Cruising the Zambezi River at Sunset

July 31, 2015 by

Action, Adventure & Adrenaline, Animal Encounters, Beach & Water Adventures, Middle East & Africa, Things to Do


The mighty Zambezi is the river that feeds one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls. Stretching over 5,000 feet across, the falls are shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. Just upstream on the Zambian shore, we set sail on a Zambezi River Sunset Cruise tour while we were in Livingstone, Zambia. We boarded the ship just as the sun was starting to make its slow drop down for the evening. Our captain for the evening guided us up the river to see African wildlife, enjoy local food and drink, then finish the cruise with an amazing sunset over the River.

Our vessel for the Zambezi River cruise.

Our boat for the Zambezi River cruise.

The stretch of the Zambezi River just upstream from the falls is part of a national park and is full of wild animals that we were about to encounter. We were lucky enough to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and many more! As we sailed upstream we stopped along the way at many of the small islands in the middle of the river. Near the shores, we spotted a family of hippos who grunted at our arrival. They stayed to watch us for a few minutes before ducking underwater for some privacy. Tropical birds dotted the trees on the banks of the river and as we were passing one of the larger islands, our captain pointed out a large elephant walking about the river’s edge!

A family of hippos.

A family of hippos on the banks of the Zambezi River.

To accompany our wildlife viewing our waiter brought out plates of snacks for the table to munch on as we cruised up river. We sampled local favorites like spicy samosas, barbecued chicken, and other Zambian specialties. In addition to the snacks, local beers and mixed drinks were included and unlimited while on board.

Local Zambian cuisine served on the cruise.

Local Zambian cuisine served on the cruise.

For a sun downer I chose a local favorite the Mosi-oa-Tunia beer. The beer is named for the local name for Victoria Falls, which means the smoke that thunders. Of the many beers I tried while in Africa an ice cold ‘Mosi’is one of the best, and the perfect drink for an evening cruise on the river.

The anticipated sunset did not disappoint!

The anticipated sunset did not disappoint!

With sundowner in hand, all that was left to do was wait for the sun’s colorful procession below the horizon. There aren’t too many things in this world that can take your eye off Victoria Falls, but the pinks and oranges of the sunset over the Zambezi just might. Almost every night the sun lights up the sky with fiery colors and lingers well into twilight–there’s no better way to spend a day in Livingstone!

Check out more suggestions for things to do in Zambia!

– Contributed by Hannah Lukaszewicz

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