Rafting Down the Zambezi River

It’s that time of year again when the crew assembles for yet another epic adventure. This year we chose the continent of Africa to do some exploring. We began in Johannesburg, South Africa then flew to Livingstone, Zambia for a few days. During this time we went rafting down the Zambezi River, sat on the edge of Victoria Falls in Devil’s Pool, walked over to Zimbabwe, toured Vic Falls from that side, and photographed everything in between. The next few blogs will focus on the other locations so stay tuned, but this one will give you shot by shot, turn by turn action as we pushed our limits to the max!

Upon landing, we were picked up by BUNDU Adventures from the airport and were whisked away to get suited up for the rafting. The day was a bit overcast and rainy yet it only enhanced the overall experience. Something about the spitting rain and churning waters gave it an extra element of danger that we all thrived on. We dropped our luggage, signed a few waivers, picked our life vests, and posed for the picture below. Our instructor, far left, gave us about a 6 minute introduction to survival on the rapids, which albeit informative, was not sufficiently absorbed at least by me because I was so excited!

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Before we knew it we were hiking down to the river. On the right side of the bridge is Zambia and on the left, Zimbabwe. 2

So there we were, eagerly paddling down river with no idea what was ahead of us.34 5 6

The first rapid completely submerged us and it was just the beginning!! What a rush!
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I struggled to find the side rope that I was supposed to grab on to but luckily I was able to secure it before we took a hit from the next big rapid.11 12 1314 15 16

By now I have lost track of how many rapids we passed through, I was merely along for the ride. We all did our best to paddle through, however, there are some sections you have no choice but to hunker down and hold on for dear life.17 18 19

Notice our guide is almost vertical. That’s because the drop off was that big!20 21

Success! We were halfway through and feeling tough. All of the rapids that normally claim victims we powered through without so much as a hiccup. Clearly it was worth a celebration.22

What we did not know it was the next rapid quickly approaching has an 80% flip rate, meaning, it was very unlikely that we would make it through without being tossed. We all got low and held on as best as possible. One thing we learned, mother nature always wins…23 24

Completely underwater, I do not even remember flipping. I never saw it coming. There was a flash of white and the next moment I was underwater being swept down the river. They say that in those situations 10 seconds can seem like an eternity and they are absolutely right. I was only under for a few seconds and it surely seemed longer.25 28272629 30

We all drifted alongside the boat for several hundred feet before we were able to get the boat flipped back over and get back in. With out guides assistance and a little teamwork the boat was back on track and ready to go. The last rapid was a bit demoralizing but there was no time to sulk, we had to keep going and finish it out.32 33

The look on Paul’s face is priceless!34

Our great photographer was there at the end to catch one last pic before we pulled the raft out of the water to begin our ascent back out of the gorge. 35 What a ride! On a scale of 1-10 it was easily an 11 and I would do it over and over again. I would highly recommend if you find yourself in Zambia to try out rafting with BUNDU Adventures! Very fun and professional staff and you can tell they really enjoy their jobs. Rafting down the Zambezi everyday, what’s not to love?! I will certainly be back.36 37

Stay tuned, part 2 of the Zambia / Zimbabwe trip will be coming soon…

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