A Place Known as the Zambezi…

Anthony Williams • 20 May 2024

Browse listings

The Zambezi is, and has always been a special place for me. Some of my earliest childhood memories are woven into the ancient river as it meanders its way through Africa. Pondering the Zambezi’s inexorable draw in my life, I once wrote “I cannot conjure enough superlatives to describe it, or the influence this mighty river has had throughout my life. For over 26 years of publishing magazines, I have tried, but just when I think I have captured her essence... her mystique, it changes. Ever enchanted by the river and valley, I have often sat on her banks and marveled at the reverence I feel, a sense of ancientness which transcends mere logic. It is a feeling, a knowing...”

(Top Left): River Crossing – A small elephant cow herd crossing the Zambezi close to Chewore Lodge. The youngster disappeared from time to time, but was always surrounded by the bigger elephants, gently coaxing her across. Ancient ways and ancient secrets shared through the ages. 

(Bottom Right): Kapenta Rigs – I have always loved the insect-like kapenta fishing boats as they seem to crouch upon the water waiting to strike at passing prey. I have lost count of the number of photographs I have taken of the rigs, or the iconic long-dead Kariba trees these rigs are framed by.  

A seed that would become a hankering for the Zambezi took root when I was very young, though I was largely unaware of it. At that time I had no idea of the central role that mighty river would play in my life. My father was a bush pilot during my formative years growing up in Zambia, and his work for a road construction company regularly took him to remote places like the upper reaches of the Zambezi within the Barotse Floodplains of western Zambia, often for weeks at a time.  

One of her many moods

One of her many moods.

My son, Bryn, and a passion passed on.

A photographer's paradise.

In fact, so many things would be birthed in me due to his bush flying through the early 70s - photography, a love of remote wildernesses, and of course a deep passion for flying. As an amateur photographer, his camera was never far away, especially in the plane. Back in the early 70s, slide film was all the rage. He owned a projector too, and often on his return from adventures to the hinterland, the family were treated to a slide show of his adventures. 

A star-gazers paradise.

Also in that previous memoir mentioned, I wrote “Pictures of his Cessna 206 sitting on a golf course somewhere in Zambia while he sat at the clubhouse drinking tea (he buzzed them before landing, and the staff knew him and his love of tea, well), or images of the great Kuomboka (when the Lozi royals ceremonially move to high ground during the flood) long before it became a tourist attraction, and of course those mystical sunsets taken from the banks of the Zambezi, sometimes with rippled wakes creasing the surface as a mokoro lazily glided downstream. As children, we sat transfixed as larger-than-life images flicked on and off the lounge wall in time to the clunkity-thunk of the projector. The beamed light catching minute particles of dust hanging in the air to sparkle like stars before our eyes, were part of the magic, a magic I believed back then came directly out of the images themselves. Particularly, I remember a soft warm glow as those Zambezi images painted the walls.”

Promise of a new day.

One of the reasons I keep going back.

The business end.

In time, I too would become a pilot and visit some of the remotest sections of the river, flying as my father did just feet above the rippled surface, or soaring high above blue-gray floodplains in search of migrating animals. I gained a certain satisfaction from flying myself over the areas he once flew, even landing on remote strips he had recorded in his log book. There is no doubt that my passions for the Zambezi, photography, fishing and flying originated in those long-ago nighttime slide shows of a mighty river vividly painting lounge walls.  

There are few better ways to experience the river.

According to science, the Zambezi is believed to be the oldest river on this planet, once the continent’s - and in fact the world’s - super-river, unmatched by anything else. Like a diamond held to the light, her many facets bring something different to those who behold her beauty. From the dazzling Victoria Falls, to dinosaur fossils and prints, to the still living giants like elephant and rhino that inhabit her many landscapes, and the big names like Richard Branson who come to visit... there are few destinations quite like the Zambezi.   

Luxury Cruise sailing on  Lake Kariba.
Over a lifetime of traversing the Zambezi, I have met a great many people whose lives are also a part of this woven fabric. Men and women of vision whose grit has brought the secret places of the river closer to us. The people today who work and live along her banks offer a glimpse to visitors as they too find solace and reprieve in the cradle of this magnificent river. We are honored at Wild Zambezi to enjoy their support, bringing them and their love of the Zambezi closer to you.

It is a great privilege today to be joining the Wild Zambezi team and all that it represents. I am excited that I get to continue my journey, and hope all who happen upon us, join in experiencing one of Africa’s iconic rivers, a place where time can truly stand still - a place known as the Zambezi! 

Post a comment

Enter the three characters from the image on the right. This helps prevent automated 'bots' from submitting spam to the site. This field is NOT case-sensitive. If the characters are a bit hard to see, try refreshing the code by clicking the image.

Browse listings

Enter your details below to subscribe to the Wild Zambezi newsletter.


Enter your details below to subscribe to the Wild Zambezi newsletter.

* indicates required