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Bucket list experience:

A jetboat with people on the Zambezi river alongside the base of a waterfall

Last updated: 06 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Richard Holmes

Why go down the surging Zambezi when you can go up? Where the white-water rafting ends is where the Jet Boat Extreme begins, powering up the rapids courtesy of a 700-horsepower engine that makes short work of the raging river.

It’ll shake your fillings loose and leave you soaked, but this white-knuckle ride is ideal for visitors who can’t ­– or won’t – brave the rapids by raft.

Price from: £80
Minimum age: 12
Age suitable: 12+
When: All year around
Duration: 2-2.5 hours

Getting there & doing it

The tour operator will pick you up from anywhere in Victoria Falls, or you can meet the Livingstone rendezvous.

From Livingstone, a 4WD transfer takes you to the edge of the Batoka Gorge, an hour’s drive away, where you have to hike down to the river below (and up again after). Moderate fitness is needed. The whole adventure takes 2-2.5 hours, including 45 minutes speeding on the river.

When to do it

Tours operate seven days a week from July to December, between 7.30am and 4pm.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Royal Livingstone Hotel

Livingstone, Southern Province, Zambia[9.9 miles]

A five-star hotel with an unrivalled Falls location, luxury rooms and modern facilities… at a price.

Official star rating:

Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Central African Republic (CAR)[10.4 miles]

A historic hotel – Victoria Falls’ grand dame – that combines classic charm with unrivalled location, steps from the Falls.

Official star rating:

Ilala Lodge Hotel

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe[10.8 miles]

Cosy boutique hotel with an authentic African feel, right on the doorstep of the Victoria Falls.

Official star rating:

Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe[11.2 miles]

A luxury lodge combining classic Victoria Falls adventures with a Big Five safari.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The world-famous Victoria Falls is also Africa’s adventure playground, offering an array of brilliant adrenalin-packed adventure activities plus Big Five safaris.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Zip-line across the Zambezi River

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Central African Republic (CAR)[8.2 miles]

One of the world’s greatest zip-lines – 425 metres across a scenic Gorge, over the churning Zambezi River, passing the dramatic spectacle of one of the world’s biggest waterfalls.

Best for ages: 10+ | £65 | 1-2 hours

White-water rafting on the Zambezi River

Zimbabwe[9.6 miles]

Take courage in both hands and raft the world-class white-water rapids of the mighty, crocodile-infested Zambezi River, funneling through the Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls. And remember to look out for the crocs!

Best for ages: 15+ | £100 | 5-10 hours

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Sundowners at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

Sundowners at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

Livingstone, Southern Province, Zambia[9.8 miles]

With the spray rising downstream and the sun dipping below the Zambezi, enjoy the best sundowner G&T in Africa from the Kubu Bar at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. Non-residents are welcome, and the views are worth the price tag.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12 | 2-3 hours

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Tables and terrace at the Lookout Cafe in Victoria Falls, overlooking the gorge

Lookout Cafe

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe[10.2 miles]

This popular cafe, running by the reliable Wild Horizons, has a unrivalled location on the edge of Batoka Gorge. The outdoor terrace has stunning views. They serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner often with local specialities on the menu, like game meats and crocodile.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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The famous afternoon tea stand with sweet treats

Afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Central African Republic (CAR)[10.4 miles]

Dating back to 1904, The Victoria Falls Hotel occupies a dramatic promontory above the Batoka Gorge. It’s a view best enjoyed over the decadent platters served for afternoon tea, a much-loved tradition.

Best for ages: 13+ | £15 | 1-2 hours

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