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Experience the Zmabezi - Zambia

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Due to the nature of adventure kayaking, the following itinerary has to remain flexible. The LiLi team have coached many hundreds of people with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds on big volume across Africa and specifically on the Zambezi. This local knowledge will be used to adjust the itinerary to suit the individuals and to maximise progression over the course of the trip.

Day 1
You will be collected from Livingstone airport, and driven to The Waterfront, a lodge and campsite on the upper Zambezi, a short distance above Victoria Falls. A chance to unpack, relax and acclimatise for the adventure to come!

Day 2
We will start with rapids 21-25, an easy section of white water in order to get acclimatized to the Zambezi River and big volume paddling. We will have plenty of time for coaching and looking at improving technique and skills – in particular good technique whilst white water rolling.

Day 3
Rapids 14-25. Today we will progress onto a slightly harder section of white water and we will begin coaching big volume techniques and have plenty of opportunity for practising them on big volume but forgiving rapids.

Day 4
Rapids 10 - 25. As we become accustomed to big volume paddling and the techniques required, we tackle some of the bigger rapids the Zambezi has to offer. We will also get the chance to try out some of the fantastic playboating on the Zambezi, ranging from small holes to huge waves. In the evening we will go on a sunset safari boat cruise from our base on the upper Zambezi (above the falls). This is a chance to visit the National Park and see some of the amazing wildlife of Zambia and a spectacular African sunset. Free drinks (as many as you wish!), snacks and a meal will be included on the cruise.

Day 5
Rest day. There is an opportunity, if you still want action, to take part in a wide range of adventurous activities (not included in the price of the holiday) such as.. Bungee jumping, Rest day. There is an opportunity, if you still want action, to take part in a wide range of adventurous activities (not included in the price of the holiday) such as.. Bungee jumping, Gorge swinging, Sky diving over Victoria Falls, Helicopter rides, White water rafting, Jet Boating, lion and elephant experiences, Hydro-speeding to name but a few. There are also options for day safaris, half-day safaris and walking safaris or to visit the crocodile sanctuary. Your LiLi guide will be happy to assist with booking these extra activities.

Day 6
We start our adventure by packing up and hiking in to the Batoka gorge, and paddling our way up to the boiling pot, directly beneath Victoria Falls. Few people have the chance to venture into this region due to the inaccessibility. This is an incredible place, the enormous minus rapids and Victoria falls from the base of the gorge, plus the towering vertical 300ft walls of the gorge make this a natural amphitheatre like no other! We’ll exlore, soak it in and have an early lunch before leading you down the river scouting where necessary and showing you the best play spots and safest lines before making camp at a beach between rapid #10 and #11. Your LiLi guides will then prepare an evening meal in the gorge.

Day 7
After breakfast we will spend the day slowly making our way downstream, stopping to play at some of the worlds best play spots. A light lunch will be served on the river before making our way to the beach below rapid #25. Your guides will prepare sundowners and a three-course dinner while you relax and take in the magnificent scenery. A campfire in the gorge and we will then camp out on the white sand beach on the banks of the river.

Day 8
Breakfast on the beach will be followed by our longest river day. We will cover approximately 24km, running a variety of large and small rapids on a rarely run section of the Zambezi. Lunch will be served on the riverbank along the way. Upper and Lower Moemba are the last two rapids of the day and are two of the best on the entire river! Most opt for sundowner drinks next to Lower Moemba, rather than running it… you’ll see why when we get there!

Day 9
We head off down river to complete the final section and set of rapids, a half days paddle, finishing with the iconic, wilderness and enormous wave chain called Ghostrider. Starting the trip surrounded by one of the natural wonders of the world, four days kayaking, 72 rapids, three nights in the gorge… an epic adventure not to be forgotten!

Day 10
Rest Day (see activities listed on day 5 for possible activities if you are still full of energy!).

Day 11-13
The final three days will be paddling hard on the Zambezi, we will spend time exploring some of the best waves in the world and getting top quality coaching on big volume play techniques (down river and wave play). We will also work on some more dynamic big volume down river techniques and your guides will show and guide you on lines as hard and as big as you wish to paddle. We will also get the opportunity to view Victoria Falls from the top, an incredible sight – one of the 7 natural wonders of the world!

Day 14
Pack up and get taken back to the airport to fly home.

The Zambezi is justifiably one of the most famous sections of white water in the world. Based in the gorge directly beneath Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The rapids below provide world class white water to people starting as a complete beginner right through to the worlds best paddlers.

The water level, along with the climate, varies with the time of year. At the time of the LiLi holiday the water levels will be low / medium low. In most paddlers minds, low water gives the impression of, a lesser quality of white water. Not so on the Zambezi - the lower water steepens up some of the best playwaves and rapids. The river at low water provides an amazing variety of big water paddling and play, with pools between each rapid giving a chance to get yourself together before the next. The rapids vary from wide, easy and forgiving lines to (portageable) lines as huge and technical as you want to go.

At these water levels we also see some world class playwaves with good eddy service ranging from small cartwheeling holes to huge waves

Not sure if your kayaking ability / background is suitable for the Zambezi? The reputation is fearsome, but the reality is there is a wide range of paddling with easier / harder sections and lines to suit your ability. If
you are in any doubt, get in touch with us and we would be happy to advise. Generally speaking, a solid roll and a bit of determination and you will be fine!
Transport & Shuttles LiLi will contract 4x4 vehicles through other tour operators.
Accommodation & FoodCamping is included at The Waterfront lodge and campsite on the banks of the Upper Zambezi River and at various sandy beaches in the Batoka gorge (on the multi-day trip). Waterfront is based close Livingstone it is a well set up site, with free wifi, two swimming pools, a bar, restaurant and all the typical facilities involved with a good quality campsite. If camping is not your thing, no problem... The Waterfront has static tents, private rooms and chalets available for an extra cost. For the river lunches, on the multi day trip and the sunset cruise, food is also included in the cost. Outside of those times there is a restaurant, pizza oven booth and supermarkets accessible a short drive away in town. There is also a wide range of restaurants in Livingstone at very reasonable prices. Your guide will be happy to advise on the best places to get what each person prefers.
ClimateThe weather in Zambia has depends very much on the time of year. At the time of the LiLi Zambezi trip it will be the dry season. The weather is likely to be hot and dry, and the chances are it wont rain during your entire trip. The water will be warm, though you can occasionally get strong wind that cools things down a bit. Bring clothes to protect you from the sun and a long sleeved thermal or shorty dry top for on the river. In the evening and through the night it is a pleasant temperature. There is also a small possibility that we will encounter some heavy rain - mostly at night. When it rains in Zambia, it does not mess about! Expect heavy tropical rain that normally only lasts a few hours.
Why should I choose LiLi The LiLi coaches are all highly experience big volume guides and paddlers. They have gained an in depth knowledge of the rapids, waves and alternative lines on the Zambezi that many people will miss. This will help you get the very best out of your paddling time on the Zambezi.

The LiLi coaches are also specifically chosen for their passion for kayaking and coaching. This passion together with general good humour helps make paddling with LiLi a fun all round experience.

Love it live it has an awareness of the surrounding environment and culture. We believe it is important to support local communities and to preserve the places we visit. LiLi donates one penny in every pound towards helping the local culture and community.

Logistics in Africa can be a headache at the best of times, we will make the arrangements, deal with the inevitable haggling and basically make every effort to make it happen in as smooth a way as is possible in Zambia. This includes all the dealings with porters, drivers and park attendants.

Arriving in a new country, particularly in Africa, can be intimidating. We will meet you at the airport and arrange for us to be taken directly to our accommodation.

We can also offer travel advice and pointers as to what to bring and what you will need while you are out there to further reduce the hassle of African travel and to prevent turning up with inappropriate equipment.


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