1st Nov 2024 - 9th Nov 2024
9 days/Zambia /Moderate
Join World Vision on an epic African adventure as they discover the very best of what Zambia has to offer. Spend four days on the lower Zambezi River as you jump into canoes and camp along its banks. Take to the water and explore the territory of wild crocodiles, hippos and elephants. Travelling through Zambia by water is not only a great personal challenge, but it gives you a unique perspective on the country’s natural beauty, landscapes and wildlife.
After completing your canoe expedition you will spend time with local communities seeing the impact World Vision has had on the lives of over 3000 children over the last 20 years. By getting involved with reading camps in schools and meeting families who have directly benefitted from new boreholes and ablution blocks, you’ll see how livelihoods have been transformed for many subsistence farmers.
The minimum age is 18 (or 16-17 if accompanied by an adult). There is no upper age limit. An ideal candidate would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone, likes to try new things, has a good level of fitness, is healthy and determined and has a flexible and open-minded personality.
During the canoe expedition, camp will be set up each night on the banks of the river, or on small islands. You will share two-man tents (two to a tent) which have incorporated mosquito netting. Sleeping bags and thin sleeping mats are provided but you may bring your own mat, for extra comfort.
During your project visits, your base will be at Ibis Gardens Hotel on a twin-share basis. A single supplement will be dependent on availability.
You will be accompanied by professional English-speaking, first aid trained guides, and support staff. You will also be accompanied throughout by a first aid trained UK tour manager and a World Vision UK staff member.
The area of the Lower Zambezi River you will visit is quite wide with tree-lined sandy banks either side. November, the end of the dry season, is a good time for animal spotting on the banks of the Zambezi as the inland streams have dried up and animals travel to the river bank for water. As you paddle downstream you are likely to spot plenty of elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Don’t worry; your local guides will navigate you through the river so you can admire these incredible creatures without disturbing their territory.
It is also possible you will spot buffalo, giraffe, the occasional zebra and wildebeest, and if you’re very lucky you may spot a lion or a wild dog.
The Zambian sunrise and sunsets are immeasurably beautiful and the entire landscape changes colour as the sun moves through the sky, reflecting off the calm waters.
November is a great time to visit Zambia however, there may be some rain. Temperatures range from 18-30°C, with an average of around 25°C during the day and drop to around 18°C at night. It is still important that you bring warm layers for the evenings. The weather should be dry and calm with low water levels on the river.
Although the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate, climate change can impact the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions during the trip which are out of our control. Should this happen the guide will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and ultimately safety of the group as a whole.
The day starts with hot drinks and biscuits before camp is packed up and breakfast, comprising produce such as eggs, pancakes, fruit, toast, bacon, sausages etc, is served. After several hours canoeing you’ll stop for lunch, an assortment of cold meats, salads, breads and cheeses. Dinner will involve a main meat dish with vegetables and potatoes, rice, or pasta. Dietary requirements can be catered for if we are notified in advance. There is always plenty to do at meal times so get involved and help your guides with preparation.
You should arrive in Zambia with a good fitness level to ensure fast recovery from each day’s exertions. Fitness training such as hill walking, swimming, running, cycling, gym workouts, team sports and boot camps etc. are all excellent ways to increase your fitness. Building your core and upper body strength will benefit you greatly, so you are recommended to include resistance workouts (such as push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, triceps dips, bicep curls etc.) into your routine. These exercises can be done at home without any specialist equipment. You can download a number of free apps which will help you train and track your progress. E.g. MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal etc. Attempting to complete the trip without training may hinder your experience, and the experience of your teammates.
No previous canoeing experience is required (although this would be a bonus) but a good level of general fitness is recommended as the days can be long and tiring. Life jackets are supplied. You will paddle approximately 12-28km per day on the river but there are some leisurely stretches where you can soak up the sights and sounds of Africa. Occasionally you will pull in and walk along the shore, looking out for animals along the way. The water levels on the river stay fairly consistent due to regulation by upstream reservoirs and there are no rapids to contend with.
The itinerary for World Vision Zambia Canoe Adventure
Fly overnight from London to Lusaka on an indirect flight.
Lusaka – Lower Zambezi
Arrive in Lusaka where you will be transferred to the Lower Zambezi (approx. three hours) to freshen up and meet the local team for an introduction and safety briefing.
Meals: Lunch and dinner.
You will spend three full days on the river in this spectacular natural landscape, paddling downstream each day under the heat of the African sun, and occasionally pulling in to walk along the river bank to spot more wildlife. The days are long so you are advised to have a good level of general fitness, although no previous experience is required.
As you wind your way down the river, home to a wide variety of wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for elephants, hippos and crocodiles. It is also possible you will spot buffalo, giraffe, the occasional zebra and wildebeest, and if you’re very lucky you may spot a lion or a wild dog. Each night you will camp in tents on the river bank or on small islands for a truly wild African adventure.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lower Zambezi – Kombwe
After our final night under canvas we pack up and return to Chirundu via speedboat! The vehicle will be waiting for the drive up to Kombwe (approx. 6 hours) where we settle into our base for the next three nights.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
World Vision Keembe Project Visits
Over the next two days you will visit World Vision projects in the Keembe area, departing from your base at Ibis Gardens Hotel. You’ll see the positive impact education, sanitation and nutrition programmes are having on local communities.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner.
Kombwe – Lusaka – London
Today you will return to Lusaka and transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK. Depending on the flight timings, you may arrive in the UK the following day.
NB Adventure travel can be unpredictable so this itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, and the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.
Registration fee: £365
and then either…
Flexi: £2,550 trip costs* and fundraise £2,550 for World Vision
This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to World Vision. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.
This option is for those who choose to cover some of the trip costs* (accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.
*Please note trip costs are based on the final group size and are subject to change.
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