Victoria Falls Adventures | River | Boarding & White | Water Rafting

Surfing the Zambezi. Zambia Tourism

Surfing on the Zambezi. Riverboarding originated in Queenstown, New Zealand in 1989 and was introduced to the Zambezi Gorge in 1996

Photo: Zambia Tourism


Physical Features of the River

The Zambezi River is to riverboarding as Hawaii is to surfing. The river is classified as a high volume; pool drop river i.e. there is little exposed rock either in the rapids or the pools below the rapids. The distance between rapids allows time to relax and prepare for the next challenge. The gorge itself varies between approximately 140 metres (459.3 feet) and 250 metres (820.2 feet) deep making for spectacular scenery.

The Trip

The Combo consists of 2 of the most exciting activities on the river, riverboarding and rafting. Useing shorter sections of the river, you can stop at “play spots” along the way to surf, ride whirlies and “squirt” (best described as “flying underwater”). First of all, clients must have basic swimming and a reasonable state of fitness as a minimum prerequisite. Basic skills are taught in still water and then you progress into moving water. At any time the client may opt out of the trip and ride in the support raft. Also, the trip leader may remove any client from the water and into the raft at any time if, in the trip leader’s opinion, the client does not possess the necessary skills, fitness or mental state to safely continue the trip. The length of the trip (e.g. half day and full day) and the number of rapids run depends on the level of the water in the gorge.

Minimum & Maximum PAX

  • Minimum of 2 clients.
  • No maximum number of clients.

Age Restriction

The minimum age is 15 years. Children under 15 years may participate subject to consultation between parents and trip leader. The maximum age limit is dependent on the individual’s general state of health, physical fitness and consultation with trip leader.

Experience & Fitness

No previous body boarding experience is necessary if good swimming skills are combined with a “GO FOR IT” attitude. A reasonable level of fitness is also required.

Equipment Supplied

  • Fins
  • Booties
  • Helmets
  • Wet suites
  • Life jackets
  • Expert guides
  • Body board and wrist leash

Drinks Supplied

On the river the safety raft carries water and juice. At the top of the gorge, at the end of the trip - complimentary soft drinks and beers are enjoyed. There is also a braai (barbecue) on the Zambian side at the Waterfront for clients in Zambia only.

Guides & Safety

Guides are fully trained professionals and hold a valid first aid certificate. Clients must be aware that any water activity contains an element of risk. A comprehensive first aid kid is carried on each trip. Each client is required to sign the Zambezi Riverboard Indemnity form prior to departure. Our support raft also carries a radio for communication with our bases in Victoria Falls and Livingstone and direct with M.A.R.S. (Medical Air Rescue Services).

Client Requirements

Passports are required to cross the Zambian border. The costs of visas are included in the riverboarding rate.

Brett Hilton-Barber and Lee R. Berger. Copyright © 2010 Prime Origins.