Just over 150 years ago, the daring Scottish explorer, Sir David Livingstone, was cruising in his boat “Ma-Robert” down the lengthy Zambezi River. His trip through Africa had exposed him to people, wildlife and scenery whose beauty he could hardly find the space or words to describe in the notebooks he filled each day documenting his discoveries. They had to be seen to be believed.
On one particular day in early November 1855, he was taken by canoe to a place the locals called “the Smoke that Thunders”. Here, he was exposed to overwhelming sights of the Victoria Falls, about which he would later write ”scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
Cruising on the waters of the upper Zambezi on the one-of-a-kind luxury boat Ra-Ikane, named after the intrepid explorers local guide, is an opportunity for you to get a sense of the same awe and excitement that he must have felt at that time. Complete with past era period décor and memorabilia, the Ra-Ikane is a close replica of David Livingstone’s own boat “Ma-Robert”.
Today you can view this uniquely African natural world, inhabited by hippos, crocodiles and incredible birdlife, with a cocktail in hand from the on-board bar, while snacking on exquisitely prepared canapés. This is unquestionably an upscale improvement of the same river journey experienced a century and a half ago by Dr Livingstone.
The gentle 3-hour cruise down the fourth largest river in Africa is designed as an extension of the luxury offered at Ilala Lodge. The boat leaves daily in time to catch the gorgeous sunsets and carries a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve guests.
With safety foremost in their minds, the friendly, knowledgeable crew offer interesting insight into the river’s history and habitation. With the boat small enough to explore the rivers tributaries, the photo opportunities presented to you are rarely found anywhere else in the world, and offer visual descriptions and memories of the beauty of a place that quite understandably must have been very hard to put into words.