Before You Go
Zambezi River Rafting & Zimbabwe Safari
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.
|MEETING PLACE:||Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe, or Livingstone Airport, Zambia|
|MEETING TIME:||Arrive any time on day 1|
|RETURN TIME:||Day 8 for flights departing after 1 PM|
|RIVER RATING:||Class IV-V|
|TRIP LENGTH:||8 days/7 nights|
|ACTIVITIES:||Rafting, wildlife safari|
Upon arrival, you will be met by an OARS representative at the Victoria Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe and provided transport to your safari camp—the Wallow Lodge. It’s best to arrive by 2 PM on day 1 of your trip to allow time to pass through immigration and customs, purchase your visa, and relax after your travels.
If you choose to fly into Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) just across the border in Zambia, please let us know so we can make proper transfer arrangements.
Days 2 – 7
Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.
The Last Day of Your Trip
During breakfast, we may have one last chance to see Hwange’s unique wildlife before packing our bags and enjoying a scenic drive to the Victoria Falls Airport, arriving in time for flights departing after 1 PM.
Included in Your Trip Cost
- Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
- All meals from dinner day 1 through breakfast day 8 (indicated as B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner)
- 3 nights catered camping on the Zambezi, including beer, wine & spirits
- 4 nights safari camp lodging (based on double occupancy)
- High-quality inflatable rafts and related equipment, including waterproof bags to hold your gear for the trip
- Two-person tents on a shared basis (you may pay a fee for a single-occupancy tent)
- Sleep kit—consisting of a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and pillow
- Personal flotation device (PFD), which must be worn at all times on the river in compliance with safety regulations
- Eating utensils, cups, and plates
- Airport transfers from and to Victoria Falls/Livingstone, Zambia on scheduled arrival and departure dates
- All park fees and necessary permits
- 27-oz Klean Kanteen water bottle
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Transportation to and from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Pre- and post-trip accommodation and meals
- Alcoholic drinks at lodges
- Single supplement fee
- Zimbabwe Visitor’s Visa
- Airport taxes and fees
- Airport arrival & departure transfers on dates outside the itinerary
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
- Items of a personal nature (see suggested packing list below)
☐ Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote for this type of policy by entering a trip cost amount of $0.
Please note: By entering a trip cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
☐ Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.
☐ Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.
☐ Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us.
☐ Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.
☐ Payments: Final payment is due in our office 90 days prior to your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.
TRAVELERS’ Responsibility Code
1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.
2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.
5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.
6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol during the day; alcohol is allowed in moderation in the evening.
8. Minimize your impact on the environment.
9. Your children are your responsibility!
Essential Travel Documents
If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date to see that it is valid for at least 6 months from your planned entry into Zimbabwe. It also must have at least two blank pages. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. It is also a good idea to leave a copy with your emergency contact at home. We also request that you send us a copy to keep on file for emergencies during your trip. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement. Do not pack your passport in your checked luggage.
A visa is required for entry into Zimbabwe and can be obtained in advance online or arranged at the border upon arrival. The cost is $30/person for a single-entry visa.
Depending on other travel plans, or if you plan to visit the Zambia side of Victoria Falls, you may need a double-entry visa ($45/person) for your return to Zimbabwe or a KAZA visa for entry into both Zambia and Zimbabwe. While not required for the OARS itinerary, you may need one depending on your travel plans.
GETTING TO VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) is served daily via Johannesburg (JNB), South Africa, Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia, and Nairobi (NBO), Kenya. Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, South African Airways, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and others fly between the U.S. and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Note: Flights from the U.S. depart one or two days prior to your arrival date in Victoria Falls. Return flights arrive back in the U.S. one day later than your departure from Victoria Falls.
Alternatively, some travelers may choose to fly into Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) just across the border in Zambia. Please let us know if you opt to go this route so we can arrange your transfer to The Wallow Lodge on day 1 (additional fee applies).
Let us know if you’d like assistance with arranging your international flight logistics. Our partners at Exito Travel specialize in international destinations, and we’d be happy to obtain a quote from them on your behalf.
PRE- AND POST-TRIP ACCOMMODATIONS
Your first night’s accommodation is included in the trip. If you decide to arrive a day or two early, we recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging—Victoria Falls is a popular destination. Please let us know if you would like OARS to book additional nights at the lodge (pre- and post-trip lodging is not included in the trip cost).
Zimbabwe is two hours ahead of GMT, which is six hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast and nine hours ahead of the West Coast.
There are many languages spoken in Zimbabwe, with English and Shona being the most common. You’ll find that most locals are able to speak English well.
The local currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWL), but US Dollars are widely accepted and even welcomed by merchants. Plan to just use US Dollars and not exchange money. We recommend traveling with smaller notes ($5, $10, and $20 notes) to make it easier to get change back. There are no coins, so everything is rounded up or down.
You can pay for many items by credit card (at hotels and most restaurants). Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. Just make sure that the amount being charged is in US Dollars and not in Zimbabwe Dollars. In general, American Express is not accepted. Be sure to inform your bank that you’ll be using your card during your travels.
There are ATMs in Victoria Falls that will provide you with US Dollars, but they could be out of money or down. This should only be used as an emergency backup. Credit cards and cash are more reliable.
As most aspects of your trip are taken care of, the money you will need to bring for this portion of your travel is limited. We recommend you bring about US$100/per day. You may need to have money available for the following:
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Some meals and drinks are not included in the itinerary
- Alcoholic beverages
- A trip video and/or photos (if available, we cannot assure they will be offered)
- Gratuities (more information is below)
Health & Medical Info
There are no required immunizations, however, we recommend you contact your doctor or local travel clinic for information about recommended “routine” vaccinations. They may suggest you get inoculated against Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid, and Meningitis. Health guidelines strongly suggest that you consider protecting yourself against Malaria, such as minimizing insect bites and considering a prescription anti-malarial prophylaxis. Learn more about CDC recommendations for travel to Zimbabwe.
Despite the many precautions we all take to stay healthy, occasionally one may experience diarrhea. The major problem associated with this is fluid loss leading to severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain plentiful fluid intake. Avoid milk and caffeine, as it will only further dehydrate you. The best drinks are weak tea, mineral water, and caffeine-free soft drinks. Ideally, it is best to let diarrhea run its course. However, you may want to bring over-the-counter medication to minimize your potential discomfort.
If you require the use of a CPAP machine and intend to bring one with you, be sure to alert your OARS Adventure Consultant prior to your trip to let us know the dimensions of the machine, description of battery(s), and any protective case(s). Travel-sized CPAPs are readily available and often come with a battery kit. You must assess the power needs of your CPAP and bring the battery(s) needed to operate it for each night of your travels. We’re typically able to accommodate the transportation of your machine and accessories on the trip; however, please understand that despite efforts to protect your equipment, we can’t guarantee your machine and accessories won’t suffer water or impact damage, and therefore we recommend additional protective case(s) for your machine & accessories.
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we must consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our location, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions.
We cannot guarantee that cross-contamination from allergens will not occur during meal prep and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as it relates to safety, including the potential for a medical emergency caused by a severe food allergy. Also, due to the constraints of cooking for a large group in a wilderness setting, the availability of ingredients or specialty items in remote locations, and limited packing space, we are unable to cater to dietary preferences (likes or dislikes).
We recommend you drink only bottled, previously boiled, or treated water. Bottled water is widely available in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. During the river trip, all water is filtered and treated.
The trip includes a limited amount of soft drinks, as well as a selection of beer, wine, and spirits on the Zambezi River trip. If you have specific beverage requests, please let us know in advance, or feel free to bring your favorite bottle.
Victoria Falls has a limited selection of liquors, so you may wish to purchase your preferred liquor via duty-free before arriving. In Victoria Falls, there is a liquor store called Liquorama on the main street. Here, the prices are in US Dollars. Do NOT use Pick n Pay Liquor; the prices are astronomical.
Alcoholic drinks will also be available for purchase at the safari camps during your stay.
TOILETS & BATHING
En-suite bathrooms and showers are available in all suites/luxury tents at The Wallow Lodge and Iganyana Tented Camp.
Bathing on the River
Bathing is not allowed in the river. The guides will set up a portable shower near camp. If you plan to bring soap, we recommend using a liquid biodegradable soap like Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s, which can be purchased in most stores that have a camping section or another eco-friendly soap option. Bathing wipes (pre-moistened cleansing towels, preferably biodegradable) are also convenient.
The Portable Toilet
While the idea of a river trip is appealing to most people, many are inhibited or reluctant because of modesty or uncertainty. To minimize our impacts, we carry out all solid human waste and use a portable toilet system that is set up each day at camp in a secluded location, a discrete distance from tent sites. It is essentially a toilet without plumbing and is available from the time you pull into camp each afternoon until you leave camp the next day.
We also carry a small container called the “day tripper” that can be easily accessed during the day should the need arise. It is a personal disposable toilet, which includes an odor-proof transport bag, chemical solidifier and odor eliminator, toilet paper, and an oversized hand wipe.
On popular stretches of wilderness rivers, the common refrain is “dilution is the solution to pollution.” We practice this approach by urinating in the river.
Electric voltage in Zimbabwe and South Africa is 220-240 volts. Electric devices designed for 110 volts will need the use of a power converter. These days, most electronics have an auto-volt (110v-240v) transformer built in that will adapt.
British three-prong plug outlets (type G) and South African plugs (type D) are commonly found. However, there is a wide range of plug outlets in use, so you’ll be best served by having a multi-plug adapter that can accommodate all types (such as types C, D, G, M, and N). Learn more and review the outlet types by country.
To hold your camera and other items you might need during the day while rafting the Zambezi, we recommend you bring a personal 20-liter dry bag. While these bags are waterproof, you may wish to further protect your camera gear by placing it in a zip-lock plastic bag or a special waterproof camera case like a Pelican Case. Sand can be a problem—plan to clean your camera with tissue, a brush, and lens paper. We also strongly recommend you take out a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover your camera—especially if it’s fine equipment. Make sure to bring additional memory cards, batteries, and any other extras you will need.
Electronics & Technology
The use of electronic devices, especially music players and flying drones, on your trip may represent an intrusion into the wilderness experience of your fellow guests. We ask that you please be mindful of the impacts on others and respect the wilderness nature of the trip. Please bring headphones if you intend to listen to music on the trip and leave your drone at home.
Many of our guests travel with their smartphones, even though there is no cell service. On a trip like this, there is always the risk of water damage to smartphones and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed in a dry bag. If you intend to take your phone with you on the river, consider investing in a small, waterproof case to better protect your phone from the elements.
While on the river, we are not able to provide a power source for recharging devices. To keep cameras, phones, GPS, and other devices working, you may need spare batteries or portable power. Options include compact portable solar panels that can recharge devices directly, portable power banks that store power, or a combo unit that can be charged before the trip and recharged with a built-in solar panel. Power is available at the lodges.
Once you are on the river, there is limited communication with the “outside world.” Our guides carry satellite phones, which are strictly used to call out in case of an emergency situation on the river. They can call out, but we cannot call them. If you have someone who needs to contact you about an emergency at home, they should call our office (800-346-6277). If possible, we will relay the message to you. Keep in mind that it could be several days or longer before the message actually reaches you. For your family at home, you should define for them what you consider an emergency and provide them with instructions to call our office in the event one occurs during your vacation.
At The Wallow Lodge, complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main complex area, as well as individual rooms. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available at Iganyana Tented Camp in the main dining/pool area.
We recommend checking one week before your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.
Average Temperatures & Rainfall for Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Rainfall|
Average Temperatures & Rainfall for Hwange National Park
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Rainfall|
We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below, you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.
Clothing for physical activity should be quick-drying and made of synthetics or merino wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.
During the day—It’s going to be HOT during the day! Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and a lightweight shirt as a base layer. Additional layers can be added and subtracted depending on the weather, temperature, and how wet you’re getting in the rapids. Make sure you cover up for protection against the sun in the daytime. On or off the river, a long-sleeved, quick-dry shirt offers great protection from the sun, along with sunscreen. On safari, consider colors that match the environment, such as khaki and gray, to not startle the animals.
In camp—When the weather is warm, lightweight cotton pants/skirts or shorts and shirts make great camp wear. Evenings may be cool, so long pants and long-sleeved tops are a good option, as well as a lightweight fleece or jacket.
During the day—The best choice is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes, and won’t come off in swirling currents. A retired pair of athletic shoes can work well, too. Sport sandals with a heel strap are a good option, especially on rivers with sandy beaches. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.
In camp—We recommend wearing shoes in camp due to the risk of kicking a rock buried in the sand or stepping on a sharp stick. The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip flops or slip-on sandals are OK for wearing in camp only.
If you buy new shoes or sandals for the trip, make sure you break them in first!
Wide-brimmed hats are a good choice for sun protection. Ball caps are also useful since they fit under helmets, which are required attire when paddling our whitewater rivers.
To Avoid Being Hot
A good way to keep cool is with long-sleeved cotton shirts. They can be soaked in the water and worn in the raft or carried on a hike for later use. This method of evaporative cooling is very effective. Bandanas are another useful item that can be used in this manner. Protection from the sun and heat will be critical to your enjoyment and health while on the river and safari. To protect yourself from the sun’s rays, consider bringing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Lightweight, nylon ‘safari’ shirts are readily available and often come with a UPF rating for reflecting harmful ultraviolet rays. These pack small, light, are quick-drying, and often offer ventilation to help keep cool.
Camp wear should be made of cotton and be loose-fitting. A combination of shorts/skirt and a lightweight top is ideal for staying cool on hot afternoons.
To Avoid Being Cold
Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen easily), dries quickly, and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your small waterproof bag or daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your waterproof rain jacket and pants. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm during cool, wet weather.
Rain gear protects you from rain, wind, and the splash of the rapids. It is one of the essential items that all passengers should have no matter what time of year they are traveling. Look for a jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended, as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles. Do not bring a rain poncho, as it cannot be worn under your PFD.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight, long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.
Bugs & Mosquitoes
Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Malaria is in this region, so precautions are advised. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times. Scorpions are present on some beaches along the river, so your attention to where you step, sit, and set up a tent is necessary.
Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size Ziploc™ bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.
Equipment and Personal Items
☐ Two 1-liter water bottles: durable and reusable (Nalgene® bottles work well)
☐ Headlamp or flashlight (consider bringing extra batteries)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)\
☐ Small, quick-drying towel
☐ Toiletries, including biodegradable soap (such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s)
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Locking carabiner (for clipping a water bottle or personal dry bag into the raft)
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Any medication you may be taking and your antimalarial tablets
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
☐ Cash for gratuities
☐ Amphibious river shoes or sandals with a heel strap (such as those made by Chaco®). “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged.
☐ Athletic shoes or light hikers (for in camp and on safari)
☐ Long pants: lightweight and light color for sun protection
☐ Long-sleeved shirt: lightweight and light color for sun protection (old dress shirts work well)
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Shade hat or visor with securing strap–flexible enough to fit under your helmet
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant). A hooded jacket is recommended.
☐ Shorts: 1-2 pair
☐ T-shirts/tops: 2-4
☐ Long underwear, top & bottom: 1 set–light to mid-weight
☐ Warm top & bottom, such as fleece, as it can be cool in the morning and evenings
☐ Camp clothes: comfortable and appropriate for the season. Cotton is recommended for hot weather trips
☐ Camera and accessories (including dry bag or waterproof case)
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Small bags: smaller dry bag for items you might need during the day while rafting, stuff sacks, zip locks, or similar for organizing items in your larger dry bag and travel bag
☐ Day pack/hydration pack
☐ Bathing wipes: pre-moistened disposable towels
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Lightweight cord and clothespins for drying clothes
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Stand-up urination device
Packing Your Gear
In order to make your travels and connecting flights easier, we suggest you consider bringing only one duffle bag and one carry-on daypack. We recommend traveling as lightly as possible without compromising your preparation. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to support personnel. On the international flight, you are normally allowed two pieces of luggage, but please check your specific airline for current weight limitations, as it changes from carrier to carrier.
Each season, about 5% of travelers arrive in Africa without their belongings. By the time the baggage is located and returned by the airlines, the trip is nearly over. We suggest you consider packing necessary river gear—river shoes and one full set of clothes—into a carry-on bag. If you become separated from your checked luggage, you will have some essential items for your river trip.
For the river, each person will be given one large waterproof bag, which will be for their clothing and personal items. A second large bag will come already packed with your sleeping gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground tarp, sheet, and pillow). These two bags will essentially be your “checked luggage” and will only be accessible in camp. Tents are stowed separately. We also suggest you bring a smaller dry bag to keep items you might need while on the river dry and organized.
We recommend you take on the river only what’s absolutely necessary. Keeping gear to a minimum ensures it will fit into the waterproof bags we supply and reduces unnecessary packing and unpacking in camp. You may leave your extra luggage at The Wallow Lodge while you’re on the river. All valuables and passports will be locked in a safe while you are on the river.
Zimbabwe has been relatively safe for traveling, but still, there is no point in carrying lots of valuables when traveling. Regrettably, tourists are among the most easily targeted, so please exercise caution. We recommend you check your personal insurance policy before your trip to ensure that you are covered for theft and loss while traveling. As a safety precaution, do not travel with excessive amounts of cash or jewelry if it is not necessary. We recommend that you leave your valuables at home.
- Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore, and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
- Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear at REI.
Tipping is optional but appreciated by our staff. During your trip, you will have a lead guide, several river guides, safari guides, drivers, and porters, as well as a number of other valuable support staff at the lodges. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip.
If you intend to tip, you will have the option to contribute to a “tip pool” at the beginning of the trip that your trip leader will manage. Instead of stressing over who or when to tip, your trip leader will distribute appropriate gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, servers, etc. along the way. This may seem unusual since tipping is typically based on the level of service provided, but trust that our tour leaders understand what good service is and will only tip out the folks who do an outstanding job. In general, we suggest planning for a cash gratuity based on approximately 10-15% of the trip price.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll notice a $1 per person per day donation to International Rivers, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting rivers and defending the rights of the surrounding communities. Their work helps stop destructive dams and promotes water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to protecting rivers, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.
Reservations and Deposits
A $1000/person non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|90 or more days before your trip||Deposit of $1000/person|
|89 to 0 days before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.
OARS International and the outfitter R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc. reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.
Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.
In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a trip cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.
Please note: By entering a trip cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
Liability Release / Assumption of Risk
Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International’s cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. International, Inc., ROAM Adventures, Inc., and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 2 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations, as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader, and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. Upon advancement of deposit, the depositor agrees to be bound by the above-recited terms and conditions. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.
R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc.
R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc., a travel partner of OARS International, is the operator of this trip. A representative will escort you throughout the program. These staff members are the very best and will strive to ensure your complete satisfaction.