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Home | Victoria Falls Activities | Victoria Falls River Safari

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.

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.

Victoria Falls classic river safari, Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

Closer to 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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Victoria Falls Guide 2020 Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award winners

We are very proud to have received this GOLD Service award in recognition of the consistent positive feedback from our clients. Please click on the banner to read our reviews.

 

Brilliant service and so helpful
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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