Zambezi Dream: Whitewater Kayaking on the Zambezi River
Kayaking in Zambia with Water By Nature Ltd
- Relax and enjoy a ride on the African Queen, which offers great wildlife viewing opportunities
- Dive into some of the best whitewater rafting in the world on the mighty Zambezi River
- Experience exhilarating rapids like "Stairway to Heaven" and "The Gnashing Jaws of Death”
The Zambezi has a mythical reputation with its rivergod, Nyaminyami, taking care of all who paddle the magnificent Batoka Gorge.
Not many conversations about kayaking go very far without mention of the Mighty Zambezi. What many people don't realise is that the vast majority of the trip is Class 3 with the odd Class 4... and it's all warm water! This makes it attainable to most paddlers with a solid roll. In order that you will get the most from your time on the river we have designed a trip where your skills will improve as the trip progresses, finishing with a stunning multi-day trip and a spectacular helicopter flight back to town. This is your chance to paddle the rapids made famous by top international paddlers, all under the expert tuition of world class instructors.
- Transfers to and from Livingstone Airport to the hotel
- Accommodation in town in a tourist hotel
- All transfers to the river
- A spectacular helicopter ride from The Moembas to Waterfront Lodge
- All meals from breakfast on day two to breakfast on day seven
- All kayaking equipment (please feel free to bring any of your own gear)
- Tented accommodation whilst on the river
- All camping equipment including thermarest style mattresses and chairs (sleeping bags excluded)
- Qualified and experienced guides and safety kayakers
- All necessary permits and licenses
- A cool Water By Nature T-shirt
- Departure taxes
- Travel insurance
- Sleeping bags
- Video or dvd of your trip
- Personal items
- Meals in town
Day by Day Itinerary
Flights generally arrive in to Livingstone around midday. You will be met by a Water By Nature guide, who will escort you to your hotel to make sure that you get settled in and comfy. The remainder of the day is yours to explore or to relax and catch up on sleep! However you have to get over civilization somehow, so what better place to start than a leisurely look at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. One can never be jaded by them and your guides, perhaps visiting them for the umpteenth time, will still be seen staring in awe at their magnificence. The chasm, is a myriad of beauty with its vivid rainbows and it's fascinating whitewater pounding deep below. Just remember rapids look a lot smaller from up above! Early evening we have organized a trip on the African Queen, which cruises the Upper Zambezi River. Relax and enjoy a drink and snacks whilst viewing hippos and elephants at close range. On occasion we might also see buffalo or other wildlife. Time to watch your first African sunset. It is a great way to unwind and get in to your holiday mood! That evening there is a pre-trip get together where some of your equipment is given out and we run through the plan for the next 9 days. Sleep tight for The Mighty Zambezi awaits...
Not Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunset Cruise.
Your first day of whitewater on the Zambezi. We meet for breakfast at the rather leisurely time of 9 am. With all valuables locked up safely in the hotel, it is now time to kit out your kayaks and head to the Batoka Gorge. We drive to the top of the river and walk in at rapid 10. A chance to paddle the lower section of the river up to Rapid 21. The Batoka Gorge provides a great backdrop for our comprehensive safety briefing should you make an untimely exit from your boat. Our first day on the river takes on the easier rapids of the Zambezi and gives
you time to refresh your paddling techniques in the warm water. Trips are timed to give you the best chance at surfing the world class 12B! Overnight at our hotel.
Included: All meals
We have a hearty breakfast and head to today's put in right beneath Victoria Falls. The Falls provide a great backdrop to the start of this day, here we load the gear boat and take time to enjoy the splendor of this unique location. We enjoy a lunch together beneath the falls before taking on some of the best rapids on the planet! It is good bye Vic Falls and hello Mighty Zambezi. The first rapid "Morning Glory" definitely pry's the eyelids open! Following around the corner, is one of the biggest commercially run rafting rapids in the world, "Stairway to Heaven", down the middle and hold on tight in a kayak! "The Devil's Toilet Bowl" and "Gullivers Travels" follow before we get to the fantastic "Midnight Diner" featuring one of the biggest waves that you will ever see on a river. Shortly after, we walk around the rapid "Commercial Suicide", the first of several portages on the river. This is where we carry our kayaks around this unrunnable rapid. This is a great place to take photos, as are several other spots where we take time out to grab our cameras from the water tight boxes on the gear boat and shoot away. "The Gnashing Jaws of Death" provides a suitable whitewater finale before we float in to camp to spend the evening sitting around recounting usually in a fairly exaggerated fashion, our exploits of the day. It is now time to relax, watch the sun disappear behind the basalt cliffs and to enjoy our first night under the stars.
Included: All meals
Waking up on the beautiful sandy beach next to the Zambezi our guides might bring you a tea or coffee in your tent! After breakfast we load our gear raft with all provisions for the rest of the trip. We get straight back into it with "Creamy White Buttocks" and "The Mother" - the guides will try and explain just where these names came from and what exactly they mean! We run the same section we ran on our first day, stopping to enjoy another surf at 12B. A chance to play up for the videographer, who accompanies all our trips. Later on in the day, we have one of the most thrilling rapids on the whole trip to look forward to - number 18 also called "Oblivion". It isn't the first wave that gets you, nor the second, but the third rather HUGE crashing wave that normally has all the video vultures and photographers standing ready with poised cameras to capture all the fun. We make base a little further down while watching the incredibly graceful fish eagles soar above us as dusk falls. With G & T's in hand we prepare dinner and look forward to our next day, with yes can you believe it even more outstanding whitewater!
Included: All meals
"Morning Shower" wakes us up in the conventional fashion to what we are becoming accustomed. The river begins to open out a bit more but that doesn't mean that the rapids get any smaller especially with one of the more technical and exhilarating rapids, "Open Season" to conquer today! We sample a huge adrenaline rush before lunch which is a certain recipe to inspire hunger in order to polish off the freshly prepared salads. Later on it is time for "Chamamba" and "Upper Moemba". What a great campsite we have around the corner from where you can take a walk and look at the beauty of "Lower Moemba" as you enjoy your sundowners and again recount the days tales!
Included: All meals
We'll have a relaxed breakfast and if you wish, we can paddle again the amazing Upper Moemba before you get lifted out by helicopter back to Livingstone. We enjoy some ice cold drinks brought by the helicopter and then a scrumptious riverside lunch. After such a brilliant trip, there is no better way to finish than with a spectacular half hour helicopter flight back through the Batoka Gorge getting a bird's eye view of the rapids, to Waterfront Lodge. We have a welcome shower before meeting together to share all our experiences over dinner that night. Don't be surprised if you don't recognize each other as after 5 days of getting used to unshaven faces and unkempt hair it is quite the shock to see how well people scrub up! We stay on the Upper River at Waterfront Lodge for the night situated on the banks of the Zambezi. A stunning balcony overlooking the river, is a great backdrop for sundowners! Well done you have kayaked one of the ‘10 Classic River Trips' in the world and believe us you will feel exhilarated for having done so!
Included: All meals
Rest Day. We transfer into town and check out a few more of the activities available in the Falls. Microlight flights, bungy jumping, gorge swinging, abseiling, the list is endless. The day is yours.
Today, we have a BLAST! All the best rapids in one day as a finale to your trip. Paddle from Number One (The Wall) to Number 18 (Oblivion) and paddle what is arguably the best day run of kayaking anywhere in the world. We have a post trip meal in town.
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Time to cruise around town and do that last minute retail therapy before boarding your flight back home... There are great wooden carvings to take home, a hippo for your mother-in-law?
About The Operator:
Water By Nature Ltd
Water By Nature grew out of a passion for running rivers and taking a bunch of like-minded people to remote and exciting parts of the world. It was founded by kiwi, Hamish McMaster, who had spent many years guiding the best rivers around the globe, in such countries as Nepal, Zambia, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, America and Europe. His vision was to start a company dedicated to providing safe, fun, exciting and cultural trips for clients and guides alike. He leads a team of world-renowned river professionals, who have helped him to realize this vision. Water By Nature is now the rafting specialist of the world. Our classic river journeys stand alongside climbing Kilimanjaro and trekking the Inca Trail in their appeal to the most avid adventurers. Our palette of river journeys reflect that we raft the best rivers in the world, and with 80% of our clients returning for a second trip, we must be doing something right! Many clients have expressed their amazement that a river journey entails so much more than just the river. Rafting has long been plagued by the myth that it is dangerous, extreme and only for adrenaline junkies. Rafting is our profession, so we take it seriously. We are serious about safety, about good food, good times and serious about fun! We offer trips to suit all ages and abilities - it is not about fitness, it is about fun. Our youngest client to date was 6 years old, and our most mature was a 73 year old blind chap, who did a 7-day Zambezi trip! (He was not into the scenery, but loved getting wet).
Our office staff will be able to answer all your questions, whether it be about visas, flights or hippos. Our river crews have a level of experience that is unmatched in the white water industry. They will navigate you safely down the river, and fill you with knowledge of wildlife and local customs. They will also keep you amused with a few river stories from their years exploring the world.