One late-summer's morning way back in 1994, Faan Fourie took a long walk through the untamed and rough African bush east of the well-known Victoria Falls. He came upon a site so breathtakingly beautiful, that he felt it would be a wrongdoing not to share it with others. The view before him was the grandeur of the Batoka gorge in its entire splendor 230m deep, embracing the swirling waters of the Zambezi River in its depths.
And so it was that in 1995, Faan and his wife Anmarie took on the challenging task of building Taita Falcon Lodge where no road existed and with no Hardware Store around the corner to go to for building material. Undeterred and using indigenous materials from the surrounding bush, they meticulously set about making their dream a reality and the lodge slowly took shape. A self-taught carpenter from a nearby rural village was appointed to make the necessary furniture. This he did all by hand, from the chopping of a suitable tree, sawing the logs with a pit saw and producing the finished product with the very basic of tools.
The passion with which Faan and Anmarie built Taita Falcon Lodge is still very alive today and they have since seen many people from all over the world come and go. It is a way of life for them, and with infinite love and care, and with the help of friends and dedicated and loyal staff members they continually upgrade and upkeep this eco-friendly lodge that they created.
Besides the awesome setting surrounding Taita Falcon Lodge and its rustic luxury and comfort, the ambience and aura of the hosts and staff is what brings people back to Taita time and again. Faan is a host that leaves nothing wanting. From the moment you meet Faan, with his socially, vivacious personality, you feel you are in good hands as the laughter rolls and sheer optimism and a joy for life bubbles out of the man. Faan's passion has certainly rubbed off on his staff too, and you will always find them smiling and eager to please the clients. It is all of the above that makes Taita Falcon Lodge stand out so uniquely from commercial lodges and if beauty, grandeur, personal attention and a passion for life are on your list, then this is your Lodge of choice!
Taita Falcon Lodge is stunningly perched 230m above the Zambezi on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, 11km. from the Victoria Falls, and is a unique bush experience. Owner managed, the lodge's focus is on providing personalized service to each individual client.
The recent geological history of Victoria Falls can be seen in the form of the gorges below the falls. The basalt plateau over which the Upper Zambezi flows has many large cracks filled with weaker sandstone. In the area of the current falls the largest cracks run roughly east to west (some run nearly north-east to south-west), with smaller north-south cracks connecting them.
Over at least 100,000 years, the falls have been receding upstream through the Batoka Gorges, eroding the sandstone-filled cracks to form the gorges. The river's course in the current vicinity of the falls is north to south, so it opens up the large east-west cracks across its full width, then it cuts back through a short north-south crack to the next east-west one. The river has fallen in different eras into different chasms which now form a series of sharply zig-zagging gorges downstream from the falls.
The principal gorges are:
Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and the major waterfall on the Zambezi River in Africa. It is famous for being the largest waterfall in the world, in the wet season. The African people who live around the falls call it Mosi-oa-Tunya which means "smoke that thunders". The water makes a roaring noise as it falls over the cliff and down into the Zambezi River below. A cloud of water vapor is always seen around the falls.
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Forget Victoria Falls themselves, the place of this lodge is surreal and absolutely breathtaking! Looking down into the deep gorge of Zambezi River from the terrace by the dining area, is the best view you could ever get.
We had an amazing time at Taita Falcon Lodge and every last detail was harmonious: from the gorgeous view and delicious meals, to the hot water bottle at night and pre-breakfast coffee at the chalet in the morning.
There are plenty of activities in the area and the lodge is happy to help arrange everything for you. Transport to the lodge is a little far (40mins from Livingstone), and I'd recommend to spend one full day at the lodge (spiced up with a Cultural Village Tour in the neighbouring village).
Kathi K, Vancouver, Canada