White water rafting in the Zambezi at Victoria Falls
₤ 104 (Pps)
For years Victoria Falls has been associated with white water rafting, available on both the Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambian) side of the Falls. The rafting takes you through some of the most exciting rapids in the world. It alternates with quieter periods between rapids when you can drift along and appreciate the breath-taking gorge scenery.
Make no mistake, this is an adrenalin-filled adventurous activity with an element of risk. So, we recommend you are reasonably fit as there is a fairly steep walk into & out of the Batoka Gorge. Plus, the white water rafting activity itself is quite intense. The rapids on the Zambezi River are officially defined as Grade 5 by the British Canoe Union (Grade 6 is commercially un-runnable!). Therefore, no children under 15 years are allowed.
The key thing to note is that there are various trips on offer – depending on the time of year and the water levels. Low water rafting runs from about mid July to the end of January. The best months are usually August and September. High water rafting runs approximately from the end of January to mid July. Which rapids you run, and the number, depends partly on whether it is low or high water.
Low Water Rafting
A full day white water rafting trip includes approximately 21 rapids, lunch and takes about 8 ½ hours in the day, including the strenuous walk out of the gorge and the transfer back to your hotel (8.30am to 5pm).
An advantage of the full day rafting is that you don’t have to climb out of the gorge at the end of the day – instead, you can opt to take the cable car lift at the end, or even a helicopter lift out. (If you take the half day option you have to hike out and believe us – it’s steep!) The afternoon ends with a cold drink or beer.
A half-day white water rafting trip in the morning takes in rapids 1 – 10 and includes breakfast, light lunch and drinks for the climb out. It lasts from approximately 8.30am to 1.30pm. The afternoon white water rafting trip includes lunch, rapids 11 – 21, and drinks for the climb out. It starts at 11.30am and ends at 5pm.
The half day options are only available during the low water season (mid July to January) as in the high water season the water runs so swiftly that half days are too short.
High Water Rafting
During the High Water Season you raft only the later rapids with a lunch break. This section of the river flows swiftly and features huge wave trains and whirlpools. As the river flows fast, the trip doesn’t take the full day. You raft only rapids 10 to 25 with a lunch break. You start at 8.30am and finish approximately 2pm or earlier, depending on how fast the river is running…
Note: If the water levels are too high, the river is closed for safety reasons and your trip is refunded.
Swimming under the Spray (August to December only)
You can also swim under the spray of the Victoria Falls itself. You walk into the gorge at the usual starting point and are then paddled across the Boiling Pot to right below the Falls where you have the chance to swim and enjoy the unique perspective from the bottom of the gorge. This can then be followed by the white-water rafting trip as above.
Please contact our offices for more detailed prices. The price below is for a full day rafting. You can opt to do a combination of river rafting and boarding.
Note: A river usage fee of $10 is payable in addition to the price given above.