Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 126 - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today we embarked on yet another white water rafting adventure.  Can’t come to the great Zambezzi without rafting one of the world’s wildest rivers.  Water levels were high, so rapids 1 through 14 were closed ... too dangerous.  The trip started at rapid 15, but not before an extremely steep 200 meter descent over rocks and tree roots to the river.  We saw 8-inch long and about ½-inch diameter millipedes on the trail. The rafting journey ended at rapid number 24, where there was a grueling 200 meter climb to get to the "braai" (BBQ and beers) to celebrate our adventure.

Before we started we were given our safety briefing and the option of whether we wanted to flip the raft during the trip.  The first one was called the “washing machine” followed by rapid 16A and 16B which were endearingly called the “Terminator1 and 2”.  Both 16A and 16B were  Class-5 rapids with 18 foot standing waves!   We hit the “Terminator” and I got thrown out of the raft at 16A along with 2 other members of our raft and went down the second Class-5 rapid while in the water.  What an amazing experience!  I had to time my breathing with hitting the waves.  The other 2 rafts flipped over completely.  The rest of the river was fairly tame because the water level was so high.  We'll have to come back in August when all the rapids are open from 1 to 24 and most of them are Class-5.  We heard no one gets past “Oblivion” without flipping, rapid Number 18. 

The afternoon was spent with our three biologist friends touring Victoria Falls at the various lookout points.  There was group of Japanese tourists adorned in various colored rain ponchos that were being sold at the  gate.  We figured we didn’t need them.  Another error in judgment. We got SOAKED. We had a hard time keeping water off the camera equipment.  Not much to see as the volume of water was extremely high, which created a huge mist.  It was like a tropical downpour.  Amazing gorges and the Victoria Falls bridge looks like it was out of the 40s (probably was) created out of rusted, riveted iron “I” beams.  It took you back in time. 

So I guess you pee over the falls?

We ran into our biologist friends from Botswana.  Small world.

 All there was between you and the drop on the other side of the rocks was a small sign warning of slippery rocks.

Victoria Falls Bridge built in 1905.

We encountered the worst persistence in selling goods seen yet.  A guy approached us in town and then found me 15 minutes later at the campsite.  The camp ground is a secured and fenced compound.  He tried to sell me stuff,  trade for my shoes or a shirt, through the bars of the fence.


  1. Good to hear from you again. When there is a long silence, I find myself wondering if you are in a large pot of water over a fire, with the chief cook wondering what seasoning goes best with a Canadian and a Dutchman...
    Sounds like the adventure is continuing in fine fettle. Goed zo, houwe zo!

  2. So jealous of the Africa leg of your trip; more videos please RobT? RobC, you need to be open to camping. The more challenging and horrific, the more special it will be.

    Cheers, Mark

  3. Hi Mark,

    RobT actually has a helmet video of the rafting experience, including the part he is underwater trying to get back to the raft. Uploading video is a problem right now, but he will probably upload it in the future.


    No pot of boiling water yet, but we will be reporting on some changes shortly.