Zambezi River Festival
5 days packed full of awesome races, competitions, prizes and parties, on one of the greatest rivers in the world.
Book your time off work, sell your car/house/gran, lie*, cheat*, steal*, whatever it takes to make sure you get out there, you know it makes sense!
*(probably not best to do these things)
Day One - Friday 24th October
We suggest arriving the day before. There will be last minute registration this morning between 6 and 7 before we take to the mighty Zambezi for a group paddle from rapids 1-25. It's a real hoot paddling with plenty of like minded folks and even if you are paddling "widow" come on down in a raft! We get to the take out around 2pm and back into town in time for the sunset cruise.
Day Two - Saturday 25th October
Our second river day bring the Down River Race, an endurance event starting in the eddy at the boiling pot, rapid number one and ending at the top of the gorge at rapid number 10 with your boat, with number 9 being a mandatory portage for all competitors. For the whole competition you must use the same boat, so choose wisely; do you want to use an all out playboat with not much speed but is great for the rodeo or a longer boat with more downriver speed? Each round is equally weighted so choose a boat that’ll play to your strengths as a boater. After the downriver race you might want to spend the rest of the day chilled out and recovering for the next day, maybe head over to Livingstone Island to see the falls from the top in the Devils Pool, or just hang out at the backpackers with a beer and some good friends.
Day Three - Sunday 26th October
Todays entertainment includes a head to head race at rapid number 5, ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Two at a time, paddlers will line up above the rapid and it’s a straight forward race down to the bottom, with the winner from each round going through to the next round until we have a King (and Queen!) of the day. After the head to head we’ll blast down to number 7 for an afternoon of fun slalom taking the best time along with points for making gates stuck in strategic (and sometimes tricky) spots throughout the rapid. Afterwards we'll have a braai and beers to top off a great day above Number 7.
Day Four - Monday 27th October
Today will see us holding a Fancy Dress raft race from the boiling pot (rapid 1) to Rapid 10. Teams of 6 charge downstream, portaging number 9, fastest to the bottom wins with of course extra marks for fancy dress!
After lunch we'll make our way down to Rapid 12B for the rodeo. We'll score the event according to the ICF rules, although old school and comedy moves will also of course be encouraged!
Day Five - Tuesday 28th October
The final day of the festival, boo! We've still got lots of fun in store though, starting of with the final race will take place - a simple downriver race for the top 12 competitors, but with a twist that will be revealed on the day! Once we've all scrambled out of the gorge we'll all head out to the glamourous location of our fine prizegiving event followed by a suitably sophisticated evening in town to wind up a great week.
Days 9-12 - Optional Multiday trip.
We're running a special multiday trip after the festival for anyone who hasn't quite had enough of Nyami Nyami yet! This is a four day three night trip down to Moemba, have a look at our Four Day Playground for some more information on the trip. This will be a great way to round off the week exploring further downstream all that the Zambezi has to offer.
Included in your $385 (£230) ticket price:
- Backpacker dormitory accommodation for the week (first 24 registering) After 24 entrants there will be a $30 charge for a private room for the next 10 participants and a $70 charge for the next 4 after that. Your accommodation will start as part of the festival package from Friday 24th October.
- Shuttles to and from the river each day
- Competition entry
- Entry to evening events
- A supercool festival T-Shirt
- The best week of your LIFE!
REGISTRATION will take place at Jollyboys CAMP between 12 and 4 Thursday 23rd October, so come and find us there and get all the information you need for the week as well as your supercool festival T-shirt!. All participants must have paid in full prior to registration.
If you find yourself at Jollyboys backpackers rather than the CAMP where we'll be then let the girls at reception know who will let us know and we'll organise to get you to the right place!
To get yourself out to Livingstone you've several options;
1. Fly into Lusaka, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Air are good options. If you have to stop off Lusaka Backpackers is a cool place to stay for the night, before you jump on a bus to Livingstone, and Mazhandu Family Busses are the best option for this leg of your journey.
2. Fly into Johannesburg. There are lots of options for flight to Jo'burg; South African Airways fly all the way through to Livingstone, Virgin have a very good reputation for taking kayaks, and there are lots of other airlines aswel. For the leg to Livingstone there are a few good choices. Try 1time, Kulula and South African Airways, and if you're coming from Cape Town, then Zambezi Airlines have just opened up a new route through to Livingstone, winner!
Equipment and Accessories
- Clothing – All personal items including long sleeve shirts and pants for night time protection. A lightweight rain jacket and personal toiletries, including insect repellents. A torch/flashlight is a great idea if you're hanging out for the multiday for the camping nights. Remember to bring your best party shirt too!
- Kayaking gear – You will be required to provide all your own kayaking gear. We do have gear available for hire so please enquire should you need this.
Insurance and Medical
- You need to ensure you have adequate travel insurance that will cover you for kayaking up to grade 5 white water.
- Prior to coming, be sure to visit your doctor to discuss what necessary precautions need to be taken when coming here. Make sure you ask about Malaria prophylaxis. Make yourself aware of where Livingstone is, as some parts of Zambia are considered to be part of Central Africa. The Southern Province of Zambia, where Livingstone is situated is NOT in Central Africa.
- Please visit these websites for useful medical information: http://www.afro.who.int/ AND http://www.masta.org/
Rules and Detailed Itinerary
If you would like to have a look at the rules of the festival and a detailed itinerary then contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +441226 740400 or have a look here.