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Victoria Falls River Safaris

A Unique Sunset Cruise Exploring the Islands of the Upper Zambezi River above Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls classic river safari on aqua jet pontoon boat, Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

This aluminium pontoon boat is powered by twin water jet engines rather than propeller engines, allowing it to access areas that other boats can't go.

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Victoria Falls River Safaris are aluminium pontoon boats, powered by aqua-jet engines rather than propeller engines. This unique feature enables these boats to navigate parts of the river that the other cruise boats can't go.

Victoria Falls classic river safari, Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

Some parts of the river get congested with the larger sunset cruise boats

Aqua-jets are also called jet-boats, but the term jet-boat is misleading as it conjures up images of hurtling through rapids at high speed, making 180 degree turns on a dime and getting very wet, as per the one below the Victoria Falls. But for these cruises that couldn't be further from the truth, as they're sedate and relaxing, meandering slowly through the channels of the upper Zambezi River.

Most people who visit Victoria Falls go on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Cruises are often packaged together with other activities and sometimes thrown in as a freebie. But those cruises are generally on large pontoons with deep draughts and propeller-driven engines, unable to navigate the rocky and shallow sections of this river, giving them only 5 km of river in which they can navigate.

That's where the aqua-jets come into their own, they can traverse through much shallower water opening up whole new sections of the river.

Victoria Falls classic river safari, Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

The smaller boat ensures a personal experience

I felt kind of privileged as we left all the other larger boats behind and headed into our own section of the river away from the maddening crowd. Being smaller than most of the other boats it felt more intimate - a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The cruises explore the islands and channels above Victoria Falls. The experienced captain manoeuvres the jet-boat expertly through these channels searching for birds and wildlife of which there is plenty. In high water the captain can get within 600m of the Falls but as the water level drops more rocks are exposed and it gets difficult to get that close.

The scenery is just beautiful especially in the warm sunlight of the African afternoon and the rising spray of the Falls is always evident further downstream.

Victoria Falls classic river safari, Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

Closer to the Falls

One can't help but ponder, that this was the exact view Dr David Livingstone had as he approached the Falls for the very first time on 15th November 1855 moments before becoming the first European to ever to see the Falls.

There are two jet-boats available, both are ideal for small groups and have that feeling of being on your own private cruise. Both traverse the same section of river and are operated by the same company.

The Darter

The smaller boat "Darter" has a maximum capacity of 16 people and we call it the "Classic River Safari." On this cruise, clients will be provided with a choice of local and imported drinks from 5 different spirits, 4 different beers, red and white wine, varied soft drinks and snacks.

The Darter pontoon jetboat on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe The Darter pontoon jetboat on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The Victoria

The larger boat "The Victoria" has a maximum capacity of 20 people. It is an upmarket version of the "Darter" with more salubrious finishes to the boat, premium brand drinks and gourmet snacks prepared on board by a chef from the Victoria Falls Hotel. Quality comes at a price, so it is more expensive than the "Darter Classic River Safari."

The Victoria premium river safari on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

"The aim of The Victoria is to create the finest cruise experience on the upper Zambezi River. Bushtracks Africa and The Victoria Falls Hotel have put their reputations forward to ensure The Victoria meets this standard." - Bushtracks

Regular Victoria Falls Jetboat vs The Victoria, Zambezi River cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Classic River safari (left)
The Victoria (right)

More Information on the Victoria Falls River Safaris

• The cruise includes pickup and drop-off at your hotel, approx 1 hour before departure from jetty.
• Departure time from Jetty is 16h30 (summer) 16h00 (winter)
• Arrival time back at Jetty is 18h30 (summer) 18h00 (winter)
• Dress code is smart casual
• There are toilets on board
• Children of all ages are welcome
• Price does not include river fees, which are to be paid in cash on arrival (currently US$10)
• The cruise includes a full bar with local and imported spirits and mixers, wines, beers and soft drinks
• Bring Cameras/Camcorders; Booking voucher; Sunscreen/hat; Warm clothing in winter
• Do not bring valuables; small expensive items that may fall overboard; cell phones if you can do without

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Adrenaline & Adventure
White water rafting
Adventure Jet Boat
River boarding
Bridge swing
Gorge swing
Bridge slide
Zip line
Flying fox
Canopy tour
Bungee jump
Devils Swim

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Upper Zambezi canoeing
Overnight Canoe Safaris
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Game drive ZNP
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Walk with lions
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Tour of Falls
Helicopter flight
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Sunset cruise
River Safaris
Sunset and dinner cruise
Zambezi Explorer Sunset Cruise
Ra Ikane cruise
Historical bridge tour
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Livingstone Island tour
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Client Testimonials

by Kate (Zimbabwe)
Many thanks for all your assistance. You have probably been the most responsive and helpful tour organizers I have worked with- anywhere in the world. I'll be sure to recommend you to my colleagues and friends.

All the activities lived up to the hype!
by Alex (Swaziland)
Good Afternoon Boo,
Just wanted to let you know that we are now back in Swaziland and had an incredibly fun time enjoying Victoria Falls! All the activities lived up to the hype and I would like to thank you for all your help in organising a busy but full holiday for us! Everything went smoothly from the moment we arrived to the time we left.
Also wondering where you prefer to have your reviews written?
Thanks again!
All the best

Memory I will not forget
by Sunitha
Hi Jane
Hope you are keeping well.I must say a very big thank you for all your assistance and advice for my trip. I had the most amazing time at Vic Falls, a memory I will not forget.
Thanks a million once again.

Fantastic Itinerary
by Graham & Janet (United Kingdom)
Dear Boo
We would like to offer our thanks for sorting a fantastic itinerary for our all too short visit to Vic Falls. The cruise on the Zambesi at sunset was a delight and the helicopter flight breathtaking! The pick ups were punctual and staff members were all very smiley, friendly, helpful and good company. The whole experience of the actual Falls and the town itself was outstanding.
We will return! Your company will be our first port of call. Many thanks for a very efficient service.
Best wishes

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