Our guide was very serious during the whitewater briefing.
You must wear your life jacket at all times.
Never take off your helmet.
Hold the paddle tight and hold it properly.
Stay in the raft; do not jump out for fun.
Lean in if I shout BUMP.
If you do fall out, don’t panic.
And always listen to my instructions.
I think the truth is everyone listens very carefully to the instructions because nobody wants to fall out a rubber dinghy and be swept away by rapids! So we all listened and nodded and were very serious about putting on our gear and paddling the right way.
But it’s harder to do that when you’re suddenly bouncing over wild water. One minute you’re gliding and everything is calm and gorgeous, then suddenly you’re in the middle of the rapids and oh my gosh, it is crazy.
I was on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The rapids are a Grade Five here, which means they are pretty hectic. It also means that when you hit a rapid everything your guide has told you to do goes straight out the window. Mostly you are just concerned with staying in the raft and not getting yourself killed.
Lucky your guide is in the raft with you. And lucky he knows exactly what he is doing. It is the most exhilarating feeling, going over the rapids, though the water, between rocks and sometimes literally flying over the air, getting soaked and splashed all the way through.
I loved it. And the fantastic thing about white water rafting in Victoria Falls is that there’s a small cable car at the end that takes you up and out of the very steep gorge.
There are other fabulous rapids to do that I have never done. I would love to white water raft one day on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The Ottawa River in Canada is great, the White Nile in Uganda is wild and the Ganges River in India apparently fabulous.
White Water Rafting gets your adrenaline going! It is not for the faint hearted. But it is unlikely you’re going to die and you know, it’s pretty cool to live on the edge!