It was Valentine’s Day 1981 when I first saw the audacious grace that is the Zambezi; there was no wind at all, but I could smell the river, crisp and fresh, telegraphing promise. Along with a party of tour operators, I had been shuttled between game parks and hotel lobbies for days, all leading up to this: Victoria Falls, the greatest waterfall in Africa, a mile wide and twice as high as Niagara. While the other occupants of the Land Rover pressed for a glimpse of the great falls upstream, I looked the other way, out of habit. Of the catalogue of rivers I had encountered around the world, I had committed the sin of first descents on a score. I rolled down the window. The sound of the river coiling and cursing through a cut in the skin of the plateau, some 350 feet below, disturbed the edges of silence. I could see two rapids interrupting the spinning green current, between the hairpin curves that divided the Third Canyon from its cousins. They were pieces of effervescence, feather-white, inviting. They looked as though they could be run.
Zimbabwe has long been on the top of my bucket list and after years of anticipation, I was finally able to take the plunge and embark on one of the most fun-filled safaris I’ve experienced yet. Scouting for our new Victoria Falls & Hwange Safari Adventure, I saw Victoria Falls, explored by safari vehicle and by foot Hwange National Park, and canoed the Zambezi in both Zambezi National Park and Mana Pools National Park. Each day was a thrilling adventure filled with unbelievably good wildlife sightings, fascinating and illuminating conversations with locals, and activities that kept me moving and shaking—and having a blast!
My daughter and I had talked about a bucket-list trip to Kilimanjaro a few years ago, but finally in the middle of last year her reminder made me realize that if we were going to do this trip, it was now. After some initial research, our travel agent put us onto Mountain Travel Sobek to coordinate an ascent of Kilimanjaro followed by a four-day safari. We signed on, and having just returned from that trip, there is no question it was the best decision we made to make this a truly memorable trip.