Stunning sights on an African safari

Get back to nature and see some of the stunning sights of Zambia

When David Livingstone first set his eyes on Victoria Falls in November 1855, chances are he didn't have a cup of tea to go with the view.

Today touring Africa involves rather less hardship than it did back then. If you're feeling peckish after the short jaunt from your hotel to the falls, you can take Eggs Benedict, or perhaps scones and jam on the Island from which the good doctor first saw them, while just a few metres away, a thousand tonnes of water a second plunges 360ft over the edge, before drifting back up in a steamy haze. No wonder the locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders).

Visiting this African tourist mecca isn't just about lazing the day away. For the more adventurous types, there's white-water rafting and bungee jumping. And if you stay at the Tongabezi Lodge, they'll be happy to organise a canoeing expedition downstream, past hippos and crocodiles. Boasting river cottages and open-fronted houses, this isn't your run-of-the-mill hotel. It's so close to nature you can even hear the hippos from your bed but thankfully it's not quite loud enough to disturb your slumber.

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Being lulled to sleep by the sound of belching hippos is an experience, but it's hardly romantic. Honeymooners should check out the more secluded Islands of Siankaba, about two miles up river. Siankaba consists of six private stilted lodges on an island, reached only by a dirt road, and then again by boat. Like Tongabezi, Siankaba supports a local village school and the staff will be more than happy to walk you there and introduce you to the children and teachers. Like all hotels on the river, it brings guests out at dusk watching the African sun setting on the horizon, gin and tonic in hand, is a must for any visitor.

Of course, no trip south of the Sahara is complete without hopping on a Jeep and heading out on safari. Or even, as we did, getting out of your 4x4 and setting out on foot. We went to Mfuwe Lodge, a thatched series of cottages in South Luangwa National Park in the east of the country. The idea is to spend a day or two here and then move out into one of the bushcamps from which you embark on a walking safari. We hoped to see elephants, lions and, if we were lucky, an elusive leopard or two. And we weren't disappointed. Setting out from camp in the morning, through dense bush as high as our shoulders, not only did we get to see elephants, but that night we spotted a pride of lions, hiding their cubs before a hunt. Not that Livingstone, if he were around, would have cared too much to see that. He lost the use of his left arm after an encounter with one in 1843. Some things are probably more important than a cup of tea.

Jody Clarke travelled to Zambia with Safari Consultants (01787-888590. Prices start from £2,990 per person for a seven-night safari. Zambian Airways fly from Heathrow to Zambia.

Zambia holidays: three of the best places to stay

Islands of Siankaba

A night on the island costs from £200 per person. For more information, see

Mfuwe Lodge

Prices from US$400 per person per night for a cottage. A single supplement costs US$145

Tongabezi Lodge

Prices start from £200 per person per night for a cottage, rising to £230 for houses. See

Jody Clarke

Jody studied at the University of Limerick and she has been a senior writer for MoneyWeek for more than 15 years. Jody is experienced in interviewing, for example in her time she has dug into the lives of an ex-M15 agent and quirky business owners who have made millions. Jody’s other areas of expertise include advice on funds, stocks and house prices.