Armed with a board, wetsuit, lifejacket, helmet and fins, you embark on a river journey playing in the currents, charging the rapids and surfing some of the world’s biggest freshwater standing waves. The main difference between river surfing and rafting is that you are in charge of your own vessel on the river. Instructors teach and guide you but, in the end, it is you who is taking on the rapids. The attraction is the physical freedom and the sense of achievement felt after tackling the Zambezi on your own.

The general rule is anyone over 13 years old can take part but they must fit into the equipment adequately. For all participants, it depends on their fitness level, water confidence and experience with water sports. Anyone who has basic swimming skills, reasonable fitness and is confident and relaxed in water will have great fun. No previous bodyboarding experience is necessary. Starting at your arranged pick up, you will be transferred to a rendezvous where you will enjoy healthy snacks while the guides introduce you to the concept of river surfing and run you through the day’s programme. Before venturing to the gorge, the guides will fit your river equipment, ensuring maximum comfort and performance. Then it’s down to the river for a 10-minute safety and river talk, followed by your first plunge into the water where you practise the basic manoeuvres and positions required to river surf.

Once everybody is happy with the equipment and their newfound environment, it’s out into the main flow to start a seriously fun day! The only way up into the Boiling Pot below the Victoria Falls is to swim: your day begins by exploring this amazing place.

ZAMBEZI RAPIDS These  are what this river is really known for and what makes river surfing here such a blast. Charging into rapids with water crashing around you and punching out the other side to find yourself surfing will undoubtedly be one of your best-ever adrenaline rushes. You have the opportunity to take it easy in grades one to four or, if you’re up to it, go hard in grade five Zambezi white water !

WAVE SURFING The Zambezi has many sensational standing waves that provide fantastic surfing. Surfing on a river wave is unique, and a highlight for surfers in this land-locked country.

PLAYING The great thing about river surfing is being able to play in the dynamic currents that rafts cannot. A good example of this is ‘whirlie riding’ – dropping into the zone where the main flow meets an opposite moving current, you drop your board into a vertical position, spinning inside the whirlpool.

SQUIRTS By placing your board under the currents, you can feel the power of the water as it takes you down. Through controlling the angle of your board, you can maintain your depth and cruise underwater. This is optional and for the more adventurous. It’s like flying underwater!

SUNDOWNERS After an awesome day of river surfing, it’s time to climb the gorge to enjoy beers and ‘softies’ at the top before being transferred back to Livingstone.

PHOTO CREDIT Bundu Adventures