stepping into a living museum, where instead of still artwork the attractions breathe, hunt and eat. But, like a museum, you must keep some distance, and you certainly can’t touch.

But there is a place that allows you to come into contact with the biggest and the best. The Elephant Cafe in Livingstone – on the Zambezi River, across from Zimbabwe – is a can’t-miss opportunity to get up close and very personal with the most intelligent, emotional of giant African wildlife: elephants.


The food was delicious…

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“One of the highlights in Livingstone is a jet boat ride on the Zambezi, screaming with the thrill of jetting at speed, then slowing down to give way to a pod of hippos midstream and elephants on the banks. Our destination was the fabulous surprise which is The Elephant Cafe, we were not expecting such an elegant, opened-sided, bespoke, tented restaurant right on the river. The food was delicious, incorporating nuts and produce sourced locally, the children loved feeding the elephants, as did we. Thank you for a truly wonderful day on the edge of the mighty Zambezi at The Elephant Cafe, we would highly recommend a trip for lunch.” – Victoria Fox-Smith, Sydney, Australia

Our lunch at the Elephant Cafe was one of the absolute highlights of our trip to Africa

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“Our lunch at the Elephant Cafe was one of the absolute highlights of our trip to Africa. Meeting the rescue elephants was thrilling–we got to pet them, feel their mighty tusks, and smile as they reached out to us with their trunks for food. We have adorable photos with the baby! Then we were escorted onto this beautiful deck over the river and handed a champagne cocktail before being seated for lunch, so very pleasant. The prix fixe, three-course meal was absolutely fabulous, first class–like nothing I expected to find anywhere in Africa. Lunch was unique because it included surprising elements of local fruits and flavors which we found intriguing and delightful. And watching monkeys cavorting in the trees and hippos puffing in the water below while we sipped our cappuccinos, well, it was a glorious end to a truly exceptional experience.” – Cynthia Morris, Bluemont, Virginia, USA