zambezi explorerI’m already sipping on my first cool pineapple juice cocktail – handed to me by one of the beaming butlers – as I make my way to the top level of the elegant Zambezi Explorer river cruiser. It’s a warm spring afternoon in Victoria Falls, as the boat steadily pulls away from the jetty and out into the stillness.

Whoever invented the booze cruise was a smart person and should be commended. Floating out at the golden hour along one of the most beautiful rivers in the world with a cocktail in hand is the perfect way to spend an afternoon/evening.  And the Zambezi Explorer team from Victoria Falls seem to have made an art out of this.

There are couches surrounding the top level of the boat, with a big open-plan bar conveniently perched in the middle of the deck. From where I sit, I have a pano view of the river flowing between Zambia and Zimbabwe like a long golden python.

One of the butlers offers me a spring roll with some of the nicest pesto sauce I’ve ever tasted. I follow that with a Zambezi Beer and things are starting to get even more beautiful.

I can see a herd of elephants emerging out of the brush on the distant Zambian side. The captain obviously sees them too as the boat starts to magically glide over in their direction. As we approach, some of the elephants enter the water and submerge themselves completely, using their trunks as snorkels and flopping in the water like happy kids. These animals are just like us, I conclude. Who wouldn’t enjoy of a refreshing swim on a warm spring afternoon in October?

The sun is about to make friends with the horizon and I’m happily chatting away to some of the other guests. All sorts of finger food has emerged on trays, ranging from springbok Carpaccio, to lovely Zambezi bream and vegetable pies. The boat is festive, yet relaxed – not like some of the floating booze bars that we pass every now and then.

It’s getting dark and the boat starts to make its way home. I can see a thunderstorm building in the distance – formidable dark clouds pronounced by a dusky glow in the opposite horizon. The host team stands in front of everyone and sings a beautiful African tune to the backdrop of distant lightning strikes. This couldn’t have been planned more dramatically

What an amazing way to end a day. Thanks to the Zambezi Explorer team

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