Start Points Throughout the Year
High water runs from rapid # 11 to #23.
Low water (full day) – #1 to #23.
Low water (half day morning) – # 1 to #10
Low water (half day afternoon) – #11 – #23
set departures tomulti-day rafting trips– perfect for solo travellers and couples/small groups.
Batoka Gorge Rapids
# 1: “The Boiling Pot / against the wall” Class 4/5:
The start of the low water trip. From here the river hits a wall forming a wild cushion wave and eddy.
# 2: ” The bridge” Class 3:
A wild mixture of waves best in the early part of the low water season. Clearly visible to bungee jumpers and spectators on the Victoria Falls bridge.
# 3: Rapid Class 4:
A steep and radically fast wave with an easily avoidable hole. The second part of this rapid is best in the early part of the season – a small wave train with an excellent pocket on the Zambian side.
# 4: “Morning Glory” Class 4/5: Video
The first major rapid offering varying lines with an almost river wide hole at the top, followed by a few diagonals off the right hand wall and finally a big hole at the bottom
# 5: “Stairway to Heaven” Class 5:
Best in the early part of the season, with an 8m drop over 10m, very steep and powerful with a heap of massive waves and holes. Although it isn’t too technical, it’s size and volume make for an amazing spectacle and an even more amazing ride.
Avoid the waterfalls and a hole on the left called the “catcher’s mitt” plus a large pourover on the right.
# 6: “Devil’s Toilet Bowl” Class 4:
A Short rapid with a deceptively steep and powerful hole on entry followed by some nasty boils and whirlpools.
# 7: “Gullivers Travels” Class 5:
700m of class 5 high volume white water at certain levels. This is the longest and most technical rapid on the one day whitewater trip. The run consists of a main channel with smaller channels feeding into it – includes the “Temple of Doom”, “The Crease”, “Patella Gap” and “Land of the Giants”.
# 8: “Midnight Diner” Class 3/5:
This rapid has 3 runs. On the left is “Star Trek” with a hole of up to 5m reserved for the brave. The “Muncher Run” in the centre takes you through a window of “Star Trek”. On the right is the “Chicken Run”.
# 9: “Commercial Suicide” Class 5/6:
The Zambezi’s most infamous. This is a river-wide pour-over with a very narrow slot of less than a metre on the right –commercial portage!
#10: “Gnashing Jaws of Death” Class 4:
An easy run before lunch
this is the first rapid on the “high water” run.
# 11: “Overland Truck Eater” Class 5:
A big barrel for about two weeks in the year during the transition between high and low water in mid January and early July. Watch out for the hole, eddy line and whirlpool.
#12 A,B,C: “Three Sisters” Class 3/4:
12B is the famous Zambezi surfing wave for kayakers – surfs best between August and December with two windows and a massive green shoulder and a big eddy.
Rafters prefer the term “three little pigs”
# 13: “The Mother” Class 4/5:
A massive wave train at its best, first 3 waves super fast.
# 14: Rapid # 14: Class 3:
Big S-bend in the river. Center chute to be avoided at lower water levels.
# 15: “Washing Machine” Class 5:
Simple wave train but unrunnable in the middle because of a huge crashing hole – go left or right into the eddy.
# 16: ” The Terminators I and II ” Class 4:
A massive wave train and trough at higher water levels, not much when low.
# 17: “Double Trouble” Class 5:
A simple wave train but unrunnable because of 2 large holes – also known as “The Bitch”.
# 18: “Oblivion” Class 5:
Three waves make up THE rapid on the Zambezi.. The 3rd crashing wave is responsible for more raft flips than any other in the world – only about 1 in 4 attempts succeed!
This rapid marks the end of the “low water” one-day run
#19 to #25 Rapids: Class 2/3:
Easy runs at the end of the day.
Rapid #23 is the last rapid on the “high water” one-day run
Then there is a 200 metre climb out of the gorge with refreshments along the way and beers waiting at the top. The record climb out is 6 minutes
Class I– Very easy. Waves small, regular. Passages clear, sandbanks, artificial difficulties like bridge piers. Riffles.
Class II– Easy. Rapids of medium difficulty, with passages clear and wide. Low ledges.
Class III– Medium. Waves numerous, high, irregular. Rocks, eddies. Rapids with passages that are clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering. Inspection usually needed.
Class IV– Difficult. Long rapids. Waves powerful, irregular. Dangerous rocks, boiling eddies. Passages difficult to reconnoiter. Inspection mandatory first time. Powerful and precise maneuvering required.
Class V– Very difficult. Extremely tough, long and very violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption. River bed extremely obstructed. Big drops, violent current, very steep gradient. Reconnoitering essential but difficult.
Class VI– Extraordinarily difficult. Difficulties of class V carried to extremes of navigability. Nearly impossible and very dangerous. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels and after close study with all precautions