The rapids that rage along the Zambezi are a natural roller coaster powered by white water and an overzealous Mother Nature. This extreme adrenalin adventure will leave your arms aching, your heart racing and your mind blown.

The rapids that rage along the Zambezi are a natural roller coaster powered by white water and an overzealous Mother Nature. This extreme adrenalin adventure will leave your arms aching, your heart racing and your mind blown.

 

Commercial rafting first started on the Zambezi River in 1981 and since then this activity has grown in popularity to the point where a rafting trip on the Zambezi is now a regular feature in many tourist itineraries.  Spectacular scenery, sunshine, warm water and superb rapids all make this one of the greatest white water rafting venues in the world.

 

The Zambezi River is classified as a high volume; pool-drop river i.e. there is little exposed rock either in the rapids or the pools below the rapids.  The distance between rapids varies from 100 meters to 2 km’s.  The river drops about 400ft over the 24km covered in the one-day raft trip and the depth of the river can reach 200ft.

General information: 

  • Minimum 4 pax - Maximum is 100 on request

  • Minimum age is 15 years – there is no child rate.  Proof may be requested

  • The top section of the Batoka Gorge, rapids 1 – 10, includes the highest concentration of grade 4 and 5 rapids anywhere in the world. (Morning and full day trips)

  • Rapids 11 - 25 is slightly less challenging and is of a lower grade (afternoon and full day trips).  However, depending on water levels this section can also produce several grade 5 rapids as well.

  • Average fitness is required for rafting - no previous experience is required

  • Being able to swim is not essential but preferable.

  • Clients are advised not take any valuables with them on the river.

  • Please note that rafting can close between January and June for safety reasons due to water levels being too high.

  • All clients are covered by Specialty Emergency Services (S.E.S) through the operator; however this only covers them for emergency evacuation in life threatening situations.  It does not cover hospitalisation and medication.  As such travel and medical insurance is compulsory for all clients.  Please ensure all clients bring the details of their insurance policy with them.  The Operators will not cover clients should they not have insurance

OPTION:  HIGH WATER– Rapids #11 - #25: 

The “High Water” rafting season runs approximately from the middle of January to middle of July, depending upon the water level each year.

  • Guest hike down into the gorge at rapid #7, #10 or #14 (this has a gradient of 1 in 3, it is fairly steep and tricky) a person of average fitness can manage this in approximately 20 minutes. 

  • At the end of the trip at rapid #25 a gondola cable car will transfer guests up the 750ft Batoka Gorge

OPTION:  LOW WATER– Rapids #1 - #25: 

The “Low Water” Rafting Season runs approximately from the middle of July to the middle of January, depending upon the water level - each year this can change as and when levels increase or decrease.

OPTION:  Low water full day – Rapids #1 - #25: 

  • Guest hike down into the gorge at rapid #1 to the Boiling Pot.

  • At the end of the trip at rapid #25 a gondola cable car will transfer guest up the 750ft Batoka Gorge

OPTION:  Low water morning half day – Rapids #1 - #10: 

  • Guest hike down into the gorge at rapid #1 to the boiling pot.

  • Guest hike out of the gorge at rapid #10 (this has a gradient of 1 in 3, it is fairly steep and tricky) a person of average fitness can manage this in approximately 30 minutes. 

OPTION:  Low water afternoon half day– Rapids #11 - #25

  • Guest hike down into the gorge at rapid #10 (this has a gradient of 1 in 3, it is fairly steep and tricky) a person of average fitness can manage this in approximately 20 minutes. 

  • At the end of the trip at rapid #25 a gondola cable car will transfer guest up the 750ft Batoka Gorge

River boarding and Rafting: 

Just you against the Zambezi… are you up for it?

Take on the meanest Zambezi rapids with flippers and a boogie board. Challenge the huge rapids and yourself on this extreme adventure that combines with rafting to ensure an exhilarating experience.

Not all the rapids are river board friendly, so these are tackled through a raft or portage.

Full Day River Boarding / Rafting Combination Trip…runs during the Low season only. Not all the rapids are suitable for river boarding so the trip offers both rafting and river boarding in a full day excursion, from rapid #1-19 depending on the water level and where the best surfing spots are at the time.​

Clients MUST be good swimmers and understand and speak English for safety reasons.

 

Excursion Includes:

  • Bottled water on the raft

  • Helmets / life jackets

  • Wet suits in the winter

  • Park fees (applicable for full day and am half day low water rafting)

  • Lunch and soft drinks taken either at rapid #10 and/or at the end of the trip depending whether it is a full day or half day trip

  • Return transfers from hotels within Livingstone


What you need to bring

  • Camera (GoPro or similar) is completely at the clients risk. Taking a normal camera on a rafting trip is not advisable. Photos are done by the Operators photographer in a kayak.

  • Hat/Cap, sunglasses

  • Sunscreen and mosquito repellent (optional)

  • Comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet

  • Swimsuit / shorts and T Shirt.

  • Some money should you wish to purchase the DVD / pictures of your trip

Pick up times from the Day Activity Centre:

  • AM low water:  Pick up 08h30 / 08h45 – return ± 13:30. 

  • PM low water:  Pick up 10h30 / 10h45 – return ± 17:00. 

  • Full day low water:  Pick up 08h30 / 08h45 – return ± 17:00

  • High water:  Pick up 08h30 / 08h45– return ± 15:30. 

  • Pick up times for other Livingstone lodges and hotels may vary

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