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Rafting the Zambezi-Recommended Operators?

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Mar 1st, 2008, 12:11 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Rafting the Zambezi-Recommended Operators?

What raft companies have you all used/liked? I know some operators try to make it "fun and exciting" and flip the raft on purpose? yeah, I'm not about that....
mdlopez05 is offline  
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Mar 1st, 2008, 05:54 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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If you aren't into flipping and swimming... don't do it. That river is dangerous and people have died running. No matter whom you use as your outfitter you will sign a form indemnifying them against anything that should happen to you. go with your eyes open and your swimming trunks on.
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Mar 1st, 2008, 09:13 AM
  #3
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This river does scare the bejesus out of me. I am a Class V boater and it still scares me. I think it has something to do with the sensationalist videos I've been watching on youTube. One of the videos just shows raft after raft flipping. One thing I notice about this video is the rafts are not inflated all the way--of course they are going to flip! I have read some companies will do this just to give the customers some "adventure." But I don't want that--if we flip, we flip--but I don't want someone who is irresponsible enough to put me into danger on purpose.

This is why if my husband is going to drag me on this river, I am going with a reputable company with trained guides. Now just to find them....
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Mar 1st, 2008, 09:30 AM
  #4
 
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I've used Shearwater and found them very good.
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Mar 1st, 2008, 05:37 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Smart thinking. I've rafted the Zambezi several times and at different 'seasons'. The last two times we flipped at the start of the 1st rapid (and several times afterwords) due to the lack of coordination of the crew and ability to follow instruction. Unfortunately, each time I had waterlogged 'flotation device' (lack of choice) and nearly drowned because of the undertow and lack of boyancy-it seems I did the 1st rapid mostly underwater and then some each time. There is a story to all this and I doubt if I will ever be chivalrous again. And then there was the guide whose english was not the best.
I did have a lot of fun as usual each time, but am now pickier about my raft mates and equipment.

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Mar 1st, 2008, 06:43 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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"Bundu adventures" from the Zambian side - very good, with a very professional crew.....
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Mar 1st, 2008, 07:13 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I did it with Safari Par Excellence www.safpar.com from the Zambia side on July 4th. I can't say enough about their safety and preparation, professional all the way. I choose to have a raft with a guide and a rower as I did not want to flip and this was done. The "crazy Aussies" choose to paddle themselves and that was not for me. One of them broke his arm in a flip and this was handled professionally. He was airlifted out by helicopter. Some people even boogie-boarded the rapids. They seemed to enjoyed that! Everyone enjoyed the trip down the river at their own level on the same trip. I thoroughly enjoyed it but probably wouldn't do it again. Go for it! Have a blast!!!
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Mar 1st, 2008, 11:43 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I did it at home, in Austria and I did it on a new years morning on the Zambesi with Shearwaters. The big difference, beside the waters temperature, was the introducction and in the consequence the teamwork in the raft. When we were flipping on the Lammer, it was supposed to be the first time in the season, and the company was worrried about it. In Zimbabwe we flipped about 6 or 7 times (as well as all the others) and it seemed to be "part of the game".
A friend of mine allway says: braveness is only a lack of imagination....
doni is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:23 AM
  #9
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Thank you everyone for your very valuable feedback!

You knew this was coming--
Luangwablondes, which company did you go with?? I need to know as that is exactly the situation I do not want to be in. If you don't wish to post on the board, please email me at: [email protected].

you guys are the greatest!

Megan
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Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:10 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Shearwaters was great for us.
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Aug 13th, 2008, 12:09 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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We went rafting this past Sunday on the Zambezi with Bundu. We were very happy with their professionalism. There was only one raft and they inflated it the whole way. They also had two kayakers following us the entire time in case we fell out of the raft. Ask for "Potatoe" to be your guide. He was great!! We were all nervous and told him we did not want to flip. We never flipped and no one fell out of the raft (we only did a half day rafting). On some rapids he gave us a choice- either go to the right and flip 99% of the time or stay in the middle with a 50% chance of flipping- of course we all said to go the easy route in the middle. Our guide went over each rapid before we went through it and told us what could possibly happen and which side of the river to swim to if we fell out. We bought their photo cd and can't believe the size of the waves and rapids that we went through and yet no one fell out of the raft. It was very fun and exciting and I would do it again. It is important to tell your guide up front that you all want a "mellow ride". Our other friends went another day and told them they wanted a "wild" ride and they all fell out of the raft.
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