Zambia & Botswana Adventures

Zambia & Botswana Whitewater Rafting

Why choose O.A.R.S. for an Escape to Africa?


For more than 40 years, O.A.R.S. has led travelers of all ages and abilities to some of the most stunning locations on the planet. We thrive on creating adventures that take you off the beaten path and away from the crowds to magical landscapes, rivers and coastlines. National Geographic Adventure, Outside and Sunset magazines have proclaimed O.A.R.S. adventures as some of the "Best Trips on the Planet."

Traveling to an unfamiliar country doesn’t have to be challenging. With a combined 100 years of experience in the adventure travel industry, O.A.R.S. staff of knowledgeable adventurers has taken out the guesswork and added our guarantee. We’ve created an incredible itinerary showcasing the Zambezi—one of the ten classic rivers of the world—and the exotic wildlife southern Africa has to offer. Our whitewater rafting and safari trip gives travelers the chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, run a wild Class IV-V river, take a helicopter ride through a spectacular gorge and see wildlife like elephants, zebras and lions up close and personal (but not too close!). And when the adrenaline isn’t pumping, you’ll be relaxing to the sounds of the wild world that surrounds you.

On top of huge thrills, we provide the best guide-to-guest ratio in the adventure travel business so you can feel at ease from the moment you step off the plane, to every new experience that awaits you on our Zambezi rafting adventure. Going above and beyond at any chance, our friendly local guides will ensure your questions are answered and your concerns are given the personal attention you deserve, all while sharing their extensive knowledge of the landscape, wildlife and ecosystem. Our like-minded partners in Zambia and Botswana realize they are accountable to O.A.R.S. high standards, so you can rest assured you will be in good hands. We hope you can join us for this once in a lifetime Zambezi river trip.

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Zambezi Whitewater Rafting and Safari Adventure

Did you know you can find some of the best whitewater rafting in the world in Africa? Travel to the far south of this massive continent and here you find Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, along with the world-famous Zambezi River deep in the Batoka Gorge. O.A.R.S. financed the first descent of this amazing river on the southern border of the country of Zambia back in 1981. The adventure begins on the wild Class IV-V rapids of the Zambezi, including “Stairway to Heaven,” one of the biggest commercially run rapids in the world and perhaps the most notorious rapid that exists anywhere, “Oblivion.” After several days of warm water rafting, sandy beaches and sleeping under the stars, it’s safari time. Encountering Africa’s fascinating (and larger than life!) wildlife in Botswana’s Chobe National Park will prove to be an out of this world experience. Perfect for adrenaline seekers, active travelers, and wildlife enthusiasts, the O.A.R.S. Escape to Africa adventure is a whitewater rafting and safari trip unlike any other.

The Treasures of Zambia

Located in southern Africa, current day Zambia is where some of the earliest civilizations of the human race are believed to have originated more than 3 million years ago. Zambia’s rich archeological past, combined with its abundant natural beauty, and reputation for being one of the safest African countries to visit because of its peaceful and welcoming people, make it an ideal destination for travelers who want to experience a taste of Africa. However, still largely wild and unpopulated in much of the country, Zambia’s visitors often make the historic city of Livingstone their adventure hub (and we will too). Its proximity to the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls—with an unbelievable curtain of water over a mile long—has secured Livingstone’s label as the “Tourism Capital” of Zambia. From here, visitors can experience the country’s five massive lakes, abundant rivers, 17 waterfalls, national parks, rural villages and incredible wildlife viewing. And with all that water, it’s not surprising that whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing and even world-class angling are the activities that often lure people to this magnificent country.

The Zambezi River

At 1,600 miles in length, the Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa. This impressive waterway starts in northwestern Zambia and flows through the countries of Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and finally to Mozambique where it empties into the Indian Ocean. The Bundu people of Zambia call the Zambezi “the river of life” while its literal translation may actually mean “God’s river.” Both translations work. The Zambezi supports large populations of animals and fish while also helping multiple African countries with water for agriculture, transportation, hydropower and tourism. The Zambezi is ever-changing and goes from flowing serenely through sandy plains or rainforests in some areas to a dramatic and wild river tumbling through gorges in other places. Its power has carved the spectacular Victoria Falls and created the deep Batoka Gorge, considered to have some of the world’s best whitewater rafting.

Wild Kingdom: Chobe National Park

Across from Zambia, on the other side of the wild Zambezi lies the country of Botswana and Chobe National Park. The first national park of Botswana, Chobe National Park has four distinct regions: The Serondela (or Chobe riverfront), the Savuti Marsh, the Linyanti Marsh and the hot and dry hinterland, mainly occupied by the Nogatsaa grass woodland. With its perennial water supply from the Chobe River and large areas of marshlands, Chobe National Park is considered to be one of the best natural areas for bird and wildlife viewing in Africa. Depending on the time of year and region of the park, visitors are likely to catch close-up views of lions, hyenas, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, hippos, antelope, and a rich population of birds made up of more than 460 species. The park is also home to one of the largest populations of African elephants in the world, making it a premiere destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

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O.A.R.S. is an author ized concessioner of Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and Grand Te ton National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument.
Outside Travel Awards 'Best Outfitter' Runner Up National Geographic Adventure Magazine - Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth As Featured On 50 Tours of a Lifetime - National Geographic Traveler Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservations Manager Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2007-2013 (River Rafting) Best of the Bay Area Winner

For consecutive years, O.A.R.S. has been named the "Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and one of the top two outfitters in the world by Outside Magazine in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program. In multiple years, O.A.R.S.trips have been honored as "50 Tours of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler and since 2007, Condé Nast Traveler has recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler's standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category.

Questions about trips or making reservations? Contact or call 800-346-6277 in the USA or Canada or 1-209-736-4677 if outside the USA or Canada.
O.A.R.S. Companies Inc.,
PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222