Canoe Safety on the Zambezi

By Focus Online Team on July 12, 2019

Our Zambezi River Canoeing Safaris are one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the river that thunders over the mighty Victoria Falls. Safety is our main priority on canoeing safaris to ensure our guests have a memorable and danger-free experience.

Here are some of the ‘DO’s’ and ‘DON’T’s’ to remember on a Zambezi Canoeing Safari with Livingstone’s Adventure.

zambezi canoeing

  1. DO always wear your life jacket.

The number one rule of canoe safety: always wear your life jacket. Though the expert team take every precaution to ensure your safety, you can never be too careful! Only under exceptional circumstances will your guide request that you remove your life jacket.

  1. DO secure your belongings with a rope.

If you have any belongings that you plan on bringing with you – your jacket, binoculars, camera etcetera – make sure they are secured in the waterproof bags provided inside your canoe. This is the best way to keep your belongings safe and dry. You don’t want to be distracted or worried about them during your excursion. It’s also worth securing your sunglasses with sunglasses strings.

  1. DO apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

The sun in Southern Africa can be deadly. Even in winter. Be sure to apply a high factor sunscreen and wear a hat on any of your outdoor safari activities. As our canoe trips are Half Day or Full Day safaris, you will be in the sun for many hours which can lead to sunburn and sun stroke in the worst cases.

victoria falls canoe

  1. DO drink plenty of water.

Although our Zambezi canoeing safaris are leisurely trips, it’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

  1. DO pay attention to the hippo drill.

A healthy population of hippo call the Zambezi River ‘home’ and we urge our clients to pay careful attention to the briefing and the hippo drill at the launch site to ensure that their canoeing activity is a safe and memorable one.

  1. DON’T dangle your arms and legs in the water.

Unfortunately, the crocodiles that live in the Zambezi are not vegetarian. For this reason it’s not a good idea to dangle any part of your body in the water on your canoe trip. They might think it’s a tasty snack.

victoria falls activities

  1. DON’T paddle ahead of your guide.

Your guide will instruct you on the paddle formation and dictate the pace of your trip. Zambezi canoeing safaris are leisurely game viewing activities and if you paddle past your guide, you won’t be able to see him easily for directions.

  1. DON’T swim in the Zambezi.

An obvious ‘don’t’, but still worth the reminder. The Zambezi River is home to some of the biggest Nile crocodiles in Africa, which make for excellent game viewing from safe distances.

  1. DON’T litter.

We would like to keep our beautiful stretch of the Zambezi pristine and free from pollution. We would ask you not to litter and tread lightly.

zambezi river activities

  1. DON’T panic.

Encountering wildlife from the seat of a canoe can be a thrilling experience. Try to stay calm and listen to your guide’s instructions – whether it be for wildlife in the river or on its banks.

To book a once-in-a-lifetime canoeing experience on the Zambezi River, contact our friendly reservations team at Livingstone’s Adventure on  +260 21 3 323589/ +260 978 770175 or email We look forward to guiding you around our beautiful stretch of the Zamezi River.

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