Zambezi Rafting

Old Dec 9th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Zambezi Rafting

I would appreciate advice regarding what footwear to bring for whitewater rafting the Zambezi in a few weeks from now. I understand that the walk out is quite a hike and would like to bring sneakers. Do they supply a waterproof bag for such items or will everything get soaked. Should we invest in some kind of water shoes or take waterproof sandals?

Thanks
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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I would think that Teva sandals, or something similar, would be your best bet. They were invented just for this purpose.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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Teva sandals are ok as are slip on water shoes. The water shoes are really very inexpensive and we actually gave them away to the guides and staff who took us on the rafting trip. It is very steep getting up although I hear there may be an elevator now...no joke...to reach the top. Getting down was actually much more treacherous from the Zambian side and so footwear with a firm sole is recommended. They will not provide a water proof bag but I guess double or triple bagging in a zip lock XL bag would work...unless you flip and the bag floats away...won't be fun climbing up sans shoes. If you ask they may be able to meet you at the end of the trip with your shoes that you gave them before heading down. So you may have them for the ascent but not the decent.
While going up is much more tiring the decent was downright scary for me as I have a bit of a problem with heights and a whole bunch of people are going one after another sometimes on makeshift ladders.
Having said all that it was a great experience and I felt very safe on the river. I don't know who you are using but my one complaint was the lack of drinking water for the ascent...we all got very dehydrated. While I don't advocate under age drinking my 3 under 21 children downed a beer at the top just to rehydrate.
Eric
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Didn't raft the Zambezi, but canoed it. Teva's are good in the boat, but if you have some walking to do, before/after, I'd take a pair of lightweight ankle high hiking boots with good lug soles. Sneaker soles are typically slippery.

I wish I had taken a small collapsible waterproof bag with a carabiner for clipping onto the raft (I have several for rafting kayaking here at home). They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most well-equipped sporting goods stores or online. That way you can carry the boots and other things you don't want to get wet with you. They're handy for packing damp, dirty clothing and some are made of clear plastic. Good luck. Sounds like fun.

Jim

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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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I have a pair of water sneakers that I got at EMS - mine have velcro closures which make them easy to put on and take off when wet - they are meant to dry out quickly and are very breathable.
They're much sturdier than water sandals and have a thick sole with good traction. You may need something more than sandals if hiking thru brush, prickers or need traction on rocks. The grip also helps grab the bottom of the raft to hopefully help you stay put - a sandal won't do this without shifting.

I use these all purpose water sneakers for many activities including rafting, hiking, biking,swimming and kayaking - my best investment yet.
Good luck!
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_d...=1165694953213

Hope this works - these are similar to the sneakers that i have except mine have velcro closures
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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You will probably wear your takkies or Teva's the entire time. You need them to hike to where the raft is put in, hike out, and once where you and your mates carry the raft around one unnavigatable rapids. Also, if the raft tips, and the entire crew ends up in the water, you maybe instructed to just float into calm water and get out if you like, till the kayaks pickup any stressed swimmers.

I carry one pair of throwaway takkies for the Zambezi/Nile. On a one way trip around the world. No matter what they look like or the condition of the footwear, they're worth a lot to the locals who can't afford much. No point in taking anything better because the shoes will get filthy and soaked, and take another day to dry out at least-think about how that scenario fits into your flight plans-wet, heavy shoes, plastic bag hopefully, and overweight bags now. Besides, it isn't a fashion show.

All the rafts carry some sort of waterproof box that is secured to the raft. So take only what you need till you return to your room.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 10:02 PM
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santharamhari
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Actually, the time i did the rafting they had a water proof bag where, you put in any stuff you dont want to get wet and receive them at the end of the trip. They lock the whole bag with stuff from all the participants and the keys travel with you on the trip.

Yeah, you need some proper footwear that allows for a proper grip. The climb back up is a great workout (especially for the calf muscles)

Hari
 
Old Dec 10th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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I highly recommend Keen's Newport water/hybrid shoes. It is a quite a hike and these shoes are perfect because they have more support than the Teva's I've seen.
Have a great time...

Deb
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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The cable car on the Zambian side is in operation. It's just a 5-10 minute hike up the gorge to the cable car. When I went with Saf Par, I'm pretty sure they provided a waterproof bag. You're equally well off with either your sandals or shoes (takkies); don't bother buying anything special.
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