White Water Rafting in South Africa
This activity can be as challenging as you choose, depending on the river. The Orange Is the most popular river, offering gentle, family style canoe-trips near Augrabies and Vioolsdrif or some exciting white water rafting near Onseepkans. Other rivers for fun paddling trips include the Vaal and Sabie, not too far from Johannesburg; the Breede, near Cape Town and the Umkomaas Umgeni Rivers near Durban. There are some great white water challenges on the Tugela Rivers and Buffalo Rivers in Kwa-Zulu Natal in summer, on the Blyde River in Mpumalanga and the Olifants River in Northern Province all year round and on the Doring, near Cape Town in winter. Sea Kayaking trips are offered along the coast and in the St. Lucia Estuary.
Bungee jumping in South Africa
South Africa boasts one of the highest bungee jumps in the world the 216 meter high bridge over the Bloukrans River.
White water rafting, bungee jumping and horse-riding in Zimbabwe
A visit to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the 103 metre Victoria Falls, which is just 40 kilometers away (about a half hour drive.) A daily shuttle is available for guests staying with Africa Safaris’ luxurious Matetsi Water lodge. A host of adventure activities - from white-water rafting to walks in the rain forest on the lip of the Falls - can be pre-arranged.
The ever-changing moods of the Zambezi are a siren's call for today's explorers. You can make your way into Victoria Falls for heart-pounding white-water rafting or gentle boat cruises. There are tours of the falls and surrounding areas, canoeing in the falls, sky-diving and also horse riding. You can listen to a Marimba band and see traditional dancing, or enjoy the breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls ravine by light aircraft, helicopter or microlight. Adrenalin junkies can take the plunge and bungee jump off the bridge spanning the gorge below the Falls, one of the world’s finest locations for Bungee jumping.
Best time to go white water rafting in Zimbabwe: August to December
About the Victoria Falls:
Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders
Dense Spray: Spanning nearly two kilometers and dropping 103 metres at its highest point, Victoria Falls is the largest curtain of falling water and one of the greatest natural wonders on planet Earth. So immense is the volume of water that drops over the Falls (500 million litres per minute at full flow) that the spray which results can be seen from many kilometres away. The name said to have been given to the Falls by early inhabitants of the area was Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “the smoke that thunders” an obvious reference to the dense spray. The Falls were considered to be the home of the great river god, Nyaminyami.
Dr Livingstone: The great missionary-explorer Dr David Livingstone visited the Falls in a dugout canoe in November 1855, whereupon he renamed them in honor of the then Queen of England. At the time Livingstone regarded the Falls as a severe impediment to any development of the African hinterland, but he was later to write the immortal words “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
Geological Past: The geological history of the Victoria Falls and the Batoka Gorge into which it plunges is fascinating. About 200 million years ago, Southern Africa was subjected to volcanic activity and much of the region became covered in molten basalt lava, which hardened into an extensive rocky plate. As this lava cooled, cracks and joints developed and these were eventually filled with softer sedimentary deposits.
Erosion of Sandstone: It was into this landscape that the Zambezi River was diverted, after its original course linking it to the Limpopo River had been blocked. Upon reaching the parallel faults in the basalt, the Zambezi rapidly eroded the comparatively soft sandstone to cut deeper and backwards. A series of successive faults were eventually eroded backwards over an estimated period of some 100 000 years, with the Falls retreating each time (the zig-zag pattern of the gorges below the Falls today bears this out). The present-day Falls are, in fact, the eighth version of the Falls, and certainly not the last.
Accommodation at the Matetsi Water Lodge:
The accommodation at Matetsi Water Lodge offers harmonious sophistication. The lodge comprises three separate, exclusive camps with six superior air-conditioned suites. At Water Lodge, the vast teak doors of each of the 18 suites - even those of the en suite bathroom - swing open to command sweeping views of the broad river. Indoor and outdoor showers offer refreshing alternatives to a bath. Plunge pools on the private decks, shaded by Mangosteen and Waterberry trees, make for a truly indulgent experience. Guards accompany you to and from your suite at night. The Pondo beer basket from South Africa is unusual because it is the only basket weaving known to be done by men in Africa. The baskets are used for traditional beer and are so tightly woven that they are watertight. Covering 500m of Matetsi's 15km Zambezi River frontage, Water Lodge gives you total exposure to this mighty river. Water Lodge is a sophisticated synthesis of teak, slate and thatch, softened with blue fabrics and evocative of ancient Zimbabwe and the myths of the great Zambezi. Each of the three camps is located on the banks of the Zambezi River under a canopy of sheltering trees. Matetsi Water Lodge opens directly onto the great Zambezi River. Central guest areas consist of lounge and covered dining areas overlooking the mighty Zambezi. A well-stocked curio shop is found at the main reception. The camp layout ensures privacy and intimacy in an idyllic setting.
The cuisine is praiseworthy: accomplished chefs prepare sumptuous meals served under the giant trees on the intimate riverside dining decks.
Matetsi is also an ideal choice for honeymooners or for celebrating a special occasion. The lodges are also an imaginative choice for incentives, leisure groups and small informal meetings.