We took a break from the rush of wildlife in the national parks and headed into country number two for some action packed activities. Our first bucket list tick on the itinerary was bungee jumping at Victoria Falls.
Harness on, carabiners fastened, bindings gripping around my ankles and I was ready to go. Not quite…the jump master then handed me a small life vest. But I thought white water rafting was tomorrow? Placing it over my harness, the man informed me that this life vest was used as an extra safety precaution just in case the rope snapped and I plunged 20 plus meters down into the mighty Zambezi. My heart started pounding even faster. I asked about their track record, when was the last time they’d needed this life vest. Oh, only five years ago.
Well there was no turning back now. A quick countdown 5…4…3…2… And by the time he’d reached 1 I’d already let out a loud scream. Boom! I was airborne. Flying through the air heading towards the Zambezi River, I looked up and back down. The nerves turned into excitement and I let out several joyous squeals. The life vest situation was still playing in my mind but the bungee cord had snapped me back towards the crowd on the bridge successfully so I was feeling confident. What a rush.
Next, it was Chris’s turn
Having bungee jumped in Hong Kong previously, my initial nerves were somewhat subdued. However as I walked the plank, the thought of jumping off a bridge towards a rocky gorge suddenly hit me and my nerves skyrocketed. However, I had no choice but to leap off the edge as my brave wife had already done it, leaving me with no chance of backing out. What an experience!
The following day, Chris, Jem, and myself headed out white water rafting. Having done the rafting five years ago, Jem knew just the guide who would make our experience that much more intense. With six grade-5 rapids, we were definitely in for some excitement. Gordon, our guide who had led the Zimbabwean rafting team overseas, was in such control. He had us up, down, and in the middle of massive rapids. After successfully making it through rapids 1-12, Gordon realised our raft had stayed far too dry. He intentionally put us straight into “The Mother’s” guts. The standing wave we entered had no mercy. It was too much for our team to handle. The water swallowed our boat, spitting us out upside down with the entire crew scrambling underneath. We all managed to grab ahold of the inside safety line. We finally caught our breath and turned the boat right side up, although I subsequently landed on my head!
With names like ‘stairway to heaven’, ‘commercial suicide’, ‘the washing machine’, ‘oblivion’, and ‘the devil’s toilet bowl’, it’s no wonder Zimbabwe is regarded as the best place in the world for white water rafting.
The mighty Zambezi certainly showed us who was boss.
Words + Photos by: Chris and Amanda Fraser