Zambezi and Botswana Experience

This long standing world class adventure combines culture, natural wonders, warm water multi-day class IV rafting, and an African Safari Tour through Botswana’s famous Chobe National Park



Now booking for 2024!

October and November dates available. Please inquire to join list and get the current list of dates!


We welcome adventurous and active participants on this incredible trip to the heartland of Africa. Guests should be active and prepared for international travel, short hikes, exciting whitewater, camping, and rocky scrambling.




The river portion of the trip is done in 16-18ft stern mount paddle boats.


Double/Single Occupancy: $4999/person

$500 deposit required to confirm reservation

Discover: Zambezi and Botswana

Zambezi River trip, 2023

Zambezi River trip, 2022


  • Visit Victoria Falls
  • World Famous Zambezi Rafting
  • African Wildlife Game Drive
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Premier Tour Operators and Lodging


In 1983 the first descent of Africa’s mightiest whitewater river, and arguably the most thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the planet, was accomplished. The team included american river guides and a support staff boasting presidents, politicians, movie stars, camera crews, native porters and multi-national military personnel. The trip is a significantly less of an undertaking these days, but is still lauded as one of the greatest bucket-list river adventures – and the surrounding safari and adventure opportunities make it a destination worthy of anyones bucket list.

The Zambezi river, Victoria falls (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the neighboring national parks offering some of Africa’s best game drives have been staple destinations for river runners, adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts for years.

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Our all-inclusive trips to this incredible corner of Africa have been crafted to check all of the boxes of your picture-perfect adventure to one of the world’s most exotic destinations. Raft the mighty Zambezi, camp under African stars, have a drink at the edge of Victoria falls, keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five on a multi-day game drive, experience the magic of indigenous cultures, and live for a brief while to the drumbeat of Africa

We work solely with the most premier tour operators, hotels and service providers to guarantee that your trip is safe, fun and affordable. Choose from a variety of trip lengths and packages to guarantee you get the Africa trip of your dreams!


Year to year itineraries may vary slightly simply given the nature of planning trips across the globe. Our itinerary for the 2023 year can be viewed here:  2023 Zambezi and Botswana Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary that can be used as a general guideline.


  • Arrival
  • Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River! Enjoy all you can eat appetizers, all you can drink beverages, and get to know the crew on this beautiful and relaxing start to your adventure.

Welcome to Livingstone! You will be met on arrival and transferred to our main accommodation for the trip, the Waterfront Lodge on the banks of the mighty Zambezi. The lodge is 3km upriver from the Victoria Falls and is located within a National Park – watch out for the resident monkeys and a semi-resident wild hippo in the pond by the bar! Guests will enjoy a standard room with garden or riverside views. After taking some time to settle in, we will meet in the afternoon for the sunset cruise up the calm waters of the upper Zambezi national park. Drinks and snacks are included, so keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife and even get your first taste of our local beer, Mosi! This evening we will have dinner at the on-site Kalai Restaurant and enjoy our first test of the sounds and sights of Africa!


  • Rhino Safari
  • Livingstone Island Tour and the Devils Pool Swim
  • Visit to local arts and craft market.


Your first morning in Africa begins with a morning safari tour in the nearby Mosi-Oa-Tunya National park, where will locate and the park’s White Rhino herd! Following our Rhino tour we will head over for our first look at the natural wonder of the world just downstream from our hotel: Victoria Falls! After lunch on Livingstone Island, look forward to a dip in one of the most infamous swimming pools in the world – The Devils Pool! This is a natural rockpool formed on the edge of the mighty Victoria Falls located on Livingstone Island. Dr David Livingstone himself was paddled in a dugout canoe through the swift rapids towards the roar and rising cloud of mist suspended above a cliff over which the whole of the mile-wide Zambezi River plunged. The ‘Makoro’ (canoe) paddlers skilfully landed him on ‘Goat Island’ (now known as Livingstone Island) right on the lip of the chasm.

After the falls we will head into town for any errands people need, and to do some real African street shopping at the local’s Maramba market. Among the many sites and sounds you will certainly see, we will stop to place our orders for custom tailored African shirts, dresses and blouses and choose from the thousands of unique and beautiful fabrics and designs.


  • Explore under Victoria Falls
  • White Water Raft rapids #1 – #10
  • Rapid Highlights: The section of river today is famous around the world for its spectacular white water. The highlights of the day being rapid #5, rapid #7, and an easy walk-around/portage of the impressive #9 rapid.
  • Camp at rapid # 10 on a beautiful white beach under the African Stars…keep an eye out for the southern Cross!


A good day for an adventure! After a relaxed breakfast, your dry bag is packed and your valuables are locked away before our safety briefing and equipment introduction starts. Then we are on our way! Walking down into the Batoka Gorge, our epic journey starts at the base of the Victoria Falls – we explore the basalt cliffs and pools underneath the Falls. This experience is guaranteed to be another highlight of the trip – visited by few people, the base of these magnificent Falls will undoubtedly one of the most dramatic spots you will encounter.

After a light lunch, it is time for us to meet the Mighty Zambezi River. The 10 rapids we encounter for the day will be fun, but will be challenging! Our experienced crew are there to see you through some of the most intense white-water on the planet, you will be tested by Class 3-5 Rapids with names such as Morning Glory, Stairway to Heaven, The Devils Toilet Bowl and the Mighty Muncher before our only portage of the day around the Class 6 rapid # 9 Commercial Suicide.

Tonight we arrive at our campsite on a beautiful white, sandy beach – after helping to build camp its time to relax, enjoy a hearty dinner and the spectacular view, celebrate an awesome day on the river and look up at the majestic starlit African sky. The Batoka Gorge is all ours tonight!


  • White Water Rafting rapids #11 – #26
  • Rapid Highlights: Slightly more relaxed than day one, we paddle approximately 18km down to camp. However don’t be too relaxed, highlights today include a continuous section of white water incorporating rapids #12 and rapid #13, and infamous #18 – location of the legendary flip competition of the Zambezi river festival.
  • Camp at rapid #26


The section of the Zambezi River encountered today is a little less challenging than Day 1. Meet the Three Ugly Sisters closely followed by the Washing Machine, Terminator 1 and 2 and the world-famous Rapid #18, Oblivion. After the days excitement, we reach our second night’s campsite at Rapid #26 – tonight your only decision will be whether to put up your tent or even fall asleep on the beach beneath the stars for yet another unforgettable evening in the Batoka Gorge.


  • Rapid Highlights: The geology of the gorge changes as we leave our camp at rapid #26. Long straights of flat water are broken up by spectacular and diverse rapids: Open season, the Narrows, Chamamba Falls and Upper Moemba Falls.
  • Camp at Lower Moemba Falls (perhaps the best river camp in the world!)


You will encounter some of the Zambezi’s best rapids today 16 in total including Open Season, The Narrows, Chamamba Falls, and Upper Moemba. As the gorge opens up today we may get the chance to glimpse at some wildlife, such as crocodiles and klipspringers plus a vast array of birdlife. When we reach Moemba Falls, take time to explore this remote area and soak up the last night of the mighty Zambezi. At Moemba falls the entire Zambezi river plummets 30ft over a wedge shaped falls into a cauldron of water and dark basalt. On a river the size of the Zambezi, it is a sight to behold.

We have seen a lot of great river camps throughout the years, but happy hour and the evening sunset at our camp looking out over Moemba falls is hands down one of the most breathtaking and memorable camping experiences we have ever seen.



  • Take a 20 minute helicopter ride out of the Batoka Gorge
  • 1.5hr massage at The Spa & Wellness Centre
  • Afternoon / Evening at Leisure

Our last morning will consist of walking around lower Moemba, a few miles of flat water, and another short walk around the Damsite rapid. Then, following lunch you board a helicopter for a 20 minute flight over Victoria falls, the national park and right back to our hotel. The rest will be at your leisure; enjoy some well-earned R&R or some additional activities. There is a spa next door to our hotel that offers Zambian massage using a traditional “ukuchina” hot and cold compress technique that is worth checking out!

DAY 7: Zimbabwe, Elephant Cafe

  • Cross into Zimbabwe
  • Visit more voluminous side of Victoria Falls
  • Dinner at the Elephant Cafe, an elephant rehab and rescue facility as well as fine dining establishment that features local Zambian food and ingredients.

Our day will begin by crossing into Zimbabwe to visit the larger and wetter side of the Victoria Falls waterfall complex. Enjoy lunch and scenic views at the Lookout Cafe and explore some of the Zimbabwean markets.

For dinner we will enjoy one of the big highlights of the trip: and evening speedboat ride up the Zambezi and an Elephant interaction at the Elephant Cafe, a rehab and rescue facility that also has one of the best restaurants in Zambia.


  • Overnight in Botswana for a Chobe Safari experience – famous for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo.
  • Chobe River Safari
  • Big 5 sightings and over 460 species of bird!


After a good night’s rest we will board our transport and take an hours drive up river to the border crossing into Botswana. Once across we will have lunch on the banks of the Chobe River looking out over Namibia and borders of the expansive Chobe national park.

After lunch we will go for a river safari on the Chobe River – the ultimate safari experience which boasts 4 of Africa’s Big Five (minus Rhino) and the world’s largest remaining elephant population. The game cruise on the Chobe River brings you close to brilliant bird life, pods of watering hippos, primeval crocodiles and elephants, breath-taking in their sheer number. Not all sightings are guaranteed, but you are guaranteed to see some amazing African wildlife.

After our river cruise we hop into a safari vehicle and head deep into Chobe national park to one of only 2 permitted camping locations. Depending on how the group feels, there are also 2-4 hours of land-based safari time for evening animal sightings before we head to camp. We will enjoy dinner around the campfire, modest but comfortable safari camping, and sleep the night away to the sounds of the wild African bush!


  • Safari Drive in Chobe National Park
  • Goodbye Dinner

This morning’s land-based safari heads deeper into the Chobe National Park to spot the elusive big cats, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, birds, and all the other amazing creatures that make Chobe their home. After a full-day of safari our safari we will make our way back across the border and back to our home in Livingstone at the comfortable Waterfront Lodge, where you will by now feel like quite the local!

We will have our goodbye dinner, hopefully wearing our tailor made local clothing from Day 2, and reminisce on a wonderful trip!


This morning, have your coffee overlooking the Zambezi and soak it all in. Our departure transfer leaves The River Club at approximately 11h00 in time for your flight from Livingstone Airport.

What's Included

Included in the rate

  • All tours and activities listed in itinerary
  • All meals and drinks while camping/rafting
  • All rafting and safety equipment
  • Two person tents and camping gear
  • Skilled, professional rafting guides
  • Free video footage of your rafting trip
  • All transfers throughout the trip
  • American lead guide and local liaison

Not included in the rate

  • Airfare
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Insurance – including travel and mandatory evacuation insurance
  • Guide tips and miscellaneous gratuities
  • Personal items
  • Sleeping bag
  • Optional excursions and activities
Essential Documents


  • If you don’t have a passport, we ask that you apply for one immediately in order to allow for ample time for processing and for you to receive it. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date to see that it is valid for at least 6 months from the dates of this trip.
  • Please make a copy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. It is also a good idea to leave a copy with your emergency contact at home. We also request that you send us a copy to keep on file for emergencies during your trip. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement. It is recommended that you do not pack your passport in your checked luggage and instead carry it on your person during travel days in case you asked to present it for any reason.


Visas are no longer required for entry into Zambia or Botswana. A visa is required to enter Zimbabwe. We recommend the KZA Visa, which is $50 USD.

Mandatory Evacuation Insurance

We require that you purchase emergency medical evacuation insurance to participate in this expedition.

We strongly recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings, and your vacation.

Global Rescue and Travel Nomads are commonly used insurance providers that we have trust in and experience working with.

Travel Arrangements


You should make arrangements to arrive in Livingstone, Zambia before 2pm on the first day of your trip.


Many major airlines offer service to Livingstone, Zambia. Most commonly there are layovers in South Africa in Johannesburg or Cape Town, or in Lusaka, Zambia. Delta and United Airlines are both currently offering direct flights to South Africa out of Atlanta, Newark and Washington/Dulles airports, which are the quickest ways to get to Zambia. Once in Johannesburg or Cape Town you will likely need to spend the night and catch a flight on a regional airline to Livingstone, Zambia. We recommend looking in South Africa Airlink and Proflight Zambia for regional options.

Our advice is to remember that there is no fast way to fly to Africa. Whether you fly direct or connect through Europe or the Middle East, all itineraries tend to be long. If you are on more of a budget you will likely have a longer flight schedule.

Let us know if you’d like assistance with arranging your international flight logistics or additional tours, activities, destinations or other travels while in abroad. 

Please do not purchase airfare until your trip has been confirmed by the minimum number of required guests and you have paid your deposit.


In general, all the activities included in this tour are very accessible to people of all ages and abilities. We have had people ranging from 17yrs to people in their 70s on our trips. The local outfitters have taken people in their 80s down the river. With that said, the one portion that tends to cause the most worry for our guests is the Zambezi rafting portion.

It is important to remember that while the land activities of this excursion are quite universally accessible that the river portion is through perhaps the worlds most famous commercial whitewater destination. Those considering this trip should be prepared for class IV, high volume rafting. With all of that said, thousands of people raft the Zambezi every year and it has been commercial rafted for nearly 40 years.

The Zambezi is know for being a “flipping river” but a lot of that has to do with client’s sometimes aggressive and adventurous attitude due to the rivers reputation. While we are never able to guarantee a “no flip” trip on any river or river section, we can say that we have had no issues and that it is often possible to have a “no flip” trip. Videos and stories of Zambezi raft flips are often the result of client’s expectations to go out and flip, so the guides often take “bigger” lines in rapids than is necessary just to satisfy those particular customers.

The Zambezi is large, warm and mostly friendly. On our recent trips in 2022 and 2023 we had no flips and only one “swimmer” in a small rapid.

Packing For Your Trip

Here is a shorter run-down. For a more up in-depth description of what to take please refer to the packing list in the itinerary link under “Sample Itinerary”.

Camping on the Zambezi River

Camping is a treat for all outdoor enthusiasts. Our Zambezi River rafting overnight trips are not all about the river. We want our guests to enjoy the entire experience, including the camping within the Batoka Gorge. We like clients to get involved with building camp, helping to prepare food and collecting fire wood. All meals are freshly prepared, local beers and local spirits are included.

Zambezi River rafting overnight trips operate in the low water season, usually from August through to the new year. The rains usually arrive mid November and, although we are equipped to run Overnight Rafting trips in the wet season, be aware it there is always a chance of rain in the tropics.

Travel and Camp Gear:

Following is a list of required and recommend items for this multi-day tour through the stunning landscapes of South Central Africa.

We encourage you to also pack for the multiple days that we will not be on the river. Clothing for those days should be your normal casual wear with consideration taken for the climate and the particular activities listed in the itinerary. A good pair of shoes or boots is a great addition.


The fall months in this part of Africa are the dry time of year. There is potential for cool nights and a very low chance of precipitation. That said, we recommend bringing a light jacket for the evenings and a raincoat just in case. In general you should plan for hot and sunny weather and make sure to pack protective clothing for the sun, a hat, sunglasses and eyeglass retainers, and to bring lots of sunscreen and plan to work on your tan!



Our partnerships in Livingstone, Zambia have been carefully chosen. We work with renowned and respected local outfitters with deep roots in the community and a high emphasis on safety who have been operating these trips for over 30 years and facilitate the experiences of 10,000+ people a year on the Zambezi River and throughout its surrounding areas.


Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana are all stable and secure African nations with large, well developed and regulated tourist industries. Victoria Falls, the Batoka Gorge, Zambezi River and Chobe National Park are all world renowned tourist destinations that attract millions of visitors every year. Victoria Falls is arguably one of the most famous of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Mosquitos are far less common during the drier months and many people find that wearing appropriate clothing (shoes, long sleeves, pants) and repellent in the evenings is sufficient protection. Malaria medications and other vaccinations that are sometimes recommended for international travel (Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Rabies) are easily obtained by a visit to your doctor. Ultimately these health decisions are up to you. The Center for Disease Control website is a great resource for any research you might want to do.



Limited Space, book now!

Join us for an adventure that you will never forget!

Have any questions? Contact us!

(575) 758-2628

Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm

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