End of the year on the Zambezi river
I can honestly say, that this year’s season was one of the longest ones. After one and a half month in Argentina we repacked our bags at home, left our kiddo at grandma and flew to Zambia to kayak the mighty Zambezi river.
Our first time at Zambezi was in 2009. After we heard, that they are planning to dam it and all the amazing white water will turn into a lake, we had to go there again to see it at least one more time.
I remembered the river and the rapids but still the first day on the river after 8 years pushed my adrenaline a bit. This river has something magical and just walking down the gorge is so amazing. Walking down to the put in is not that difficult as climbing up for the take out. You can pay porters 1 Dollar each way to carry your kayak and support them because for most of them it’s the only job they have.
When you reach the river, you suddenly appear at the bottom of a gorgeous canyon with super high walls. We always sat on the water at the rapid #1 - boiling pot. As soon as you sit on the water you start to feel the power of the river. Massive waves, big holes and unpredictable whirlpools will surprise you every few meters. Rapid #2 is a sweet wave to surf and if the level is good you can play there all day long. Each rapid has a characteristic name as morning glory, stairways to heaven, guliver’s travels, commercial suicide, overland truck eater and many more. Most of the time we ran the rapids from 1 to 10 or 14, but you can do it to 21, 25, even to dam site or to lake Kariba. 8 years ago we ran the whole section from Victoria falls to lake Kariba, where we saw many crocs and hippos. This time we saw many crocs even on the upper rapids, which scared me a lot. One huge crocodile is living down the #9 but you could see some almost after each rapid. One day, we made a trip to Botswana to Chobe national park. We saw many wild animals like elephants, lions, hippos, zebras or crocodiles but actually in Zambezi river, where we kayaked every day, we paddled with much more crocodiles than we saw during our safari.
After two amazing weeks we made our way home to spend Christmas with our family. Unfortunately I think this was our last visit of Zambia and Zambezi river because as I mentioned before in the next few years, they plan to damage all beautiful rapids and build big dam instead. I wish for some miracle so it stays like this at least a few more years until our son is old enough to go there and kayak all the rapids with us.