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Livingstone and Victoria Falls | A Taste for Travel

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The Magnificent Zambezi River and Victoria Falls

Indulging in Culinary Delights Along the Zambezi River

When embarking on a journey, we tend to focus on the sights, activities, and encounters that await us, but one aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked is the food. Food and travel are intrinsically linked, as culinary experiences have the power to capture moments in time and create enduring memories. When exploring new destinations, tracking down a memorable meal can be just as important as seeing the sights. In Livingstone and Victoria Falls, this connection between food and travel comes to life.

The Zambezi River is Southern Africa’s ‘River of Life’. It flows 2,574km from its source in Zambia, through Angola, Botswana and Zimbabwe, to Mozambique, before ultimately emptying into the Indian Ocean. About 1,200km into its journey, the Zambezi grows into a great watercourse measuring almost 2km wide. It’s at this juncture that the river reaches the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Twice as wide and twice as deep as Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls spans the width of the Zambezi River and sees the river dramatically tumbling and cascading over a sheer precipice, plunging into the gorge 108m below.

The River Club: A Timeless Oasis on the Zambezi River

Just 18km upstream of the Falls is The River Club, with a location that’s hard to beat. Perched on a cliff right on the edge of the Zambezi, the lodge overlooks a sweeping bend in the river, complete with pods of hippos, tiny islands, sandbanks, reeds and tall grasses, and across into the Zambezi National Park on the other side of the water.

Arriving at The River Club is like stepping back in time. The centre of the lodge is a restored 1940s home with a lounge, dining room, billiard room and library, all furnished with a fascinating collection of memorabilia. With magnificent trees overhead, and extensive grounds to explore, the lodge is an oasis after the adventures on offer at the Falls.

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Uncovering Livingstone’s Jewish History

A little-known part of Zambia’s history is that it was once home to one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Africa. Although Zambia’s Jewish population was always small, around 1,200 at its peak, its members included significant figures in Zambia’s economic and political life. Travellers to Livingstone and Victoria Falls can explore the Jewish history of the area by visiting the small but interesting Jewish Museum, housed on the grounds of the somewhat shambolic railway museum. The River Club itself caters to Jewish guests with two separate dedicated kosher kitchens, and they regularly host Jewish guests over Shabbat, so they are well versed on what is required to make Jewish guests feel at home.

The Elephant Café: A Culinary Adventure

If you are on a food journey in Livingstone and want to combine it with a little adventure, visit the Elephant Café for a real ‘taste of the wild’. Guests staying at The River Club for four nights or more have the opportunity to visit the restaurant, where you are surrounded by elephants you can literally touch.

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A Memorable Dining Experience Surrounded by Elephants

A visit to the Elephant Café combines three great experiences. You’ll begin with a jet boat ride on the Zambezi to your destination, where you’ll be met by some of the resident orphaned and rescued elephants (and some younger ones born at the sanctuary) who call this place home. You’ll then learn about the herd and the history of the individual elephants and have an opportunity to interact with and feed them before proceeding into the restaurant for a leisurely, delicious lunch.

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Exquisite Cuisine at the Award-Winning Elephant Café

The award-winning Elephant Café is small, seating only 24 guests and showcasing fresh, locally sourced organic ingredients, strongly focusing on wild edibles. The menu changes seasonally depending on what is available. A typical menu includes a delicious champagne cocktail before moving on to a Tilapia Ceviche, followed by a Sindambi Sage-glazed Roasted Pork Belly with Star Anise, and finishing off with a delicious Meringue and Muchingachinga Mess with Lavender Flowers—an amazing meal right on the banks of the Zambezi.

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If I’ve whet your appetite for a taste of Livingstone, let me leave you with some recipes to inspire you to visit.

Recipe: The River Club’s Bunny Chow

(Bunny Chow is a South African street food dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It originated among the Indian community in Durban, a coastal town in South Africa. This recipe is vegan, vegetarian and kosher)

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And for a sweet treat…

Recipe: The Elephant Café’s Mongongo Nut Florentines

(Mongongo nuts come from the wild mongongo or manketti tree and, when cooked, taste similar to roasted cashews)

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Food and travel intertwine to create extraordinary experiences and cherished memories. Livingstone and Victoria Falls perfectly blend stunning natural wonders and culinary delights. Immerse yourself in the rich history, indulge in unforgettable meals, and explore the region’s unique flavours. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or an adventurous traveller, a journey to Livingstone and Victoria Falls will leave you with a treasure trove of culinary souvenirs to take home. Start planning your culinary expedition and embrace the magic of food and travel.

Stories From Sarah Kingdom