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Bucket List Item to Add: Swimming Atop Vic Falls

Lisa Grainger | Telegraph   in 
January 12, 2015

When the Scottish explorer David Livingstone first saw Victoria Falls in 1855 – a place he described as “the most wonderful sight I had seen in Africa… scenes so lovely [they] must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” – his viewpoint was an island in the middle of the Zambezi River above the 338ft-tall falls. All around him, he wrote, the water tumbled and roared by, “the snow-white sheet like myriads of small comets rushing on in one direction, each of which left behind its nucleus rays of foam”.

More than 150 years later, the small undeveloped piece of land – named Livingstone Island in the explorer’s honour – is managed by Tongabezi, a thatched family-run upmarket lodge – built in an old ebony tree, its Tree House suite is exceptional – a few miles upstream. For most of the year the island is inaccessible as the water levels are too high and the currents too strong. But when the river levels are at their lowest, from about August to January, Tongabezi will take up to 12 guests to the island by boat, to view Africa’s biggest waterfall from the same point as Livingstone saw it – and to take daredevils swimming right up to its top in the aptly named Devil’s Pool.


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