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Victoria Falls Raft Float - Zambia

Victoria Falls Raft Floats operated on the Zambian side take you down the upper Zambezi River, between two national parks - a scenic and magnificent trip for half a day, full day, or overnight

Elephants seen along the banks of the Zambezi River on an upper Zambezi Raft Float trip upstream from Victoria Falls - Zambia Zimbabwe

Seeing elephants in the river bank on a Zambezi River Raft Float
(source: SAFPAR)

The Setting

The Upper Zambezi River is a beautiful place, with stunning vegetation such as ebonies, water berries, palms and a tremendous variety of acacia. The raft float trails described on this page are operated in Zambia, but they take you down the Zambezi, zigzagging on the boundary between two countries with views of the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe, and the Mosi oa Tunya National Park in Zambia.

Victoria Falls raft float trips on offer in Zambia are the half day, full day and overnight trips - where the evening is spent in tents by the riverside and a delicious meal and cool drinks are enjoyed under the beautiful African sky.

The Operator

Safari Par Excellence started running Canoeing Safaris in the Lower Zambezi National Park in 1991. Now they operate safaris from Livingstone on the Upper Zambezi, this is the section of the Zambezi River up stream of the Victoria Falls. This section of the Zambezi River offers great wildlife viewing with the excitement of running small Grade 2 rapids.

Raft Float

For those who prefer someone else to take the reigns (so to speak), the raft float is done in a large raft with a frame and oars, used by the guide. Safpar uses eight person inflatable rafts, which are incredibly stable when running small rapids and are easy to manoeuvre and paddle. Your guide does all the work, so you are free to do all the sight-seeing.

The Zambezi river above the Victoria Falls changes its nature continuously, from wide open expanses of water to narrow tree lined channels meandering between the myriad of rock and sand islands. Game is abundant. Species that may be encountered include Hippo, Crocodile, Elephant, Waterbuck, the elusive Cape Clawless Otter and hundreds of bird species.

While on the river safety is a major concern, a full safety briefing is given before the canoe safari commences, paddle training is given on dry land and then perfected on the river. The guide is always accompanied by a trainee/paddler, a comprehensive first aid kit and communications equipment is always carried.

Based out of The Victoria Falls Waterfront, Safpar operate half day, full day and overnight safaris departing and returning from and to Livingstone - Zambia. Upper River Raft Float Safaris are ideal for large groups, up to a maximum of 100.

Half Day and Full Day Raft Float

Departure Times for HALF-DAY AM Raft Safari
• 07h30 Pick up from your lodge or hotel
• 08h00 Clients are transferred from The Victoria Falls Waterfront (approx. 40 minutes) to the raft launch site upriver
• On arrival, clients are given a safety briefing by a professional river guide
• 13h00 (approx) transfer back to your accommodation
• Included are transfers, guide, drinks, lunch, equipment

Full day safaris take the whole morning and most of the afternoon. For the full day trip, Safpar uses a two person inflatable canoes, which are also quite stable.

Wildlife on the Zambezi River seen on a canoe safari near Victoria Falls

Departure Times for FULL-DAY Raft Safari
• 07h30 Pick up from your lodge or hotel
• 08h00 Clients are transferred from The Victoria Falls Waterfront (approx. 40 minutes) to the raft launch site upriver
• On arrival, clients are given a safety talk by a professional river guide
• Clients then practice their paddling skills before setting off on their raft safari
• A light lunch is served on the riverbank or on an island in the middle of the Zambezi (water level dependent) and consists of cold meats and salads. Please advise if you have specific dietary requirements
• 15h30 (approx) transfer back to your accommodation

Overnight Zambezi Raft Float

If you are a camping enthusiast or are aspiring to be why not get away from the world for the night with an Overnight Safari. A day canoeing is followed by a night camping at a permanent camp site on the banks of the Zambezi. The camp site overlooks the Zambezi National Park, as the sun comes down plentiful game can often be seen drinking on the Zimbabwean banks of the river.

On these raft float trips, Safpar uses the two person inflatable canoes.

Camping is a treat for all outdoor enthusiasts. During the trip, you are encouraged to take part in building camp, helping to prepare food and collecting wood. All camping equipment is delivered to the camp site by vehicle. All meals are freshly prepared by the guides, local beers and local spirits are included. Feel free to bring your own bottle of your favourite tipple.

What You Need to Know

• A $10 national park fee must be paid on arrival, and is not included in the rate
• Food and drinks are included
• There will be plenty of sunshine so wear a wide-brimmed hat, shorts, t-shirt, sunscreen, and sunglasses
• The minimum age for canoe trips is 12 years and they pay full price
• There is no maximum age but clients must be of a reasonable fitness
• You will not need your valuables, but bring a camera and binoculars - dry bags will be provided
• No previous experience is required and clients do NOT need to be proficient swimmers

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by Sally (Blisworth, U.K.)
I stumbled across Victoria Fall Guide by accident, but I am so glad I did. Tony and Boo were so helpful, advising us on the best activities for us as I have mobility issues, and arranging our itinerary and booking everything. I had no worries about using them, or sending a very large payment to someone I didn’t know. Everything they booked for us was so well organised, pick ups on time, knowledgeable and friendly guides, clean transport. We did the walking tour of the falls, the sunset dinner cruise, full day at Chobe, the team, lion encounter and the helicopter and every single one was faultless. We were also due to do the lunar rainbow but unfortunately it was cancelled, however boo arranged the refund immediately. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. We are so grateful to them for making our special holiday even more so.

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