Questions about Victoria Falls whitewater rafting

Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Questions about Victoria Falls whitewater rafting

Our itinerary is set and we will be in Victoria Falls for 2 days in July. We are considering a whitewater rafting trip, but am afraid it might be too challenging for our group. We will have a 10 year old, a 74 year old and the rest of us are midway between those ages. Do they offer different levels of this trip, say one with maybe Class 1 & 2 rapids? I know a class 4&5 trip would be too much for us.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:28 PM
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There are calm trips that just allow you to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. They are a pleasant outing with some refreshments and a view of the sunset. That is the kind of river raft trip that I took but I couldn't even consider it “white water.” It was a float trip.

You are right that the Class 1 and 2 rapids are no place for a 10-year old old and probably not for a 74 year old.

Here are some comments on providers. You could book a trip with your agent to guarantee a trip or when you arrive with the hotel.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34945189
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 04:39 PM
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I think there is a BIG difference between a rafting trip, and a canoeing or "booze cruise" boat trip as Lynn has nicely put it. I dont think a rafting trip would be appropriate for a 10 or 74 year old, or basically anyone without a real daredevil thrillseeker type attitude- it is not an easy trip. The water levels are especially high this year- which mean faster flowing water. The canoe and riverboat trips are all above the falls, where the water is calmer, no rapids. I would speak to your travel agent and get their advice, but the canoeing sounds more appropriate to me!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 04:56 PM
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I think the rapids are Class IV and V. I inquired last year before my visit to Vic Falls. The travel agent said it's not for the faint of heart, and my online research also disclosed the same thing. You also have to climb a very steep hill at the end of the ride which is pretty strenuous.
I didn't get to find out for myself because when I got to Vic Falls last June, the rafting was suspended for a time because the falls were at such full flood the rapids were too dangerous for rafting.
So you'd probably be better off with one of the boat rides above the falls.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
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I spoke with a family while in Vic Falls that did the whitewater rafting trip (Dec) and they had the "deer in the headlight look" telling me their experience, this was their first time rafting. The 10 year old and one of the daughter's flipped out of the raft and almost drowned. She swallowed alot of water and the next day was feeling very ill. They also said the hike down to the water was grueling. I stuck with the river cruise which was wonderful.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 05:08 PM
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rafting the Zambezi is quite harrowing. I went into it with no fear, not realising just how violent those rapids are. We had a really great time but I would only recommend it for very fit dare devils, definately NOT for a 10 year old or 74 year old.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:21 PM
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I agree that whitewater rafting is definitely not appropriate for a 74 year old.

But I spent a week on the Salmon River (class 1 through 5 rapids) when I was 9 and it was the best friggin vacation of my and my brother's lives. He was 7 at the time. We were like fish, so we did not panic when we got thrown out of the raft. It all depends on the child's maturity and comfort level with serious water sports.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:39 PM
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I did this on the 4th of July a few years back from the Zambia side. We had to start below rapid 7 (I think) because of the high water. This year should be no different as the water is very high already. I was there this mid-March and the water was so high, no rafting was taking place, from the Zim side anyway. I don't recommed this for a 10 or 74 year olds no matter when or what. This doesn't mean that perfectly healthy 30-40-50-60 somethings couldn't go ahead. Just leave the young and the old to ride ellies or do the Lion Walk or something else that day. The trek down to the river was the hardest as a hippo had fallen down the trail and litterally taking it out a few days before. The hike up after rapid 25 or so was also very steep, but not as hard for me (at the time). It was a trip of a lifetime, so don't miss this if you can do it. I went with Safari Par Excellance. I highly recommend them. Pick a professional rower rather than paddling on your own. The Aussies in our group who did that were absolutely CRAZY!!!! One guy broke his arm falling out of the raft. Some people even did the rapids on boggie boards! I know it can be done. You'll have a ball so go for it!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 04:16 AM
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Our family - twin boys then 8 if I remember well - did a multi day class IV and V trip on the Colorado a few years back. Water was very low, and our guide said that was actually much harder - more technical, he said. Rocks more exposed, and harder to go around them. I would not automatically rule out young and older folks, but it does depend on your/their physical health, strength, and comfort level with strenuous, daredevil-type activities.

We had an absolute blast on the Colorado!
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