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12-day Zambezi rafting adventure

Raft the majestic Zambezi River, surrounded by wild animals and beautiful views, alongside expert guide Laurence and his team. 12 days you'll never forget!

Duration12 days
Offer periodSep, Oct
Skill LevelFirst time
Fitness LevelOccasional
Type of tripNot specified

Description

The Zambezi River is one of Africa’s most iconic rivers, flowing from Angola all the way to the Indian Ocean. It has amazing white water rapids, warm swimming holes, and gorgeous views. Most of all, the river and its banks are teeming with incredible wildlife! So you can see why rafting the Zambezi River is the ultimate African adventure.

This unforgettable 12-day adventure includes a combination of activities, so you get the most out of your trip to the Bush. We will spend two days canoeing the upper Zambezi River, viewing hippos, giraffe, elephants and crocodiles. Then we will take four days to battle the country’s best whitewater rapids. Our river journey will end upstream of Victoria Falls, where we’ll relax and visit the falls. We’ll also bathe in the Devil’s Pool, a daring swimming spot right on the edge of the falls.

One of the highlights of the trip is the chance to appreciate the Zambezi region’s rich history of game viewing and preservation. In fact, the mighty river is a habitat and water source for many African animals. We’ll be visiting at the end of the dry season, when many animals visit the banks of the river to swim and frolic in its waters. Therefore, during the canoeing and rafting portions of the trip we’ll be able to observe wildlife at a short, but safe distance. We’ll also visit several game reserves, including Chobe National Park, which has an elephant population of over 120,000. This wildlife viewing experience is simply unparalleled.

I would love to take you to experience the power of the Zambezi on a 12-day rafting experience. We will visit Zimbabwe and Botswana, observe wildlife and game, and see some of the best natural areas on the continent. All this while staying in award-winning safari hotels and camping on white sand beaches.

If you think this sounds like the trip of a lifetime, well, you’re right! I have made a trip out of the best natural areas, best wildlife view areas, and best hotels. You’re going to love it. For more information, shoot me a message. I’m happy to answer any questions you have. 

If you think this sounds fun, you should also check out this rafting trip in Chile!

Accommodation

Three nights in the Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge, five nights camping, one night at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, two nights at the Elephant Camp.

Meeting point

I'll pick you up from the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and welcome

You will arrive at Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Zimbabwe, where I’ll meet you and take you about 40 km up river to the Imbabala Safari Lodge. You’ll have a chance to freshen up before a group welcome and briefing. Then we’ll take a relaxing sunset cruise, looking for game and enjoying the scenery. (Dinner is included- night at the Imbabala Safari Lodge)

Day 2: Game drives and walks

You can choose to go on a morning, afternoon, or evening drive to look for game. There’s also the option to take a walking safari, which will last about 3 hours and traverse about 5 km. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included – night at the Imbabala Safari Lodge)

Day 3: Day trip to Chobe National Park

We’ll take a day trip to Chobe National Park in northern Botswana, which has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. (B, L, D – night at the Imbabala Safari Lodge)

Day 4: Canoe safari

We’ll participate in a morning game activity followed by breakfast/brunch. Then we’ll transfer to Victoria Falls where you can take part in some optional activities like gorge swinging and bungee jumping. After lunch at The Wild Horizons Look Out Café, we’ll start our canoe safari. (B, L, D – night camping out on the bush)

Day 5: Canoe safari

We’ll continue paddling downstream until lunch on one of the islands. After lunch we’ll run class 2 rapids. Throughout the day we’ll be looking out for wildlife and enjoying swimming holes. (B, L, D- night at the riverside campsite)

Day 6: Canoe safari

We’ll paddle and run rapids all morning and then finish our canoe trek at the Devil’s Cataract, the far right slot on the mile wide Victoria Falls. We’ll take high tea at the Colonial Victoria Falls Hotel and then have the option to participate in more adrenaline activities. (B, L – night at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge)

Day 7: Rafting Boiling Pot to our beach camp

At 8:30 am we’ll begin our journey into the gorge right below the Victoria Falls. Our first day on the 60 km river journey is spent navigating some of the world’s most intense rapids. Our porters meet us with our gear at the first night’s camp. The beautiful white sand beach camp is the perfect place to relax with a beer while the guides cook dinner. (B, L, D – night at beach camp)

Day 8: Rafting deep into the Batoka Gorge

After the previous day’s warm up, today we enjoy rapids such as Oblivion and Overland Truck Eater. We’ll camp again on a beautiful sandy beach. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Moving downstream

We’ll raft further down the Batoka Gorge, battling rapids such as Wake up call, Open and Closed Season, and upper Moimba Falls. We’ll camp on yet another fantastic big sandy beach and relax after a moderately intense day of rafting. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Moimba camp to the Batoka Dam Site

Today we come across two un-raftable waterfalls, so we’ll lower the rafts into the pools below. We will then take a short hike to our transportation back to Victoria Falls. On the way back, we will travel through remote countryside, through villages and make a stop at a local school. We’ll finish the day at the deluxe Elephant Camp, which is perched on a private game reserve. It will be a great treat to stay at this luxury hotel after our descent of the Zambezi. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Devil's Pool

We’ll cross into Zambia by boat and head out to the middle of Victoria Falls and Livingstone Island. Then we’ll hike for a short distance to the edge of the Falls, where there’s some calm water and a rock outcropping. From here, we can climb into the famous Devil’s Pool, a natural formation that allows you to sit right on the edge of the falls. It is an incredible experience on our last full day. From there we head back to Elephant Camp for some free time to explore the reserve, buy souvenirs, or do some more adventure activities. We’ll have a farewell dinner all together that evening (B, L, D – night at Elephant Camp)

Day 12: Departure

With your mind full of great memories and your heart full of new experiences, I’ll take you back to the Victoria Falls Airport for a midday flight out. (Breakfast included)


About the guide

guide profile img

Born in Mexico and raised in the Netherlands, I moved to the US as a teenager. After finishing high school in San Francisco, I attended University of California at Berkeley, where I studied Political Economy of Industrial Societies. My love for rafting was born at the age of 17, in the South Fork of the American River in California.

Since then, I’ve been a river guide, expedition leader, safety kayaker and even Dutch oven chef in adventures all over the world — including Nepal, Chile, New Zealand, Siberia and Costa Rica, among many others. I was the USA Men’s Whitewater Rafting Team Captain from 1993 to 1999 and Safety Team Captain on the Futaleufú River in Chile at the 2000 World Rafting Championships.

I rock climb, mountain bike and do all the water sports you can imagine — from scuba diving to sailing and from swimming to kayaking and rafting — and have run over 50 rivers on six continents. When not in my second home of Chile, I live in Truckee, California, my favorite mountain playground. I speak Spanish, Dutch and English fluently.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 6186 each

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Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Transport during the trip

• Luggage transfer during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Price details

• Price is based on a double occupancy room.


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