White Water Rafting
The Zambezi River, below Victoria Falls, is the setting for some the world’s best, and most exhilarating one-day white water rafting. Over 24 formidable rapids are featured in this deep channelled, high volume stretch of river, as it carves its way through the magnificent Batoka Gorge.
Commercial rafting on the Zambezi River first commenced in 1981. Since then, this activity has grown massively in popularity, so much so that a trip to Victoria Falls is almost incomplete without a day of white water rafting.
The daunting rapids of the Zambezi River range from Grade III to Grade V, promising a wild and unforgettable ride. Due do the difficulty, length and violence of the white water, Grade V is the highest possible commercial grading. During the low-water season, the Zambezi River offers some of the finest Grade V rapids in the world – six in total.
While classed as Grade III or IV, daunting rapids such as Oblivion, Stairway to Heaven, The Mother, The Terminator and The Gnashing Jaws of Death offer up a considerable challenge.
What to Expect
Three of the rapids are classified as Grade VI, and are therefore, unrunnable: Commercial Suicide, Lower Moemba and Chabango Falls. To avoid these rapids, guides and rafters carry the boat along the edge of the gorge. While it is possible to run the Zambezi River without flipping a raft, it’s not common. It is a powerful, large volume river that presents a fun, yet challenging white water rafting experience.
The intensity of the rapids is directly determined by the water level of the Zambezi River. Simply put, lower water levels translates to more emphatic thrills. This is due to the fact that rocks are closer to the surface. If you’re booking your trip to Victoria Falls with a white water rafting expedition in mind, do so during the Low Water Season (September – December) for the very best water level. During certain times of the year, however, white water rafting is deemed unsafe, due to an extremely high volume of water making its way through the Batoka Gorge. Usually, the closed period is from April – June, but this varies, so make sure to check before your trip!
A number of tour operators in Victoria Falls and Livingstone offer white water rafting along the Zambezi River. Take your pick from half day, full day and two, five and eight multi-day trips. No previous experience is required for this activity, and you don’t need to be a proficient swimmer. However, at the end of the any of the rafting trips you’ll have to navigate a steep 250m climb out of the gorge, which requires a fair amount of fitness. A cable lift is available for trips from the Zambian, should you have any fitness issues.
US$160 per person
US$150 per person + US$10 Park Fee
07h15 to 14h30
What to Bring:
- Swimsuit and/or swim shorts
- A baseball-style cap
- Sturdy sandals or shoes
- Water bottle
- Carabiner for fastening water bottle to the boat
- T-Shirt/long-sleeved shirt for sun protection
- Go-Pro (optional – but encouraged!)
Few experiences are more memorable than spending the day wrestling the iconic Zambezi River rapids, so what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Victoria Falls with Vic Falls Accommodation, today.