The Zambezi Safari and Travel Company

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Safari Par Excellence
White Water Rafting

Safari Par Excellence
White Water Rafting

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Commercial rafting first commenced on the Zambezi River in 1981. This activity has grown in popularity to the point where a rafting trip on the Zambezi is now a regular feature in most tourists' itineraries. In 1996 approximately 50 000 people enjoyed white water rafting on the Zambezi on a stretch of water that is now internationally acclaimed as the best one-day white water rafting trip available 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 distances between rapids vary from 100 metres to 2 km. The Gorge itself is approximately 400ft deep at the launch site and 750ft at the take-out point. The river drops about 400 ft over the 24 km covered in the one day raft trip and the depth of the river can reach 200ft. The British Canoe Union has classified the river as Grade 5 - "extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, steep gradients, big drops and pressure areas". Nearly half of the rapids negotiated are Grade 5. (Grade 6 is unrunnable - rapid Number 9, "Commercial suicide" is a grade 6 rapid and we porter around this rapid).


Due to the steepness of the Gorge, wildlife is not abundant. On occasion Klipspringer, Rock Hyrax, Vervet monkeys and Baboon are spotted. The birdlife is spectacular however. 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 very 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.


The ONE DAY trip runs year round subject to river levels.

Safari Par Excellence operates from both sides of the Zambezi River.

High Water run - approximately 15 January to 14 July

Low Water run - approximately 15 July to 14 January.

The popularity of the Low Water Rafting run on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River is due to the opportunity of experiencing the incredible view of the Victoria Falls from the Boiling Pot.

Your qualified professional oarsman will ensure that your 15 minute "Float of Angels" is a truly breathtaking and memorable start to your white water rafting adventure.

During the Low Water season Safari Par Excellence offers a 2.5 day trip to the Batoka Dam site (approximately 120 km).

Tailor-made multi-day trips are available on request during the Low Water season.


There is no minimum number of pax. Large groups on request.


The minimum age is 15 years. The maximum age limit is dependent on the individual's general state of health and physical fitness.


No previous rafting experience is required and clients need not be proficient swimmers. At the beginning and at the end of the raft trip clients have to negotiate a steep path in and out of the Gorge. The walk out is 750 vertical feet up a gradient of 1 in 3, and a reasonably fit person can manage this in about 20 minutes.


The company uses some of the finest equipment on the market to ensure that the trip is a safe and enjoyable one. Rafts are purchased from either African River Kraft or Avon in Wales which are the tried and tested river rafts required for the Zambezi River. America's Cup high flotation life jackets and Protec safety helmets are issued to clients before the day's rafting. Long sleeved wet suits are provided and usually used by clients during the colder months (June/July).


Tea and coffee is supplied at the meeting point prior to departure. On the river each raft carries water and orange cordial. A generous lunch is provided at a picturesque spot on the banks of the river. At the top of the Gorge, at the end of the trip, complimentary soft drinks, cordials and beers are enjoyed.


Guides are fully trained professionals and all hold valid first aid certificates. Whilst every precaution is taken, it is essential that clients be fully aware that there is a risk of injury associated with the activity of rafting on the Zambezi. A comprehensive first aid kit and sked stretcher are carried on each trip. Each client is required to sign the Safari Par Excellence White Water Rafting indemnity form prior to departure. Each trip leader is in radio communication with base in Victoria Falls and Livingstone and with MARS (Medical Air Rescue Service).




Low water - 08h00 (Rapids 1 - 18)

High water - 08h00 (Rapids 11 - 23)


All Safari Par Excellence rafting trips meet at our office on the corner of Livingstone Way and Parkway, otherwise transfers are available from all Victoria Falls Hotels on request. Clients are requested to reconfirm pick up times and hotels with our Victoria Falls office 24 hours before departure.


Whilst on the River, videos and photographs are taken by "Zambezi Memories". Rafting videos and photographs will be shown at "The Elephants Walk" that evening.

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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