How to organise a whitewater rafting trip down the Zambezi River

Posted by Kerry Peers on 23 January 2013

Ever dreamed of experiencing the beautiful Zambezi River as first hand as it gets? Here is a guide (based on a recent whitewater rafting trip I did with Safari Par Excellence) to the basics of planning a whitewater rafting trip down the Zambezi.

How to get there:

I flew to Livingstone from OR Tambo International Airport with British Airways. Return flights cost from R 3 144 return. For bookings visit www.britishairways.com.  South African Airlines also conducts flights to the Livingstone airport daily.

Where to stay:

There is a range of accommodation options in Livingstone, varying from absolute luxury to staying on a budget.

On my first night in Livingstone I stayed in one of six river facing twin chalets at the Zambezi Waterfront. They also offer executive double chalets, family chalets, 24 permanent tents in the Adventure Village as well as a campsite for travellers with their own tents. Social activities take place at the roofed restaurant and bar alongside a clear and inviting swimming pool. The evening atmosphere is vibey and there are plenty of fellow travellers happy to share a drink and have a chat.  Supper was served during a sunset cruise on the river above the falls aboard the MV Makumbi. Rates start at $ 70 (roughly R 600) a person a night sharing. For more information and bookings visit www.thezambeziwaterfront.com

On my last night in Livingstone, after spending three nights on the river, I welcomed the understated luxury of the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa. I stayed in one of the 77 en-suite rooms overlooking the river. The lodge boasts an outdoor restaurant and infinity pool right on the edge of the river; a health and beauty spa; and the Lady Livingstone river cruiser. Following a cocktail at the Ujiji Bar, I ate a delicious three-course dinner in the upstairs Kalai Restaurant.  Rates start at $ 261 (roughly R 2 200) a person a night sharing, includes breakfast.  For more information and bookings visit  www.thedavidlivingstone.com

Who to go with:

My trip down the Zambezi River was organised by Safari Par Excellence (SafPar). The company offers a wide range of adventure activities  on and round the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi. They operate from the Zambezi Waterfront on the Zambian side of the river. For more information and bookings visit www.safpar.com

I did a three-and-a-half day / three-night white water rafting trip and enjoyed every moment of it. This trip costs 4 900 000 kwacha (roughly R 8 000) and includes all meals, equipment, guides and accommodation whilst on the river.

Need to Know:

The currency of Zambia is the Kwacha (1 Rand is equal to about 600 Kwacha), but most businesses accept rands and dollars, so it is not necessary to exchange money.

You are required to have a yellow fever shot prior to travelling to Zambia.






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