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From : Projectrhinokzn.org
3 July 2012
Crew: Jabulani (Ezemvelo), Melanie (Thanda), Kim and Matt (Phinda)
We woke up with butterflies in our tummies, the much anticipated white water rafting in the Zambezi river gorge awaited us. Kim was especially excited as the last time we were here she broke her foot during the Zambezi bungy jump and missed out on the rafting. Other than drowning in the rapids, one of our major concerns was that none of us had eaten anything. We banked on getting lunch on the river but belatedly found out that we were only getting our lunch back at the lodge after the rafting. This was particularly a concern for Vicky who is diabetic. By the time we reached the river even the pods on the baobabs were looking appetising but our tummies were soon forgotten as we got our first view of the Zambezi River pounding through the gorge. A sight guaranteed to rattle the nerves of even the toughest adventurer.
Here we met our guide, Babyface, a veteran rafting guide with 13 years rafting experience. He quickly briefed us and armed us with helmets, life jackets and paddles before leading us down the sheer path that descended to the river. Vicky, in her dazed state took a minor tumble on the way down but luckily Babyface saved the day, restoring her blood sugar levels by whipping out a tube of glycol from his first aid kit. Not the best of starts but our teams confidence was fully restored after mastering our raft handling practice.
We had the most amazing journey down the 15 monstrous rapids that the high water season had to offer. The only regret was that we didn’t flip like many of the other boats, possibly due to our expert guide.
While the 6 of us ventured down the Zambezi, Melanie and Jabs went shopping, explored Livingstone and collected Mariette from the airport. Mariette is a new team member joining Team Umkhombe. Their evening entertainment was a sunset booze cruise on the Zambezi, not quite as special as the Ngepi cruise but the sun setting on the Zambezi is always awe inspiring.
The hungry rafters returned to camp to encounter the best possible surprise. Jabulani’s specialty, gourmet chicken stew, which fueled us for a minor warmup party at the pub. Overall, a phenomenal day in Africa!