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The Zambezi River is one of the great rivers of Africa and is famous for its Victoria Falls. The Zambezi is also home to an abundance of wildlife. The Zambezi is one of the most epic places in the world for a whitewater rafting adventure (a truly thrilling experience). The river is located in Southern Africa and flows through Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

One of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to explore the Zambezi is with a Zambezi River Cruise. Kick back and relax with a beer or cocktail as one floats down the river enjoying the prolific bird life, the stunning scenery, and the large variety of wildlife.


The Zambezi River - Most Iconic In Southern Africa

The Zambezi River is inhabited by some of the most iconic African wildlife. Lurking within it are crocodiles and hippos (the river supports large populations of those animals). Along its banks are elephants, zebra, lions, and other wildlife. Birdlife includes pelicans, egrets, lesser flamingos, African fish eagles, and herons.

  • Famous For: The Victoria Falls
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zambia or Zimbabwe

The main gateway to the Zambezi is at Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls straddles the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and so tourists can visit from either country. One can visit the Zambezi at other places, but no place is as popular and iconic as Victoria Falls. There are also national parks around Victoria Falls that add to the incredible wildlife of the experience (zebra are a common sight in the adjacent town of Livingston - and even, on occasion, elephants wander in).

The Zambezi also supports several hundred species of fish, including the famed tigerfish that attracts anglers from around the world.

Related: Visiting Botswana's Chobe National Park? Here's What To Know

Take A Zambezi River Cruise At Victoria Falls

There are a large variety of Zambezi river cruises available, including early morning, lunch, sunset cruises, and dinner cruises. Boats also range from small private boats with capacities of only around 8 or 10 people up to large boats that can carry 120 people.

Standard River Cruises:

  • Price Range: $40 to $60 Per Person
  • Note: Typically Have Snacks and Plenty To Drink - Something Of A Booze Cruise

Upmarket River Cruises:

  • Price Range: $60 to $85 Per Person
  • Note: Similar But Fancier Than The Standard Cruise

Sunset And Dinner Cruise:

  • Price: Around $75 Per Person
  • Note: Typically, Stay Out till 8.00 pm and Include A 3-Course Meal

Most of these cruises launch upstream of Victoria Falls - around 5 kilometers from it and harm's way. There is only around a five-kilometer-long section of the river that is navigable for larger boats due to the Falls and other rocks and rapids.

In general, evening cruises are more popular than morning cruises. If one is able to drag oneself out of bed in the morning, then the mornings are cool and tranquil and a great time for a cruise (before the river is flooded with other evening tourists).

Some companies offering river tours are Zambezi Royal, the RiverSong, the Zambezi explorer, the Victoria, and the Ra Ikane.

During whatever cruise one chooses, keep one's eye peeled for crocs and hippos - one is likely to see plenty of them. Other animals that can be seen include giraffes, baboons, elephants, and zebras.

Related: White Water Rafting On The Nile Is A Total Must (And Why It Is Not For The Fainthearted)

Other Adventures On The Zambezi

Not all cruises on the Zambezi need to be chill and relaxing. Some of them can be more active - there are also art workshop cruises, birding safaris, photographic safaris, and fishing trips to choose from. These range in price from around $75 to $125 per person.

Other Cruises On The Zambezi:

  • Workshop Cruises
  • Birding Safaris
  • Photographic Safaris
  • Fishing Trips

Another option to really explore the Zambezi is to take a multi-day canoeing expedition down the river - these expeditions reach some of the most remote parts of the river, far away from any other tourists. These tours can be as long as two weeks and offer an experience to remember.

No one can go to Victoria Falls without taking an epic whitewater rafting adventure down beneath the Falls. Where else on earth can one casually spot crocs lining the banks as one rafts down some of the most epic rapids in Africa?

One more activity to enjoy is bungee jumping off the bridge that connects Zambia with Zimbabwe over the Falls.