The Zambezi River Rapid Guide
The Zambezi can be split into various seasons when the river features are totally unique.
'Super high!' April through until mid June. OUTRAGEUOS BIG-BIG VOLUME BOATING.
'High water' Mid June through until July and February,March. Brilliant boating, powerful water, the river has a great feel about it… this is the start of the best period.
'Medium-low water' August through until September, January/February. An incredible level.
'Low water' October through December. As steep as the Zambezi gets.
Against the Wall ' # 1. From the boiling pot, the Zambezi slams into a wall producing a wicked cushion wave, either avoid with a simple ferry or drop in! Cartwheels, splits all possible… furnished with an eddy.
The Bridge # 2. Awesome mixture of waves and hole at varying levels. Great place to show off to the falling bungy jumpers and spectators…optimal time, medium-low water.
Rapid # 3. Drop in and surf, bounce, blunt & get unbelievable fast ends or move right avoiding this steep radical fast wave. Higher flow brings a great boof on river right.
Rapid #3.5. Small wave train with a great pocket hole/wave on river left, all vertical moves attainable, furnished with an eddy. Perfect at medium-low water.
'Morning Glory' # 4. First taste of the Zambezi, varying lines through different levels, both top & bottom holes give fast-n-wild surfs at varying times of the season. A classic always.
'Stairway to Heaven' # 5. An easy line through a maelstrom of monster crashing waves and holes. Steep and powerful. Try "the bull move"- run or freewheel the pourover. Wicked cartwheel hole just above to rack up the ends. Best @ medium-low water.
Rapid # 5.5. Fantastic waves at medium/low level. Furnished with an eddy.
'Devil's Toilet Bowl' # 6. As the name implies, get flushed! Drop into the steep powerful hole on entry to the rapid and experience a thrashy fast surf then become engulfed by whirlpools and boils. Or simply avoid the hole, but why do that?! Everything flushes on the Zambezi. The lower the better…
'Gullivers Travels' # 7. A world class rapid. Long & technical, playable at varying levels. Features the "temple of doom", "Land of the GIANTS" & the "Patella GAP". At certain levels this one is a respectable class V. Cut back and forth between the powerful chutes, making this rapid an awesome super slalom!
'Midnight Diner' # 8. A Zambezi classic, where else can you drop/wavewheel into the guts of a 15ft crashing hole and get away with only a nasal enema! Get rumbled, go "star trekking". Super-fast wave beyond the rapid for incredible surfs. A great place to watch the commercial rafts get spanked…
'Commercial Suicide' # 9. The infamous Big one. Definitely class V. The longer you stare the bigger the rapid appears. A variety of challenging lines at varying levels, each line comes with it's own worrying consequence! Another world class rapid.
'Overland Truck Eater' # 11. The ocean tubing wave, twice a year during small windows (early July-Mid Jan) For around 10-14 days this beauty works. It is the mother of all river waves, and the site for moves of the future! During low water the rapid allows two lines both avoiding a heinous hole. Watch out for the evil eddy line & whirlpool.
12B - needs no introduction. The infamous Zambezi wave. All moves are possible, plus the option of innovating your own new moves. A fast, powerful, retentive wave with two windows and a wicked green shoulder to get aerial. Wheelbarrows optional. Paddlers, have been known to play only on this cool wave and paddle very little of the rest of the Zambezi. It's that good. Furnished with a big eddy. Perfection. Surfable, Aug through December.
'The Mother' # 13. A classic monster wave train of note. The first three waves can give super fast surfs. Ocean size waves on a river. Classic. Perfect between Aug> Dec…
Rapid # 14 various chutes to run at different levels, with the centre chute producing a powerful "wrestling hole" at medium/high level but to be avoided at lower levels.
'Washing Machine' # 15. One of only two really gnarly rapids. A simple wave train with a huge shallow crashing hole at the bottom. Paddle left or right into the eddy to avoid. Stop and stare into the guts of the hole to imagine the potential! At higher levels drop into the surging hole/wave!
'The Terminators' I / II # 16. Not up too much in low water. In high water an immense roller coaster wave train, ocean size waves and diagonals. Wavewheel and freefall into the waiting trough.
'Double Trouble' # 17. The second of the gnarly rapids. Again a simple wave train but this time with TWO shallow crashing holes from hell @ the bottom. Escape left or right into the eddies to avoid At higher levels both holes can give wicked fast & furious bouncy wild rides.
'Oblivion' # 18. World renowned, this rapid consists of three waves. It is the third wave which provides all the entertainment One of the best rafting rapids anywhere. Long surfs, spectacular tube stands and violent flips are the order of the day. So if the crashing wave hammers rafts, just imagine what it will do to you in a feeble kayak? WICKED! Drop in or wavewheel into the guts of the trashiest wave you'll ever dare to surf! It is the safest- OUT OF CONTROL surf you will ever experience. It can feel as if a Goliath monster is trying to smash and rip you into OBLIVION!
Rapid # 24. At High water. There is another world class wave. It's basically a small 12B.With a foam pile, glassy trough, a shoulder to get aerial on, great eddy service. All moves possible. An incredible GEM of a wave. Not too be missed!
.... and beyond… another 2-5 days of classic zambezi whitewater including the famous big ones - Open Season, Upper Moemba & Lower Moemba, Dam Site, Ghost Rider and Deep Throat, with numerous play spots, too many to mention!