This Cairn Travels escape on an African adventure is a whitewater rafting and safari trip unlike any other.
Some of the best whitewater rafting in the world is in Africa. Travel to the far south of this massive continent to find Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, along with the world-famous Zambezi River deep in the Batoka Gorge. This Cairn Travels adventure begins on the wild Class IV-V rapids of the Zambezi, including “Stairway to Heaven,” one of the biggest commercially run rapids in the world. After several days of warm water rafting, sandy beaches and sleeping under the stars, it’s safari time. Encountering Africa’s fascinating wildlife in Botswana’s Chobe National Park will prove to be an out of this world experience. Cairn Travels recommends this vacation for adrenaline seekers, active travelers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Day 1: Upon arrival at Livingstone Airport, you will be met and transported to the Safari Lodge. There will be opportunity to relax on the deck by the river and adjust to the different time zone. If you’re not feeling too jet-lagged, consider a visit to one of the seven natural wonders of the world—Victoria Falls. This incredible waterfall drops 100 feet down into a narrow gorge creating a spectacular view and some of the most exciting whitewater on the planet.
Embark on an early evening cruise on the upper section of the Zambezi River, giving you a chance to watch the African sun set behind the ancient Baobab trees. Get glimpses of elephants and buffalo on the banks and pods of hippos relaxing in the water. This is a wonderful way to unwind, meet the rest of your fellow travelers and guides, and get a feel for the delights of Africa.
Blending perfectly within the lush surrounds of the Zambezi River bank, the lodge offers 5-star Victoria Falls accommodation nearby this impressive natural wonder of the world, with every room facing the river.
Day 2: After breakfast, head to the Batoka Gorge, which provides a magnificent backdrop for the safety briefing. The Zambezi River is home to some of the most notorious whitewater in the world, perfect for adrenaline seekers. Get ready for four days of excellent, whitewater action and stunning beaches.
A secluded, sandy beach is our camp for the night, where your guides will create a feast upon which you can celebrate your first day on the river. It is now time to relax, watch the sun disappear behind the basalt cliffs and enjoy our first night under the stars.
Day 3: After a hearty breakfast, the fun continues. This morning’s entertainment begins with rapids known as “Creamy White Buttocks” and “The Mother.” The highlight today is one of the most famous commercially run rapids and one of the most thrilling of rides, “Number 18,” also called “Oblivion.” It isn’t the first wave that gets you, nor the second, but the third crashing wave that normally has all the photographers poised, ready to capture your big moment. Arrive to camp on a gorgeous expanse of sand a little further downstream and prepare dinner while admiring the fish eagles gracefully soaring overhead.
Day 4: To ensure you are all fully awake, the first rapid, “Morning Shower” provides you with just that: an invigorating burst of refreshing whitewater. The river begins to widen today but that doesn’t mean that the rapids get any smaller, especially with one of the more technical and exhilarating rapids to conquer, “Open Season.” A huge adrenaline rush is a certain recipe to stimulate our appetites while you polish off the fresh salads prepared for lunch. Later, stop at a glorious beach for the night within sight of the magnificent Lower Moemba Falls. Sit back and enjoy the beauty of this majestic section of the river while recounting the day’s events.
Day 5: Today, portage the rafts over Lower Moemba Falls, a rapid that you will not be able to run, and drift downstream for an hour. It is possible to get the chance to run the longest and one of the biggest rapids on the Zambezi, “Ghostrider.” This adrenaline-charged ride provides a fitting climax to our journey. On the riverbank a helicopter will be waiting to transport the group back to Victoria Falls. Fly up the magnificent Batoka Gorge with a bird’s-eye view of the rapids you have just run, before being dropped-off at a beautiful lodge overlooking the river.
You have rafted one of the classic rivers of the world–well done! Accommodations this evening are at another African lodge, with breathtaking views over the rim of the canyon.
Day 6: Wake up to a gorgeous view this morning over a leisurely breakfast at the lodge. Following check out, begin the journey to Chobe National Park, famous for its huge herds of elephants, as well as antelope, hippos, baboons and lions. The afternoon will be spent on a safari tour. Time permitting, enjoy a sunset safari before returning to the tent cabins overlooking a watering hole.
Day 7: Awaken to the real sounds of Africa and an early morning safari, the perfect time to see lions and leopards before the heat of the day’s sun drives them into the shade.
After the safari, return to the lodge for breakfast. Relax, read, or maybe cool off with a shower before lunch. This afternoon get ready for more wildlife viewing before enjoying pre-dinner drinks looking out on the African plains and the setting sun. Enjoy a delicious evening meal at the lodge, then sit outside and watch the wild visitors at the watering hole.
Day 8: During breakfast, have one last chance to see Botswana’s unique wildlife before packing bags and enjoying the scenic drive to the border. You will be transported back to the airport for the return flight home.