During my post-graduation family vacation – after our amazing safari in South Africa (check out my post on the Simbavati River Lodge, South Africa) – we flew to Zambia and stayed at the luxury Royal Chundu River Lodge, directly on the banks of the gorgeous Zambezi River. Upon arrival in Zambia, we took a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls. Seeing one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in person was a breathtaking experience to say the least.
We visited Victoria Falls up close on the day we left Zambia, but seeing it from above was an unforgettable experience. As the largest single sheet of water in the world, I was mesmerized by its sheer mass. The amount of water constantly flowing over the edge of the falls is almost unfathomable. After we got a good look, we flew into the gorges where the water flows away from the falls. There are seven principal gorges south of Victoria falls which act as a visual history lesson about the geological recession of the falls. Over the last 100,000 years the falls have been naturally receding further north up the Zambezi River. You can even see a crack forming in the edge of the falls where the next gorge will form.
After we got a good look at Victoria Falls from above, our helicopter took us up the Zambezi River to our luxury lodge. Along the way we saw some wildlife, including hippos relaxing on the islands in the middle of the river.
During our stay at the Royal Chundu River Lodge we visited the nearby Malambo Village. This is a local village less than 10 minutes up the river from our lodge.
Upon our arrival at the Malambo Village, the matriarch of the community greeted us on the banks of the Zambezi. She was extremely gracious and showed us every aspect of their lifestyle. She began in their community garden where they grow all of their food and then she showed us their homes and described how they build them.
She then took us to her home and gave us a tour of her kitchen. She shared with us which foods make the best medicines, the flowers she likes to plant in her garden, and how she prepares some of her food.
She then walked us to their community center where they gather sometimes for meals, events, or to make goods to sell to visitors.
After buying some of their handmade gifts, we took our final walk out of the village and said our goodbyes.
I am so grateful to have been able to experience the beautiful Malambo Village and get to know more about the people and their lifestyle. It was an extremely eye-opening experience and I hope to be able to visit again one day.
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