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White Water Rafting trip on the Zambezi river Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa, 6th of September 1997

I made this White Water Rafting trip during my holiday in the Southern part of Africa. I have done two other Rafting trips before, one in the West of the U.S.A. on the Stanislau river in California near Yosemite NP and the other one in the East of the U.S.A. on the New-River in West-Virginia near the Appalachian Mountains. Those two trips were made at low water which means a lot of white water and a lot of excitement. I thought that those two trips were pretty rough till I experienced the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe. The rafting trip on this river starts just after the Victoria Falls, the worlds largest and most magnificent. Lucky for that, otherwise the rafting trip would have been ended just after the Victoria Falls ;-)

 vicfallssmall.jpg (4368 bytes)

At the start of the rafting trip we had to gather together with Shearwater which was organizing the trip. Here we got a brief introduction and the choice of going for the 'active' or the 'passive' trip. The active trip meant you had row for yourself and with the passive trip the guide was doing all the rowing and the passengers only had to brace themselves. I was going for the active trip because I think it is more fun. We were transported to the starting point of the trip by old yellow American schoolbusses. After arrival at the starting point we had to listen to a short informative talk and also they arranged who was going in which boat. Armed with life vest, paddle and helmet first we had to climb down to the valley. It turned out to be a hazardous descent because the slope was ver steep and slippery. At last everybody managed to get down to the Zambezi river, one way or the other, so we finally could start the rafting trip.

This rafting trip covers a distance of 27 kilometers, consisting of about 20 rapids. One of the rapids was of level 6 called "Commercial Suicide". It was obvious we would skip this rapid. All the rest of the rapids were of level 5, the highest for commercial purposes and very rough, except for two or three which were of level 4. I will name some of rapids we have survived. We started with the "Stairway to heaven". A better name would be "free fall to hell". After this one we got rapids called like "the Devil's Bowl", "Midnight Diner", "Overland Truck Eater", "The Mother", "The Terminator" and one of the last rapids called "Oblivion", where we tipped over for the third time. Well, the water temperature was not to bad and as long the alligators stayed out of the water it was OK. 

At the end of the rafting trip around 15:00 o'clock a surprise was waiting for us. What goes up, must come down. Well, vice versa was also valid. What goes down, must go up. So we had to climb out of the valley, after a very tiring rafting trip. At the top they were waiting for us. Here we could recover of this exciting day and have some soft drinks. Here below you can view some pictures of that exciting day.


          Hi there, we are still dry                           Let's row for a nice action picture !


There we go for rapid 8, 'Midnight Diner'              I'm not that hungry right now !!


There we go for rapid 18, 'Oblivion'                              It looks wet.... again....

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