The Zambezi Safari and Travel Company

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Safari Par Excellence
Safari Par Excellence

Safari Par Excellence
Riverboarding on the Zambezi River
Victoria Falls

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The first commercial river boarding operation was established in Queenstown, New Zealand by Jon Imhoof in 1989. Jon has joined the team at Safari Par Excellence to provide the most intense white water experience in the world: Zambezi Riverboarding.


The Zambezi River is to riverboarding what Hawaii is to surfing. The 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 sections of the river we operate on contain standing waves for surfing as well as exciting down river runs through wild water. The distances between rapids allow time to relax and prepare for the next challenge. The gorge itself varies between approximately 140 metres and 250 metres deep making for spectacular scenery.


Due to the steepness of the gorge wildlife is not abundant. On occasion Klipspringer, Rock Hyrax, Vervet monkeys and Baboon are spotted. However, the bird life is far more spectacular. Black Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Black Stork, Pied and Giant Kingfisher and Red Winged Starling are some of the birds normally seen during the trips. Sightings of the rare Taita Falcon are not uncommon. There are crocodile in the river, but they are small due to the unsuitability of the area for their habitation. We utilise a raft to cross any calm stretches where crocodile could be present.




07H30 - Safari Par Excellence office, Victoria Falls - corner Livingstone and Park Way.


08h00 - Mosi-O-Tunya Hotel, Livingstone - S.P.E. office.



A riverboarding trip is quite different from our other rafting trips in that a training programme is used to teach bodyboarding skills and to ensure clients have the necessary skills to safely enjoy each successive challenge on the river.

We also use shorter sections of the river as we tend to stop at "play spots" along the way to surf, ride "whirlies" and "squirt" (best described as "flying underwater"). First of all, clients must have basic swimming skills and a reasonable state of fitness as a minimum prerequisite. Basic skills are taught in still water and then we progress into moving water. At any point the client may opt out of the trip and ride in the support raft. Also, the trip leader may remove any client from the water and into the raft at any time if, in the trip leader's opinion, the client does not possess the necessary skills, fitness or mental state to safely continue the trip.

The length of the trip (e.g. half day and full day) and the number of rapids run depends on the level of water in the Gorge.



Minimum no of pax to confirm a trip: 4 pax

Maximum no of pax per trip: 16 pax



The minimum age is generally 15 years. Children under 15 may participate subject to consultation between parents and the trip leader. Maximum age is dependent on the individuals health, fitness and consultation with the trip leader.


No previous body boarding is necessary if good swimming skills are combined with a "GO FOR IT" attitude. A reasonable level of fitness is also required.


Expert guides, wet suits, booties, helmet, life jacket, fins, body board with wrist leash.


On the river our safety raft carries water and orange juice. At the top of the Gorge, at the end of the trip - complimentary soft drinks and beers are enjoyed.


Guides are fully trained professionals and hold a valid first aid certificate.

Clients must be made aware that any water activity contains some element of risk. A comprehensive first aid kit is carried on each trip. Each client is required to sign the Zambezi Riverboard indemnity form prior to departure. Our support raft also carries a radio for communication with our base in Victoria Falls and Livingstone and direct with MARS

(Medical Air Rescue Services).


Passports are required to cross the Zambian Border.

Zambian visas are required by non-common wealth passport holders. Visas can be obtained independently at the border post at a cost of US$ 10.00 per person. This cost is however included in the riverboarding rate.



UK Head Office
Ermington Mill, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9NT
Tel: +44 1548 830059 Fax: +44 870 094 1881
Mobile: +44 7900 582746

African Head Office
The Heights, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 61 3351  Fax: +263 61 2291
Cell: +263 91 343616 

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