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Overnight Canoeing Trips

Overnight canoe trips give you a chance to truly experience the Upper Zambezi River and the Zambezi National park - if you like adventure and have a love of nature and the outdoors then one of these trips should be included in your itinerary

Canoe safari with overnight camping in the Zambezi National Park

Just a few kilometres upstream of the impressive Victoria Falls and within the Zambezi National Park, one can spend a few days paddling class 1 and 2 rapids while enjoying the sights and sounds of the mighty Zambezi River. The inflatable canoes/ kayaks glide quietly downstream making them unbeatable for bird and game viewing, yet are perfectly stable to handle the little bits of white water encountered.

The overnight canoeing trips are lead by a professional river canoe guide, whose direction and instructions you follow whilst paddling your own canoe (no previous experience is necessary). You get to experience some small rapids (depending on the trip), but nothing hectic and certainly nothing like the lower Zambezi River rapids that make Victoria Falls white-water rafting so famous.

The camping on the overnight canoeing trips is at Kalai River Camp, a mobile camp located 25kms upstream from the Falls on the banks of the Zambezi river. It is not a luxury lodge, but rather a comfortable and rustic bush camp. Backed by a team of staff that set up the site for you and prepare your drinks and food.

Kalai River Camp has large walk-in tents with camping beds and bedding already made for you. Other amenities include a water basin which is filled with hot water for you each morning, a lantern, bedside table and hand towels. Also for your convenience is a portable toilet and a hot shower!

Dining is al-fresco (under the stars) and a table is set up by the river bank with stunning views of the river. Lunches are taken on remote sandbanks with the sound of the Zambezi flowing gently by.

The section of river explored during these canoe trips is wholly within the Zambezi National Park on the Zimbabwean side. The natural vegetation along this bank is therefore wild and quite beautiful in places. The chances of seeing a variety of game along this river bank is quite high, especially in the afternoons when the animals come down to the river to drink.

The birdlife is always prolific and is a bird-lovers paradise, with numerous species endemic to this area alone.

Unfortunately the river bank along the Zambian side is not so wild. There are numerous private dwellings, some farms and quite a bit of local community development. Your guides will always endeavor to bring you along the Zimbabwean bank as much as possible.

Not enough people who come to Victoria Falls get to really experience the Zambezi River and its beauty, most people do a simple sunset river cruise but these canoe trips give you that chance, they are unique, exciting and beautiful. I am a firm believer that if you like adventure and have a love of nature and the outdoors then these overnight canoe trips should be included in your itinerary.

There are a few overnight canoeing trips available, and itineraries are as follows:

Overnight Safari

16h00 14h30

Day 1
Clients are collected at 16h00 and take an hour and a half game drive 25km into the Zambezi National Park in an open vehicle, arriving at Kalai River camp before sunset for dinner and drinks. There is no canoeing on the first day.

Day 2
This day begins with a full English breakfast and the guide will then give a thorough briefing, which will cover; conditions of the river, rapids, canoeing instruction, safety and general information. You will be asked to sign an indemnity form. The full day is spent canoeing (18kms) downstream, running small grade one and two rapids, exploring channels, bird and game viewing. The Kandahar Rapids are run on this day. A picnic lunch is served on the mainland or on an island. Cold soft-drinks, mineral water and beers are served at the take out point and clients are back in Victoria Falls around 14h30.

* Please note these are typical trips, but they might change due to weather conditions, client fitness or personal preferences.

Rate Includes

• All meals and drinks (Limited beer and soft-drinks, mineral water and mineral water on camping days. 1 Bottle of wine per 2 guests per day.)
• Return transfers from Victoria Falls town
• Accommodation (on a sharing basis)
• Game drive
• Use of canoe and safety equipment

Rate Excludes

• River usage fee
• Airport transfer (which can be arranged at booking)
• Tips
• Premium brand drinks

Compare Chobe, Hwange Zambezi National parks - close to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

What to Bring

• Warm clothing in winter
• Sunscreen is critical
• A hat is strongly advised
• Polarised sunglasses, raft-appropriate sandals/shoes, t-shirt, shorts, swimming attire and towel
• Camera (with spare storage), binoculars
• We strongly advise that you include mosquito/insect repellent
• Any medication you may require

Things to Note

• Minimum 4 people for a trip.
• Children from 7 upwards can canoe if accompanied by a parent and fit into a lifejacket. Management retain the right to refuse a child who they feel is unsuitable for the activity for any reason.
• Prior canoe experience is not required.
• Safaris generally operate from 1st April through to 30th November (depending on the seasonal rain - please check with us for availability.
• During winter months (April, May, June, July and August), the evenings, nights and early mornings will be very cold. Clients must bring their own warm clothing.

One Day Canoeing Safaris

Click here to go to single-day canoeing trips.

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