Safpar have been rafting the Mighty Zambezi since 1988! The passion, experience and culture of the rafting team is second to none.
Safari Par Excellence is currently the only company on the Zambezi with a 100% guide certification under the International Rafting Federation.
Considered one of the best stretches of commercially run river in the world, Batoka Gorge provides one of the most intense sensory thrills imaginable. Its 25 white-water rapids and striking scenery, deep within the sheer black cliffs afford the adrenaline junkie a wild roller-coaster ride along a route carved over millennia by the Great Zambezi. Safpar offer both a full day and a half day experience, and the season is split into the low/high Water.
Rapids #1 – 10
The 10 rapids you encounter for the day will be fun, but challenging! The experienced crew are there to see you through some of the most intense white-water on the planet. You will be tested by the class 3-5 rapids with names such as Morning Glory, Stairway to Heaven, The Devils Toilet Bowl and the Mighty Muncher, before the second portage of the day around the Class 6 Rapid 9 Commercial Suicide. Watch the kayakers take on one of the biggest waves on any river!
Rafting excursions ending at Rapid #10 require all rafters to hike 200m out of the gorge, this can be challenging in the warmer months in the middle of the day!
The section of the Zambezi River is a little less challenging. Or is it? Meet the Three Ugly Sisters closely followed by the Washing Machine, Terminator 1 and 2 and the world-famous Rapid 18 Oblivion. It is certainly the most photographed in the world and results in more flips than any other on the planet. It’s the ultimate rapid in many ways. Very runnable, with three waves, the third of which during the month of October when running in the middle will either flip most rafts or surf them, sometimes both.
What's the difference between high and low water?
The 'low water' rafting season runs approximately from the middle of August to the middle of January, depending upon the water level - each year this can change as and when levels increase or decrease. The popularity of the low water Rafting run on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River is both due to the opportunity of experiencing the incredible view of the Victoria Falls from the Boiling Pot and the added advantage of a lift out of the gorge at rapid #25.
The 'high water' rafting season runs approximately from the middle of January to the beginning of August, depending upon the water level each year. Please note that rafting can close around early to mid-August for safety reasons due to water levels being too high.
Rapids #11 to #25 return at approximately 3:00pm.
This option is available from July to January and includes a cable car lift out of the Batoka Gorge.
No previous white water experience is necessary if good swimming skills are combined with a “GO FOR IT” attitude. A reasonable level of fitness is also required.
What insurance coverage is there?
All clients are covered by Special Emergency Services (a private paramedic service based in Livingstone) through Safari Par Excellence; however, this only covers them for emergency evacuation in life-threatening situations. It does not cover hospitalization and medication. Travel and medical insurance are compulsory for all clients at your own expense/arrangement.
Are there any additional costs?
A National Heritage fee for ‘River Usage’ of $10pp is included in the rafting price – note that these costs are outside of the guide's control and subject to change without notice. Any additional costs for merchandise you may wish to buy i.e. DVD of your day’s rafting/t-shirts etc plus drinks when back at The Victoria Falls Waterfront is excluded.
I’m a bit concerned about how fit I am?
If you’re a bit worried about this then take the easier option and do a half-day afternoon trip where there is a lift out and the water is a lot more forgiving, but keep in mind the walk-in is steep and tricky.
Can I take my camera on the raft?
This is not recommended, it’s highly possible that the camera will get wet and damaged, or dropped in the river! There are professional photographers and videographers who will record your day on the river.
What about rafts and equipment?
The company uses some of the finest equipment on the market to ensure that the trip is a safe and enjoyable one. Rafts are purchased from Ark in South Africa and are tried and tested river rafts required for the Zambezi River. Safari Par Excellence only uses ‘high flotation life jackets’ and Protec designed safety helmets which are issued to clients before the day’s rafting. Wetsuit tops are provided during the colder months (June and July).
Guides and safety?
Safari Par Excellence is currently the only company on the Zambezi with a 100% guide certification under the International Rafting Federation. All guides are fully trained professionals and hold valid advanced first aid certificates. Whilst every precaution is taken, it is essential that agents make clients aware that there is a risk of injury associated with the activity of rafting on the Zambezi. A comprehensive first aid kit and skid stretcher are carried on each trip. Each client is required to sign the Safari Par Excellence White Water Rafting indemnity form prior to departure. Each trip leader carries a Sat phone and is in radio contact with our bases in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingstone, Zambia and covered by S.E.S (Specialty Emergency Services) based in Livingstone Zambia.