Guide to Zambia rafting holidays on the Zambezi River

Aug 24, 2015 BY Luke Rees

Home to the mighty Zambezi, one of the world’s great rivers, Zambia rafting holidays provide some of the most intense and thrilling white water experiences on the planet. Often considered one of the best stretches of commercially run river in the world, the 23 rapids of the Batoka Gorge are on most rafting enthusiasts’ bucket lists but are something even first timers can raft.

Guide to Zambia rafting holidays on the Zambezi River Flickr image by Carine06

Guide to Zambia rafting holidays

When you combine the Zambezi river with the awesome power and scenery of Victoria Falls, the incredible wildlife and safari opportunities it makes Zambia an amazing destination. As an added bonus other extreme activities available such as kayaking, gorge swinging, bungee jumping, microlighting and much more make Zambia rafting holidays look like the complete package.

Rafting in Zambia is not surprisingly dominated by the mighty Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest. It rises in the Ikelenge District, the North-Western Province, Zambia and rafters get to enjoy its more turbulent upper stretches before it meanders off into Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and eventually the Indian Ocean.

Zambia is one of the safest countries in Africa with an established tourist infrastructure. Its fertile land, Victoria Falls, and other breathtaking scenery are well known. However, its uncrowded and remote nature reserves offer a great chance to see some of Africa’s best wildlife.

Victoria falls zambia rafting holidays Flickr image by Alessandro

Raft or kayak along the Lower Zambezi past crocodiles and hippos, and make your way into the open flood plains of the Kafue National Park. Arguably some of the best white water on earth, Zambia rafting holidays on the Zambezi River are very popular.

Rafting holidays on the Zambezi River

<ost rafting holidays on the Zambezi River start beneath the falls bobbing around in the pools under the huge cascades. Head down river through the Batoka Gorge’s big rapid sections, with names like Oblivion and Stairway to Heaven giving you a clue as to their ferocity.

Camp on pristine, expansive beaches or stay in luxurious lodges and spot wildlife along the banks as you paddle downstream. The Zambezi has more than earned its reputation as one of the world’s greatest rafting rivers. At the end of your trip you can even take a helicopter ride back up through the gorge you’ve just rafted.

Devil's Pool rafting holidays on the Zambezi River Flickr image by joepyrek

There are a variety of rafting and kayaking trips available, ranging from half-day options up to two or more day expeditions. When the river is high from March to July only the last thirteen rapids can be rafted, but at lower waters during the rest of the year all 23 can be paddled.

There are campsites in the Batoka Gorge dedicated for rafting excursions, set up on sandy beaches and with varying degrees of accommodation, from basic to luxury, depending on your budget and preference. Zambia rafting holidays are widely considered some of the best in the world, with a unique combination of excellent facilities, stunning scenery and adrenaline pumping rapids.

Africa, Batoka Gorge, Ikelenge District, Kafue National Park, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Zambia
Bungee Jumping, Kayaking, Multi Activity, Rafting, Safari
Big Five, Canyon Swinging, Class V, Whitewater (Rapids), wild
Travel Articles

    Related Articles


    What is snowkiting & how do I learn to Snowkite?

    Many people have been asking 'what is snowkiting?' And typically they follow that with 'how do I learn to Snowkite?' The beauty of using kites for sport lies in...

    Activities: Snowkiting
    Destinations: Alps Antarctica Asia +
    Read Article

    Does James Bond prefer skiing or snowboarding?

    Snow chase scenes are as iconic as a Vodka Martini in the James Bond Franchise. From cars, an aircraft, cello cases, to utilising broken parts of a snowmobile for a...

    Destinations: N/A
    Read Article

    Tips for driving in Peru: 3 overland routes to drive to Machu Picchu

    Want to explore Peru independently? Then you'll need to either buy, rent or bring your own vehicle. You should also read these tips for driving in Peru. Once you are...

    Activities: 4x4 Overlanding
    Read Article

    Newsletter sign up