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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.
You will be collected from Livingstone airport, and driven to Jolly Boys backpackers / campsite. A chance to unpack, relax and acclimatise for the adventure to come!
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.
Rapids 13-25. 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.
Rapids 10 – 23. 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.
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, Topo Duo the Zambezi, 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.
After a hearty breakfast, we will make our way to the boiling pot, directly beneath Victoria Falls. Few people have the chance to venture into this region due to the inaccessibility. This involves a short portage to the top of rapid #1 and then a paddle across a large eddy to view the incredible minus rapids and Victoria falls from the base of the gorge! We will then lead you down the river scouting where necessary and showing you the best play spots and safest lines. We will have a light lunch on the river before making camp between rapid #10 and #11. Your LiLi guides will then prepare an evening meal in the gorge.
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 camp fire in the gorge and we will then camp out on the beach on the banks of the river.
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! Tonight, we dine and camp on the rim of the gorge, overlooking the river.
After a light breakfast we begin the drive back to Livingstone through traditional villages, arriving late morning. In the afternoon we will go on a sunset safari boat cruise on the upper Zambezi (above the falls). This is a chance to 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.
Rest Day (see activities listed on day 5 for possible activities if you are still full of energy!).
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!
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
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!
LiLi will contract 4x4 vehicles through other tour operators.
Camping is included at Jolly Boys Backpackers in Livingstone and at various sandy beaches in the Batoka gorge (on the multi-day trip). Jolly boys is based in Livingstone and is the premier backpacking location in Zambia, it has a bar, pool, restaurant and self-catering kitchen. It is also the base for most kayakers who pass through Zambia to paddle the Zambezi. If camping is not your thing, no problem... Jolly Boys has dorms and private rooms available for an extra cost. When on the multi day trip and the sunset cruise, food is also included in the cost. There is a restaraunt as well as a self catering kitchen at Jolly Boys and a supermarket walking distance away. 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.
The 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 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 smaill 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.
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
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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