1. Having lunch UNDER Victoria Falls
The view is quite literally jaw-dropping. Your very first lunch on the multi-day rafting trip is served under Victoria Falls – as you sit and eat, the spray cools your back. Look up to see one of the world’s natural wonders in her full glory and hear the squeals of bungee jumpers as they leap off Victoria Falls Bridge. If you fancy a swim, there is a beautifully still pool just metres away where you can cool off. This part of Victoria Falls is only accessible with a professional guide and not many get to munch lunch here.
Lunch with a view – below the mighty Falls
2.Shooting the Rapids
Paddling down the Zambezi may be tiring, but the adrenaline fuels you on. As you approach a rapid you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach, the horizon of the rapid appears and below you, you can hear the water roaring like a hungry beast. The Zambezi is alive, powerful and demands the utmost respect. Witness the water painting the rocks, shaping and moulding them into ever-changing artworks. Considered one of the best stretches of commercially run river in the world, Batoka Gorge provides one of the most intense sensory thrills imaginable. Its 25 white-water rapids and striking scenery deep within the sheer black cliffs afford the adrenaline junkie a wild roller-coaster ride along a route carved over millennia by the Great Zambezi. As your guide expertly reads the river and chooses a line into the surging, racing rapid – hold on tight for the ride of a lifetime. Bobbing about, water flying everywhere, people laughing and screaming, boats flipping and paddlers swimming. And then it’s all calm again. That’s the beauty of the Zambezi.
3. Sleeping under the African Stars
There is always the option to sleep in a tent, but I opted for white sands and an African starlit sky. Being down in the Batoka Gorge means there is no light pollution, so the stars appear extra vivid and bright… it’s totally mesmerising. There is something special about stars and a fire – and it doesn’t take long before my fellow raft crew start recounting incredible stories and life experiences. There is nothing quite like an African folk tale or travellers story to put all the bushbabies to sleep. To top it off when the morning arrives, you slowly emerge to a glorious auburn sunrise as it creeps along the river softly nudging the gorge and its sleepy inhabitants awake.
Camp set-up above rapid no. 10
4. Seeing Moemba Falls
On the third and final night you are treated to a smorgasbord of treats just above Moemba Falls, the song of the thundering water serenading you as your lips touch your ice-cold gin and tonic and your eyes peer into the sunset. This view can only be accessed by raft, making it that much more special – only a select handful of people can say they have witnessed the might of the Moemba Falls.
Enjoying a cold-one above Moemba Falls
5. Disconnect in order to reconnect
For many, the true treasure of a Safpar multi-day rafting trip is the total isolation and separation from our fast-paced lives and the exploration of our natural world. There’s no news, emails or cellphones out here. Here you engage with your crew, your surroundings and with yourself. Soak it up, soak it in. The rarity of being provided the space to escape is a unique privilege and I highly recommend a visit to this modern-day Narnia.
Rafts parked for the night at rapid no.10
BOOK A TRIP : Safari Par Excellence (SAFPAR) have been rafting the Mighty Zambezi since 1988! The passion, experience and culture of their rafting team is second to none. Safpar is currently the only company on the Zambezi with a 100% guide certification under the International Rafting Federation. All guides are fully trained professionals and hold valid advanced first aid certificates. Safpar offer both Full Day, Overnight and Multi-Day Rafting Trips. www.safpar.com