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White-water rafting, Zambezi River, Victoria FallsI guarantee that white-water rafting on the Zambezi River will be one of the most exhilarating and memorable days of your life. It's not just the abundance of insane grade five rapids, but it's also the breathtaking beauty of the Batoka Gorge that packs a punch. The day starts with a very steep, knee-shaking climb down into the gorge, right at the foot of the Victoria Falls.  After a brief safety drill on the water, close to the "Boiling Pot", you're ready to conquer the twenty odd rapids that will churn, break, and attack you from all sides.

I have been lucky enough to run the Zambezi River four times now and only tipped once. Every rapid has a name, and it was "The Muncher" that caught me by surprise.  I swallowed more river water than I imagined possible and came out with a bruise on my arm the shape of Zimbabwe. I still booked my next full day raft the minute I had clambered back out of the gorge.

When the water is "low" (August - February) the rapids get even more feisty and your odds against flipping are high. Some of the drops into the rapids were enormous and honestly frightening to behold. The quicker you paddle in, the more chance you have on getting out unharmed at the other side. And with rapids called "Washing Machine" and "Oblivion"  no one tends to slack off on the paddling. So it's a physically exhausting day, but fantastic fun nevertheless.

Since you're on the river for a good 5-6 hours on a full-day raft, you get plenty of time to bond with your fellow rafters and that's always a highlight for me. Not only are you literally thrown together by swirling rapids, but there are quiet stretches between each rapid with plenty of time for conversation. The water is perfectly warm, so despite being wet all day, it's never cold. In fact I like to hop over the side and swim in the smaller rapids wherever possible. Last time I rafted, I spotted a crocodile sunning itself on a small river beach as I floated by on my back. "Don't worry, they're only small ones" said our guide. And that's why I love this part of the world.

More About: White-Water Rafting on the Zambezi l Bungee Jumping l Victoria Falls

October 29, 2013 at 5:19 am
(1) Tim H says:

I recently visited Livingstone and sampled the whitewater. Having rafted before in Canada I wanted to use an inflatable kayak on the Zambezi. It’s a very different experience. You get much more personal with the river (and flip a lot more). But that’s what is great about the Zambezi. Even if you flip the water is warm and the river, despite its epic rapids, is fairly safe. You don’t need to worry much about rocks or being stuck in the rapids on the Zambezi. It’s good fun.

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