Zambezi River Festival
One week 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 - Saturday 26th October
Arrive in Livingstone and make your way to your backpackers, we’ll allocate people to dorm rooms between Jollyboys backpackers, Jollyboys camp or Livingstone backpackers (Fawlty Towers). There's then the option to head out to The Waterfront Hotel from where we’ll set off on a fine evening’s entertainment, the famous booze cruise, where we’ll have a buffet of snacks and the Mosi’s will be a-flowing to start the week off with a bang!
Day Two - Sunday 27th October
WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT. The most number of people on a river in kayaks and rafts to #StoptheZambeziDam The first day on the river, we’ll have a familiarisation, this is compulsory for all competitors. We’ll take a leisurely paddle down the river from number 1-25 taking the day to explore all the rapids and features that you’ll be taking on over the next week. Our guides will be on hand to advise you on lines and make sure you're having a good time. This is also a great opportunity to paddle with some new people, size up the (friendly) competition, and have a lot of fun! This will be followed by shuttles back to Livingstone for another evening in town, maybe head out for a traditional meal of Shima and stew or sample one of the awesome restaurants available.
Day Three - Monday 28th October
Our second river days 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 Four - Tuesday 29th 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 (or Queen!) of the day. After the head to head we’ll blast down to number 7 for an afternoon braai and beers to top off a great day.
Day Five - Wednesday 30th October
Rapids 12-13 will be the scene of our slalom competition today. Rapids 12a, b and c run straight into rapid 13, The Mother, and we’ll set out an awesome course weaving in and out of eddies along the 200m or so to the bottom of rapid number 13. We’ll start the slalom competition in the afternoon, which’ll give you a chance to have a leisurely paddle down to the start line if you want. Afterwards we'll paddle down to take off the river at 25, and maybe stop off at number 18 for a surf / trashing in preparation for the rodeo tomorrow!
Day Six - Thursday 31st October
It's Rodeo time! Depending on which feature is deemed best at the time we'll decide where the rodeo will be held, but most probably at 12b. We'll score the event according to the ICF rules, although old school and comedy moves will also of course be encouraged!
Day Seven - Friday 1st November
Today will see us holding a raft race from the boiling pot (rapid 1) to The Mother (13). Teams of 6 charge downstream, portaging number 9, fastest to the bottom wins! It's up to you wether you bring a group of buddies to make up a team, or make up your team out there. After a great day on the water we'll hold a film night in Livingstone, so have your cameras out all week capturing all the chaos and carnage, as the maker of the best film of the week will get a great prize.
Day Eight - Saturday 2nd November
The final day of the festival, boo! We've still got lots of fun in store though, starting of with a locals raft race. The proceeds from the race fees of this event will go to a local charity. In the afternoon 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 $295 ticket price:
- Backpacker dormitory accommodation for the week
- 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 (before the booze cruise!) on Saturday 27th October, so come and find us there to sign up if you haven't already and get all the information you need for the week as well as your supercool festival T-shirt!
Payment for your ticket in Livingstone will be by cash only (£ or $ only!), there are no card facilities are... available, so make sure you bring enough with you to avoid issues getting your ticket!
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.