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Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

Pretoria, South...
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Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

I have always dreamed of doing white water rafting on the Zambezi and this December we got our opportunity. It was and amazing exhilarating experience but there are a few thing you need to be aware of about the day and before you go

We did the day trip on the Zim side

1. It is dangerous and people have lost their lives doing it - this in not to discourage anyone and part of the experience but if you are scared easily this is definitely not for you

2. The pickup is early morning, between 6 and 6:30. Make sure you eat something, preferably a full breakfast - if your hotel does not serve breakfast at that time pre arrange for something to eat or buy something the previous day. It is a long day from here and you won’t get anything to eat until lunch time. They used to stop half way for lunch but this is not the case anymore.

3. The walk down to the river is STEEP, down the gorge and very intimidating. Do not try and do this in slops - wear a good pair of sneakers with proper grip that you don’t mind getting wet. Wear comfortable clothes – shorts and a t-shirt is best

4. They do not serve the tea or coffee before the trip.

5, Make sure you constantly drink water - we started too late as the water was on the other raft. They take water along for the trip, just ask.

6. Listen to the guides, they do this for a living - some of them do this in excess of 100 days a year. They are there to keep you and the other rafters safe – respect their instructions and the river and you will be fine and enjoy yourself so much more

7. At the end of the trip you will be expected to walk out of the gorge again with your life jacket, paddle and helmet, this is 220m straight up and one of the most taxing physical things I have done. Under normal circumstances it is gruelling, now imagine doing this after a full 5 hours of walking, paddling and swimming - take your time, rest and drink a lot of water.

8. There is no point in taking a camera or sun glasses they have to be checked in in any case and can’t be taken on the river. The operators take a video and pictures of the day - it's $45 and well worth it

9 Take a small or hand size high protection factor sun screen with you and apply it every hour to your face, legs and arms - there were some clever people with us that underestimated the African sun and got severe sunburn.

10. Most importantly have FUN - the rapids are amazing - at least 5 grade 5 rapids, the views in the gorge breath taking and the trip down the Zambezi one I will always remember fondly.

Victoria Falls...
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1. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

Dear Willie,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you for coming to Victoria Falls once again and sharing your spirit of adventure with us. We appreciate your detailed review and that you have created awareness to future travellers. The Whitewater Rafting trip is an experience of a lifetime that everyone should experience at least once.

Have a splendid New Year full of adventure!

Warm Regards,

Shearwater

Mentioned in this post
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
892 Reviews
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls...
2 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

Dear Willie,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you for coming to Victoria Falls once again and sharing your spirit of adventure with us. We appreciate your detailed review and that you have created awareness to future travellers. The Whitewater Rafting trip is an experience of a lifetime that everyone should experience at least once.

Have a splendid New Year full of adventure!

Warm Regards,

Shearwater

Mentioned in this post
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
892 Reviews
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Toronto, Canada
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25 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

Just home from an Africian adventure. Went to the falls and took the 1/2 day rafting option. Being in semi decent shape, I along with my son managed quite well. My husband and daughter, not so much. They were exhausted after the 10 rapids. Then the real fun began. We had to climb out of the gorge on a tree branch ladder, somewhere between 300-1000 meters. Not sure of the exact distance, other than knowing that is was tough, long, practically straight up and dangerous. I would take the suicide rapid without hesistation so that I could avoid that climb up. Did I mention that I was in semi decent shape!!! Only factor that I was disappointed about is if we had knows exactly what the climb out was going to be like, we would of chosen the full day package. Anything to avoid the climb out. We were told at the beginning that we would need to climb out, but never imagined that!!! We were on vacation, not a survival test... Had a great time none the less and will make for a great story, but not fun at the time. Purchased the video pictures, have impressed my friends back at home in Canada.

Singapore
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4. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

Canadian050, where you came out sounds like where we went in, Rapid 11? We found the climb down arduous, but the climb up was far far worse. We too had done the half day option, which meant we got out around noon at the leak of the days heat. The walk is hilly, you're carrying all your stuff, it's hot, you're tired from rafting all morning and the best thing, they don't give you any water until you get to the top! It took me an hour to get up. I would not recommend it to any but the fittest.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

No kidding., & thats right. We left after rapid 10. Just after the black suicide rapid, which we had to walk around. Ironically they found that rapid too dangerous!!! The event was fun for myself and son. I swim, run and weights, and 16 yr old boy, says it all. My husband & daughter didn't fair well at all. After being catapulted into raging rapids for 2 hrs, then expected to scale the mountain, it's a miracle we made it out alive!!! On top of all that, when we reached the top, they were out of bottled water, as the lucky climbers drank all the provisions. We were left with the shared canteen warm water or soda. Sharing a canteen with 20 strangers is not my cup of tea & we don't drink soda. Needless to say, we had no choice to overlook the shared canteen factor. We purchased the pictures, so it will make for good recounting. In the end, the pictures will be valuable in explaining our adventure to friends, as the times we have rafted in Canada, makes the rapids here appear like a lazy river excursion. It would have been nice if the true nature of our adventure was clearly explained to us, as we would of probably chosen the full day, or at least understood what we were up against. Reflecting back, I recall all the 40+ adults were in the full day group. That should of been our clue... I tried in vain to find pictures on the Internet of the ladder, needless to say that there aren't any... In any event, it wasnt our time, as we made it back safe and sound.

I forgot to mention that a kayak spotter errored is his maneuvering and ended smashing into my husbands head, which threw him back into the raft while being nailed with our sons paddle!!! What an event!!!

Cheers in Canada.

6. Re: Whitewater rafting - Read before you go!

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