Zambezi River Expedition Itinerary

Day 1

You’ll arrive in Livingstone, Zambia, where you meet your trip leader.  We’ll load up and head off for a sunset cruise on the upper Zambezi River, upstream of Victoria Falls.  This is an awesome opportunity to enjoy your first glimpses of elephants, hippos, crocodiles and much more under your first African sunset.  Sleep in deluxe accommodations near the Zambezi River.


Day 2

After a light breakfast, we’ll drive upstream to the confluence of the Zambezi and the Chobe Rivers, the only point in Africa where four countries share a border – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana.  We’ll cross the river into Botswana on our way to Chobe National Park, one of the best game parks in Southern Africa.  Viewing from boat and from jeep, we’ll see thousands of animals living in their natural environment.

After our safari, we’ll return to Livingstone, arriving sometime around 6 p.m. Over dinner your trip leader will conduct a pre-trip orientation, preparing participants for the following morning’s departure.


Day 3

Today we begin our journey down the Zambezi, putting in directly below Victoria Falls. This is our first taste of some of the most exciting rafting in the world, and we will pay our respects to the African River God, Nyami Nyami, one wave at a time. After some spectacular rapids and a short portage, we arrive at our camp on a beautiful white sand beach in the bottom of the gorge.


Day 4

This morning we load up the gear rafts and head downstream through infamous rapids Oblivion, Overland Truck Crash, Stairway to Heaven, and many more.  We reach our camp at yet another beautiful beach in time for sundowners.


Day 5

Today the rapids spread out a bit and we are able to enjoy the great scenery and wildlife of the Batoka Gorge, navigating several more colossal rapids in between with names such as Closed and Open Season and Upper Moemba.  Tonight we make camp above the riverwide, 20-foot tall waterfall of Lower Moemba.


Day 6

This morning we wake early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures for two portages. The first is Lower Moemba where we lower the rafts a short distance around the falls. After a short float downstream, we encounter our next portage of Chibango Falls, which is also the site of a proposed dam that continually threatens this incredible river. This portage is long and hot. Everyone’s help will be appreciated as we carry the boats and gear around this stair-stepping falls. Below the falls, we reload the rafts and shortly downstream we are rewarded with quite possibly the biggest waves and best rapids of the trip, Ghost Rider. Negotiating this rapid is one of the biggest challenges of the trip and always produces some fabulous whitewater stories!  Afterwards—and hopefully upright—we float to camp.


 Day 7

The whitewater mellows today as the gorge begins to slowly open.  This is an awesome day for wildlife. Fish eagles, baboons, vervet monkeys and some impressively large crocodiles. We also get a chance to visit Smuggler’s Cove, a tiny Zambian fishing village where we’ll purchase some smoked Tiger fish for our night’s appetizer. Tonight’s camp is located on an enormous beach at a wide, flat part of the river situated perfectly for sweet sunsets! This is our last night on the river.


Day 8

This morning we wake at a leisurely pace, put on and float downstream through the calm waters up to the confluence with the Metetsi River.  Just before the confluence we cautiously pass by pods of hippos and crocs, all the while keeping our eyes peeled for the huge goliath heron and other exotic birds. Just below the confluence we’ll take-out, eat lunch, and meet our helicopter for an incredibly scenic return trip up the canyon.  Flying upstream we’ll enjoy glimpses of the spectacular rapids and the extraordinary gorge that we just descended before landing at the renowned Taita Falcon Lodge, which overlooks Batoka Gorge.† After settling into cozy bungalows, we’ll commence our grand celebration banquet and party, toasting all around to completing one of the most quality river expeditions on Earth!


Day 9

Your trip leader will accompany you to the airport for the flight back home or to the transfer location for your next destination!


Global Descents reserves the right to change the order of activities or even some of the activities due to changes in weather, transportation or other unforeseen events.