The Barotse floodplain is located in the river kingdom of the Lozi people. They have a colourful history with Britain and annually celebrate the more than 300 year old Kuomboka Ceremony where the King of Barotseland (dressed in a replica of a British Admiral’s uniform) is carried to his high-ground palace at Limulunga. A colorful flotilla of hundreds of dugout canoes (Makora) accompanies the Nalikwanda, a royal barge decorated in zebra stripes. The barge is driven by 120 paddlers dressed in animal skins, ostrich plumes and colourful materials, and serenaded by a full on board royal orchestra of xylophones and drums. The ceremony is an incredible sight to behold and very few non-Lozi have had the privilege to experience it live.
Another gem this area keeps secret is that it is the Tiger Fishing capital of the world where stories about the size of the catch are never exaggerated – even though it may be hard to believe.
In season, guests can travel to Sioma, the site of the Manketti nut production plant. There, guests can sample Manketti-based products, go on a factory tour and even take home some delicious and packed full of goodness Manketti merchandise.
The crowning glory of the Whispering Sands area is the undisputed beauty of the so-called ‘glassy rocks’ of the Sioma Waterfalls. Formed thousands of years ago through the combination of the molten lava from a volcanic eruption and the abundant silica sand in the area, the rocks that make up the falls have a jewel-like quality, gleaming and silken in the sunlight. The area also boasts amazing stretches of ‘beach’. In flood season when the river is in full spate and kayakers careen over its edges, the falls appear as a mere rapid, but in the dry season, the beautiful jeweled rocks of the Sioma falls are a stunning sight. Even the famous explorer David Livingstone said of this area, “viewed from the mass of rock which overhangs the fall (Sioma Falls), the scenery was the loveliest I had seen”.
The area is a geological splendor and the rich and diverse landscape makes it an absolute must-explore for avid geologists with precious stones and fossils to discover.