The day starts being picked up at 7:45 and we head off to the Zambezi for breakfast and a briefing. We sign the indemnity form, listen very carefully to the safety instructions and before too long we find ourselves with a life jacket, helmet and oar cautiously making our way down below the falls to The Boiling Pot. Choongo our guide gets us seated. Lucas and I up front. Behind me are Maria and Michelle with Kristin behind Lucas. Choongo is our man at the back. We practice forward, back, over left, over right, get down and then it’s time to head down the mighty Zambezi. The first rapid is a real beauty, and I thought we were going over. After we came through no worries, I knew it was going to be a great day. But the first casualty of the day was none other than me on rapid number 3, a grade 3 fall, not too difficult, but a big wave caught me by surprise and I found myself spluttering in and out of big waves floating down stream.

A few more rapids later and we were hitting some big ones, grades 4 and 5. Number 7 named Gulliver’s Travels saw Lucas and I flying into each other but we held on as Maria and Kristin were both swept flying off the raft. Kristin took quite some time to surface and was eventually pulled up by one of our safety kayakers. This put a damper on the day for her unfortunately. But heading into number 8 we could choose the left side, grade 3; the middle grade 4 – 50/50 chance of flipping; or the right side grade 5 – a definite flip. Kristin jumped into another boat who was taking grade 3 and we went straight down the middle. As we hit the biggest wave the boat stood right up on its end and we all ended up in the water except one of the guides. Lucas and I were thrown the furthest – well so I thought. Later examination of the video evidence shows Jono jumping while everyone else is still holding on. I guess in this situation I’m the sort of guy that bails out. We walked around number 9 – named Commercial Suicide – even our guide hadn’t done that one but some of the guides gave it a go – it’s a grade 6. This also meant that we got to be on Zimbabwean soil for a short time (no stamp in the passport though).

Lunch time brought the end for those who signed up for just half a day – the rest of us enjoyed a much more leisurely cruise all the way down to rapid number 23. High canyon walls with splendid turns and great scenery. What awesome imagination our Creator has shown us in this wonderful world. The Zambezi River and Victoria Falls are truly amazing.

This is a day I will never forget – it was magic.