page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52

Livingstone November 2009 Travel Zambia 17 Kayaking into the gorge, with the promise of rough water ahead PHOTO: STEPHEN CUNLIFFE

18 Travel Zambia November 2009 Spray it again ( whitewater rafting) " We need to pass right of the indicator rock before making a hard left turn," says our guide, Clement ' Potato' Chisangwa of Bundu Adventures. " A large diagonal wave lies in wait and we need speed to break through." His next words sound even more daunting: " We'll drop into a gigantic hole called ' The Crease'," he continues, " but at all costs we want to avoid being pushed into ' Temple of Doom' on the far left." This doesn't sound good. " If we still haven't fl ipped by then," he adds, " we'll run ' Land of the Giants', where you can expect huge waves from every direction." So far so terrifying. This team talk was aimed at galvanising our motley crew of wannabe rafting enthusiasts into action as we approached the Zambezi's longest and most technically challenging stretch of grade fi ve white water. Rapid Seven, known as Gulliver's Travels, is renowned for fl ipping rafts and giving rafters a long swim - with serious ' downtime'. Everything went just as Potato had instructed . until The Crease. The seething mass of white water effortlessly fl ipped our 16- foot raft and plunged our team into the river. And we fl ipped again in the notorious Star Trek rapid, where Potato's prediction - a 3% chance of getting through unscathed - proved accurate. OK, so this might sound like a somewhat alarming way to spend a Monday, but it was one of the most exhilarating and entertaining days imaginable. Surf's up ( river boarding) Tuesday dawned as hot as ever and I headed happily back to the mighty Zambezi. This time I traded the ten- man raft for a pair of fi ns and a one- man body board. Safpar riverboarding guide David Choongo was charged with leading me safely through the rapids. With nine years of guiding experience and a love of big- wave surfi ng, he was the perfect escort for a rookie. If you think that grade fi ve rapids look big from a raft, just try lying down on a boogie board and staring up at those walls of water. They're enormous! River boarding essentially involves trying to make the correct approach into a rapid, then taking a deep breath and hanging on for dear life. Contrary to what many people think, however, it is actually a very safe undertaking. " The Zambezi is classifi ed as a high- volume pool- drop river with few exposed rocks," explains Safpar's head river guide, Andrew ' Sven' Bolton. Above: Whitewater rafters can expect spills as well as thrills Opposite from top: Preparing to launch into space on the fl ying fox Abseiling down the gorge A good scream sends these gorge swingers on their way Two's company when it comes to boogie boarding Each of the Zambezi's rapids has acquired its own nickname among whitewater rafters am prepared to go anywhere," David Livingstone once claimed, " provided it be forward". But the fi rst European to lay eyes on Victoria Falls may not have been thinking of doing it upside- down, underwater or dangling from 50 metres of elastic. A century and a half later, the town that bears Livingstone's name offers high jinks to visitors that would surely have the great explorer turning in his grave. SAFARI PAR EXCELLENCE