Zambezi River White Water Rafting

The Destination


The Destination

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, with a tropical climate, and consists mostly of high plateaus with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys.

At 52,614 km2 (290,586 sq mi) it is the 39th-largest country in the world, The country lies mostly between latitudes 8° and 18°S, and longitudes 22° and 34°E.

The climate of Zambia is tropical, modified by elevation, most of the country is classified as humid subtropical or tropical wet and dry, with small stretches of semi-arid steppe climate in the south-west and along the Zambezi valley.

There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May/June to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is divided into the cool dry season (May/June to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November). The modifying influence of altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather rather than tropical conditions during the cool season of May to August. However, average monthly temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) over most of the country for eight or more months of the year.

The official language of Zambia is English, which is used to conduct official business and is taught in schools. The main local language is Nyanja, followed by Bemba both of which are commonly spoken in Zambia. Other languages also include Lozi, Kaonde, Tonga, Lunda and Luvale, The total number of languages spoken in Zambia is 73.

On 24 October 1964, Zambia became independent of the United Kingdom and Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991. Kaunda played a key role in regional diplomacy, cooperating closely with the United States in search of solutions to conflicts in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, and Namibia.

Livingstone Map

After Independence some colonial civic buildings were destroyed and replaced with an African architecture, although, at the same time, a large infusion of cash from the British government to Zambia at Independence was partially used in Livingstone.

Originally the main crossing point of the Zambezi was above the falls at the Old Drift, by dugout canoe, later an iron boat propelled by eight Lozi paddlers, or a barge towed across with a steel cable. The Batoka Gorge and the deep valley and gorges of the middle Zambezi meant there was no better crossing point. As the Old Drift crossing became more used, a British colonial settlement sprang up there and around 1897 it became the first municipality in the country and is sometimes referred to as 'Old Livingstone'.

Livingstone was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants. It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer who was the first European to explore the area.

In the last ten years, Livingstone has experienced resurgence in tourism and has firmly become the destination of choice when looking to experience white water rafting at its best whilst also visiting the Victoria Falls. Livingstone has enjoyed an influx of investment in the industry from modern hotel chains, to some modern street strip mall centers and restaurants.

Welcome to our home – welcome to Livingstone


Victoria Falls, Zambia

What Else Can I Experience?

If you find yourself on an African Safari, you will most likely start, end or go through Victoria Falls. When the tranquil Zambezi River suddenly plummets 354 feet over a 1,7 kilometre-wide cliff to form the world's largest curtain of waterfall, one can only stand in awe at the noise and sheer volume of water giving rise to its local name Mosi-Oa-Tunya, meaning ‘The Smoke that Thunders.’ In high water months, thunder it does! Although the giant flow of water is not evident in low water months, visitors can expect the ultimate white water rafting river levels, superb wildlife sightings and the opportunity to walk along the edge of the Falls to Livingstone Island, where a heart-racing swim in the Devils Pool promises to cool you down from the soaring summer heat.

Visitors who come to see the Victoria Falls can base themselves in accommodation along the Zambezi River in Livingstone – the ‘adventure capital of Africa’, named after the Scottish Explorer, David Livingstone. Livingstone was paddled in a dugout canoe or ‘mokoro’ through swift rapids towards the roar and rising cloud of mist, the mokoro paddlers skilfully landed on ‘Goat Island’ (now known as Livingstone Island) right on the lip of the chasm. A few steps through the small rainforest on 16th November 1855 and he first laid eyes upon the spectacular sight which he named in honour of his Queen Victoria. He later described the Falls as a 'scene so lovely it must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight.'

The exhilarating ‘flight of the Angels’ by microlight is one of the many exceptional experiences one can expect to find that is totally unique to Livingstone and not available elsewhere in the region. Those with a flair for the vintage may board and dine upon an exquisitely restored classic steam train with a bi-weekly stop on the glamourous Victoria Falls Bridge built in 1905 before settling down to a sumptuous five-course Menu. Another venue that has pride of place in Zambia is Livingstone Museum which devotes an impressive gallery to the adventures and memorabilia of David Livingstone. The display includes original letters sandwiched between glass panels that visitors can decipher, his family tree, olive-green caped coat, black cap, carved umbrella, weaponry and more. After Livingstone died in what is now northern Zambia in 1873, his heart was buried under a mpundu tree before servants carried his body to the east coast, from where it was shipped to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey.

During its glamorous heyday, Livingstone Town, with its charming art deco main-street buildings, was a magnet for royalty - all bar one of King George V's children visited, as did Hollywood royalty such as Alfred Hitchcock. Royalty still makes a point of dropping in. Time your visit to catch a ‘Moonbow’ - when the moon is full, the sky is clear and Victoria Falls are at their peak flow, huge rainbows appear through the mist at night. The light of the moon is refracted through the spray that rises up from the base of the Victoria Falls. This unique event is visible the day before, the day of and the day after the full moon.

Elephant Cafe


Another signature highlight of your Livingstone adventure is a visit to The Elephant Café, offering an unparalleled dining experience with its exclusive and enchanting setting. Jump on a speedboat from The David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa and whizz up the Zambezi River to The Elephant Cafe, passing hippos and crocodiles on the way and be met on arrival by a magnificent herd of rescue elephants. Experience an unforgettable close encounter with these gentle giants and sit on the beautiful wooden deck for a fine-dining experience. The Elephant Café seats a maximum of 24 guests. The meal is prix fixe, so guests can sit back and relax over the delicious bush gourmet cuisine unique to this restaurant including wild edibles and locally-sourced fresh and organic ingredients. The tantalisingly creative dishes embody nature’s essence and some of the wild edibles are a favourite of the elephants themselves! Advance reservation is essential.

Zambezi Rafting Festival Victoria Falls


Safari Par Excellence are the pioneers of adventure activities in Livingstone, offering once in a lifetime experiences since 1988! The passion, experience and culture of this company are second to none. Famed as the Best One-Day White Water Rafting in the World, Safpar delivers a fun, safe but challenging day on the mighty Zambezi with an experienced team who are all accredited by the International Rafting Federation. Safpar also offer unique multi-day rafting expeditions where swimming under the Falls, camping under a starlit sky, catching your food and accessing rarely visited regions of the Batoka Gorge are highlights of this bucket-list adventure. Other highlights with Safpar include canoe trails, sunset cruises, the elephant encounter, village tours, a safari drive in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and a day trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Explorers Club


Parent company The Explorer Club Africa is your total-solution provider for your own Livingstone adventure. Whether you are a solo adventurer, a couple looking for a romantic getaway, a family or on a self-drive expedition through Africa, we will help you create the ideal itinerary for your pocket.

Accommodation in Livingstone

River Club


The elegant River Club is an enchanting oasis located a short distance from the historical town of Livingstone where a spot of croquet or boules are a daily requisite with Afternoon Tea. The private and spacious suites are individually set within magnificent trees on the edge of the Zambezi River, overlooking the Zambezi National Park. All rooms are west-facing and take advantage of the spectacular African sunsets. The lodge is set on a 50-acre secure property with manicured lawns and a magnificent rim-flow swimming pool and hammocks overlooking pods of resident hippo complete the setting. With a private island for special occasions, this blissfully romantic Lodge has won the hearts of many a bride and groom as one of the most unique and magical spots on earth to make their dreams come true. River Suites, Luxury River Suites with a private pool, a Luxury Family Suite and the Princess Mary Suite are available.

David Livingstone Safari Lodge


The David Livingstone Safari Lodge is a beautifully appointed thatched lodge oozing with charm set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, named after the intrepid traveller, David Livingstone. Stay in a Suite with a jacuzzi, whizz off in a speedboat to The Elephant Café, take in the sunset from the riverside pool or have a massage at the award-winning Spa. Located just 15 minutes from Victoria Falls or Livingstone, the lodge offers complimentary shuttles throughout the day. The lodge’s daily scheduled sunset cruise on the Lady Livingstone drifts past Siloka Island, enjoying the abundant wildlife along the banks of the Zambezi River. Each cruise takes approximately two hours. Executive Suites and Standard Luxury Rooms are available.

Victoria Falls Waterfront


The Victoria Falls Waterfront is the ideal location to base your cost-effective Livingstone adventure. Located within the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park next door to The David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa, this property is renown as the adventure hub of Livingstone - where white-water rafting, canoe safaris, speedboat adventures, river cruises, safari drives and cultural tours start and finish. It is a popular overnight stay for self-drive, 4WD and motorbike enthusiasts. Whether you are looking for a comfortable accommodation option, planning a self-drive trip or busy organising an overland group through Africa, you will find The Victoria Falls Waterfront convenient, cost-effective and easy to arrange. All guests may enjoy the use of two swimming pools, WIFI facilities, a festive bar with Happy Hour specials, an on-site Safpar activities booking centre, a restaurant with an unbeatable view of the Zambezi River and Peppino's Pizza Restaurant. Riverside / Garden Chalets, Adventure Village Tents and a Campsite is available.

Arrival Options to Livingstone Airport, Zambia (IATA code LVI)
With cheap connecting flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, it is a quick and easy transit to Livingstone. Airport code LVI.

Visas – Zambia
USA / Canadian Passport Holders are eligible to get a visa on arrival in Zambia. The Multiple-Entry Zambian Visa is USD 80.00 per person. This information is subject to change – please check with your nearest Zambia Consulate or Embassy.

Visas – Zimbabwe
USA / Canadian Passport Holders are eligible to get a visa on arrival in Zimbabwe. The Single-Entry Zimbabwean Visa is USD 30.00 per person for USA Passport Holders and USD 75.00 per person for Canadian Passport Holders. This information is subject to change – please check with your nearest Zimbabwe Consulate or Embassy.

Visas – Botswana
USA / Canadian Passport Holders do not require a travel visa for entry into Botswana for a stay up to 90 days. A valid passport is required. This information is subject to change – please check with your nearest Botswana Consulate or Embassy.

Electrical Plug Outlet / Voltage
All electrical appliances in Zambia run on 220V. The primary socket types are Euro, British or South African. Although multi-adaptors are generally available at hotels, we recommend bringing your own.

Currency & ATM’s
Zambia’s unit of currency is the Kwacha, denoted by the symbol ZMK and is required for things such as shopping in the local supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants (credit cards are also widely accepted). Bureaux de Change and ATM machines are available at Livingstone Airport and in Livingstone Town - Visa / MasterCard are readily available. The South African Rand and the United States Dollar are widely accepted as payment in hotels and by curio market vendors.

Vaccinations & Malaria
There is no formal requirement for any vaccination for entry into Zambia, however, please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations if coming from a yellow-fever zone. This area has been declared a malaria-free zone but we highly recommend that you take precautions against malaria, particularly in the summer months. We also encourage visitors to use insect repellent liberally and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites.