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If you haven’t been to the Zambezi yet it 100% needs to be in your schedule. Warm water, fun big water, playspots, cheap living, shuttles organized, it doesn’t get much better. You don’t need to be a pro to enjoy the Zambezi, just need to have a bombproof roll and you are set. Being able to do a couple hours of world class kayaking every day, in one of the prettiest gorges in the world, with essentially zero stress in logistics, it hardly gets more epic than that.

I have been the last 2 winters, and I plan on going every winter for as many winters as possible. Not only due to the fact that it’s one of my favorite places to go spend a few weeks, but the time is running out for the Zambezi. For those that don’t know the idea for damming the Zambezi has been around for almost 70 years, and they have even had a dam site since the 70’s. Although they have run into issues on who would be funding the dam, who would get the money etc etc. They recently overcame some big hurdles that should allow them to truly begin the project, putting a time limit on how long we will be able to enjoy the Zambezi. I believe 5 years is their objective, but I think it will be somewhere between 6-8 years to complete. Either way, get there while you can! You won’t regret your first trip, and I bet you end up trying to go every year till it’s gone. The rapids of the Zambezi are numbered, and the normal daily section is 1-25. Though the dam is projected to flood to #5, leaving a few rapids, it just won’t be the same. So like I said, get it while you can. A class 3-4 boater can feel 100% on the water, almost all rapids have easier lines, and you can always walk most rapids if need be. Off the water you are not far from places to safari, do cruises, bungee jump, you name it. The river is amazing, the things you can do off water are awesome, and it’s just one of the best places to spend a chunk of time.

Here’s a quick bullet point list on how to do the Zambezi-
Boat – I find a slicey stern boat like the Antix to be the ultimate boat for the Zambezi, unlimited squirts and fun moves on the run. But if you don’t get the opportunity to do much playboating elsewhere, there are lots of fun playspots especially at low water if you bring a playboat.
Timeframe – October – December for lower water and easier rapids. Still fun big water feel, but less difficult and often lots of playspots.
Airport – Livingstone, Zambia [ LVI ]
Lodging – Jolly Boys Backpackers
River shuttles – Safari Par Excellence [ As long as there is a raft trip, which is nearly every day. You can organize from Jolly Boys to be picked up, brought to Saf Par where they shuttle you to and from the river, organize the porters to carry your boat, and have drinks and lunch for after the river.

If you are still not sold, here are a few edits from my trip this winter-