With Julianna having spent nearly two weeks in Livingstone earlier in the trip, I had the benefit of coming into town with an experienced tour guide! She had identified the not to miss activities, and (of course!) had a great plan to fit everything in. The plan for the first afternoon was to head over to the falls and out to Livingstone island for high tea. The folks at Stanley got it all arranged for us and they drove us down to the river to catch the boat out to the island. This island is a small patch of land in the middle of the 1.5km wide Victoria Falls, which allows for gorgeous views of the whole spectacle. Upon arriving on the island we were instructed to take off our shoes (the short hike tromped through marshy and muddy paths) and we were given large rain slicks to keep us dry from the mist of the falls (which can sometimes be better described as a full on rain storm). From there we headed out on our walk to the very edge of the falls. The idea of standing on the edge of the falls and looking down 300 feet to the bottom seems a bit ridiculous, but in the moment it felt like the obvious thing to do! The guides walk you out into the water and you stand on a rock just at the edge – one additional step and you’d be in for a long fall. It was pretty fun, and good for a short thrill, but after one strong gust of wind I was ready to head back to safety…
After the hike we had our feet washed of the mud – I thought this was the perfect opportunity on our anniversary trip to relive part of our wedding – but Julianna didn’t find the clumps of mud and guck too romantic – so we let the guides do the rinsing. The rest of the hour was spent enjoying tea and biscuits, English style, at our table just under a hundred feet from the edge of the falls. Pretty great fun!
We returned on the boat back to the river bank, and found our lodge’s Dutch host waiting for us. It seems that all the other drivers were busy running other folks around, so he came down in his own car to pick us up – now’s that great service! The quick turnaround got us back to Stanley Lodge for sundowners, making for the perfect evening. We sat on a bench above the reflecting pool, sipping gin and tonics, and the sun set over the river valley below. All in all, we couldn’t ask for much more of a perfect afternoon and evening. Once the sun set we headed back to the room to rest and get cleaned up, Julianna took advantage of the luxurious tub with a view – and then we headed back for a starlit dinner by the pool. We had a wonderful meal, and all in all reflected (hah!) on a perfect start to a whirlwind anniversary trip.