Zambian operators with a base in Livingstone
With new operators starting up all the time, this list can never be exhaustive, but I hope that it proves a useful reference for you to work out who does what. Note that virtually all the operators will book virtually anything (as they receive a commission). Here I've tried to list companies that actually run the specified activities, and don't merely act as booking agents:Abseil Africa
Zambia aka The Zambezi Swing PO Box 61023, Livingstone; tel: 03 323454321188 or +263 11 213835; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; www.theZambeziSwing.com. Office in the Livingstone Adventure at Fawlty Towers, with activities at their site atop the fifth gorge on the Zambian side, some 5km from the Falls. The first company to operate abseiling, rap-jumping (forward rapelling), high-wire tripsing (flying fox) and the Zambezi, a gorge swing and a cable slide out over the gorges. African Extreme/Vic Falls Bungee
PO Box 60233, Livingstone. Tel: 03 324156 (town), 324231 (bridge), or +263 11 407696; fax: 03 324157; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shearwateradventures.com. Office on MOT Rd, across from Finance Bank, in the rear of the building shared with Zulunet. The Livingstone half of the Victoria Falls Bridge bungee-jumping venture, whose Zimbabwean counterpart is Shearwater in Victoria Falls town. African Horizons
(see also Fawlty Towers) Tel/fax: 03 323432; email: email@example.com or Zimbabwe cell: 011 708 184African Queen
PO Box 60733, Livingstone; tel 03 321513; fax: 03 324070; cell: +263 11 417953; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.theafricanqueen.co.za.
Operators of the African Queen riverboat which is also available to charter for special occasions and incentive groups.
Rates per person: breakfast, 2-hour lunch or sunset cruise US$44; 1-hour lunch cruise US$25; dinner cruise US$33–39; sunset and dinner combo cruises US$72-83Angle Zambia
PO Box 61123, Livingstone; tel/fax: 03 324489; cell: +263 11 212591; email: email@example.com; www.zambezifishing.com. Bushtracks Africa
PO Box 60719, Livingstone; tel: 03 323232; fax: 03 324434; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bushtracksafrica.com. Signposted from MOT Rd, Bushtracks is located in a stand-alone complex down past the railway station, just where the railway line crosses the road. With a high standard of service, qualified guides and friendly staff, they offer personalised tours and transfers throughout Livingstone, Victoria Falls and Kasane, specialising as a sort of one-stop shop for incentive travel and tour groups staying primarily at Sun International's hotels. Options include game drives in the game park, town, cultural and historical tours and Chobe day trips. Their well-maintained fleet of luxury air-conditioned 14-seater minibuses, 44-seater coaches and open Landcruisers for game viewing can accommodate small and large groups.Batoka Sky
Maramba aerodrome, off Sichango Rd, PO Box 60971; Tel: 03 320058; fax: 03 324071; cell: +263 11 409578; email: email@example.com; www.batokasky.com.
To find the aerodrome, turn off MOT Rd at the signpost by Tunya Lodge. Operates microlights and helicopters for scenic flights over the Falls and game viewing from their Maramba Aerodrome, situated in the unfenced portion of the MOT Park. Also offer combo tours (jet boat-heli, rafting-heli, etc.), speciality flights (picnics and special occasions at remote locations accessible only by helicopter), charters and microlight flight training. Sister company to African Queen (river cruises) and Livingstone Quad Company (quad bike tours). Batoka Sky hires out its Mercedes 14-seater minibus and Toyota Land Cruiser game vehicles at US$150 per day (or 0.75¢ per kilometre, whichever is higher).Bundu Adventures
699 Industrial Road, PO Box 60773, Livingstone; tel: 03 324407; fax: 03 324406; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bundu-adventures.com. The main office and headquarters is off Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, near the railway crossing – look for the sign. Bundu is one of Zambia's larger companies which operates rafting (US$95 full day, US$85 half), river boarding (US$125 full day) and Upper Zambezi canoeing trips (US$85 full day, US$80 half) using quality gear and equipment. Many of their rafting guides have a good high level of experience and Bundu has a no-flip policy for rafting (unless specifically requested). They run a popular River & Rhinos day trip combining a half-day's canoeing on the Upper Zambezi down to the game park, following by lunch and a game drive for US$85. A smaller company, they emphasise personal service and also have a booking and activity office in Victoria Falls.Bwaato Adventures
PO Box 6067260304, Livingstone; tel/fax: 03 324227 (main); tel: 03 324227324214 (town); fax: 321490; email: email@example.com. Established in 1994, Bwaato is a long-time Livingstone tour operator with their main office , in the New Fairmount Hotel, one in African Gifts (across from Finance Bank), and a third in Victoria Falls town. upstairs in Soper's Arcade, in Victoria Falls. Bwaato operates the full range of river cruises – breakfast, barbecue lunch, sunset booze and dinner – from their jetty near the Boat Club in Livingstone. They also organise transfers, conduct day sightseeing, Falls, village and town tours, and offer game drives and walking safaris through the MOT National Park and excursions to Chobe as well as operating a booking office for accommodation and activities. Most useful are the Euro-Africa coaches which depart daily for Lusaka, at about 07.30–08.00. These are modern, fast coaches that can be booked and paid for in advance, and run on time. They take about six hours to arrive in Lusaka, where their office is behind Findeco House. One-way costs about US$15Chundukwa Adventure Trails
PO Box 61025, Livingstone; tel/fax: 03 324452324006 or +263 11 221731; fax: 324006; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. tlx: ZA 24043. Owned and run by Doug Evans, this has its base at Chundukwa River Lodge. Doug is an experienced old Africa hand, with professional hunting and guiding licences in both Zambia and Zimbabwe: just the kind of chap to have on your side when the going gets tough. Chundukwa organises and guides safaris from horseback, canoe, and foot and vehicle. When canoeing they concentrate on two- or three-day trips (covering about 90km) on the Upper Zambezi, usually ending at Chundukwa. Horse-riding is usually just one or two days in the region around Chundukwa, though longer trails are possible for experienced riders. Chundukwa also runs a couple of fully outfitted mobile tented camps safaris throughout the dry season (roughly May to November) from five to 14 days for small groups (2–8 people) on the Nanzhila Plains in the southern part of Kafue National Park. These can also be extended to cover any of Zambia's other parks. Itineraries are flexible, and trips offer a high degree of comfort in the bush. Fully inclusive trips cost an average of US$250 per person per day.Gwembe Castle Crocodile Farm & Gwembe Safaris
Tel/fax: 03 324470; email: email@example.com. In addition to the Crocodile Park, the Brooks family have plans to open a booking office, restaurant and curio shopping complex. Gwembe Safaris are booking agents and tour operators which also offer accommodation in Choma and at Lake KaribaJet Extreme
PO Box 61043, Livingstone; tel: 03 321375; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Operators of the New-Zealand-style jet-boat trips in the gorge, though trying to extract information from them has proved to be more difficult than the hike out of the gorge. You are likely to save time and hassle by working through more helpful booking agents in town.Kalai Safaris
Beside Livingstone Adventure Centre, 215 Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, PO Box 61075, Livingstone; tel: 03 321103; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or PO Box 112, Victoria Falls; tel: (26313) 5842; fax: 5843.Kayak-the-Zambezi
Livingstone Adventure Centre, PO Box 60947, Livingstone; tel: 03 322089; email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Catering to both novice and experienced kayakers, the eccentric Sven offers single- and multi-day kayaking trips, transfers and gear hire. If you are keen to learn kayaking or wish to brush up on your skills before taking on the mighty Zambezi, Sven also runs a kayak school with a four-day beginner course costing about US$250. Other prices on request. Livingstone Quad Company
Maramba Aerodrome, off Sichango Rd, PO Box 60971; tel: 03 320058; fax: 03 324071; cell: +263 11 409578; email: email@example.com; www.batokasky.com. Established in December 2003, they operate guided quad-bike excursions with six Honda TRX250 cc quad bikes that can also be taken by trailer to other destinations for tailor-made excursions.Makora Quest
216 Fawlty Towers, MOT Rd, PO Box 60420, Livingstone; tel: 03 324253/321679 or 320401 (after hours) or +263 11 210791; fax: 302732323206; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; www.adventureaddicts.com, www.zambiatourism.com or www.DestinationZambia.com. Run by Colin and Mary Lowe, Makora Quest was started in 1985 and remains one of Livingstone's top tour operators and booking agents. Their local knowledge is extensive, and service is always friendly, attentive and professional. Colin has a base just downstream from Kubu Cabins. He literally pioneered canoeing on the Upper Zambezi, and still runs by far the best guided half- and full-day canoe trips there. His river knowledge and experience is unsurpassed and a trip with him is unforgettable as he brings alive the local flora and fauna and regales you with riveting stories of life along the Zambezi. Trips are run with very high standards for safety and comfort with an unprecedented 100% safety record in nearly 20 years of operation. Compare that with that of some of the newer guides; the difference is stark. Makora Quest also conducts excellent tours of the MOT National Park and sightseeing trips in and around Livingstone – villages, markets, museums, historical and personalised tours – as well as organising reliable transfers. Their booking office can arrange everything from accommodation to activities, including Chobe day-trips and safari extensionsRaft Extreme
2 Maambo Way, PO Box 61105, Livingstone; tel: 03 324024 or 323929; tel/fax: 03 322370; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.raftextreme.com. Run from a base at The Grotto, Raft Extreme caters predominantly for white-water rafting groups on overland truck groups, most of whom stay at The Grotto, although individuals can readily book on to scheduled trips. Only if there's a truck group already scheduled will they take bookings from individuals. Raft Extreme's full-day raft trip begins with a full English breakfast and ends with a barbecue dinner and free beer – all inclusive in the trip price, offering great value. They also operate canoe trips, and have a combination trip including full breakfast, followed by a half-day canoe trip to the MOT National Park, a game drive and a booze cruise with barbecue dinner and free drinks (cost US$95 per person)Safari Par Excellence
PO Box 60407, Livingstone; tel: 03 321629; cell: +263 11 218654; fax: 03 326629; email: email@example.com; www.safpar.com or www.zambezisafari.com. The main office is at the Zambezi Waterfront resort, and there is a second at Sun's Activity Centre, as well as one in Victoria Falls town. One of Livingstone's larger tourism enterprises, Safari Par Excellence ('SafPar') operates a wide range of adventure activities for every budget, and is also the local agent for Nationwide Airlines. They run their own rafting, river-boarding, canoeing and kayaking trips as well as river cruises, game drives, sightseeing tours and Zambia's only elephant-back safaris. The Zambezi Waterfront and Thorntree River Lodge are both SafPar owned and operated, and the company also has safari camps and canoeing operations in the Lower Zambezi National Park.Taonga Safaris
Sichangoa Rd, PO Box 60760, Livingstone, tTel/fax: 03 322508 or 324081 or 097 795535; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.thezambezi.com/taonga. Run by Andrew Simpson, another Livingstone veteran, Taonga is based on the riverbank next to the Boat Club (turn off Mosi-oa-Tunya Rd at the Tunya Lodge). Catering mainly to backpackers, they have a large double-decker pontoon boat offering breakfast, lunch and booze cruises, the most popular being the all-you-can-drink sunset cruise complete with on-board barbecue. At their launch site is a rustic bar and small restaurant featuring nightly barbecues and, at weekends, spit-roast pig. Taonga also offers tiger fishing, Falls tours and game drives in the MOT National Park; canoeing on the Upper Zambezi using three-person Canadian-style canoes; and books other excursions in the area. Taonga also owns and operates the Kingfisher Houseboat based on the Upper Zambezi near Kazungula.Touch Adventure
2586 Chitimukulu Rd, two blocks off the Nakatindi (Kazungula) Rd turn-off; PO Box 61148, Livingstone; tel: 03 321111 or +263 13 40073–5; tel/fax: +263 13 40075; cell: +263 11 209 746; email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; www.touchadventure.com. Established in 2000, Touch Adventure is a rafting company and tour operator with offices in both Livingstone and Victoria Falls. In addition to white-water rafting, they offer sightseeing tours (villages, Falls, market, etc), game drives and transfers.United Air Charters
PO Box 60428, Livingstone; tel/fax: 03 323095; cell: +263 11 407573; email: email@example.com; www.uaczam.com. This relatively new company, established in 2001, operates a fleet of five Squirrel helicopters and a 1940s' Tiger Moth biplane for scenic flights and charters. UAC operates both from its base on Baobab Ridge, to the east of Mosi-oa-Tunya Rd, some 4km from the border, and from the Royal Livingstone, on a stunning site with majestic views of the Zambezi and Falls. Helicopter flights depart directly from the heliport there while the Tiger Moth flies from Livingstone's airport, although there are plans to construct a small airstrip by their site. They plan to add aerobatic flights over the Falls to their offerings.UTC
360s MOT Rd next to Heritage House, PO Box 61081, Livingstone; tel: 03 324413; fax; 323739; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.utctravelplanner.com. UTC is part of a larger, regional touring and transfer company (United Touring Company). It offers guided tours of Livingstone, the museums, Mukuni village, the Falls and the game park as well as transfers using a fleet of distinctive zebra-striped minibuses.
Rates per person: 21/2-hour game drive US$30; 11/2-hour Falls tour, Zambian side US$26, Zimbabwean side US$38 (excluding Zim visa). 21/2-hour Livingstone city tour including museum and markets US$25. Transfers US$13 from Livingstone airport to town hotels, US$42 from Victoria Falls airport to Livingstone town.Victoria Falls River Safaris
PO Box 61109, Livingstone; tel/fax: +263 3 32358; cell: +263 11 418 858; email: email@example.com. Operates out of Sun's Activity Centre with town office located at 53 Mose Rd, off Mosi-oa-Tunya Rd. Using propeller-free water-turbine (jet-type propulsion) boats, Victoria Falls River Safaris offers three daily 21/2-hour boat trips (morning, lunch and sunset cruises) to explore the waters and islands in and around the Falls area and further upriver. A fairly new company, they operate several aluminium 'safari' boats, taking up to eight passengers per boat along with an experienced captain/guide. These boats are billed as 'environmentally friendly' (and fitted with double silencers to minimise noise) and can operate in shallow waters and traverse rapids enabling them to head far upstream beyond the reach of conventional craft. Boats are fitted with aluminium roofs providing shade and serving as an elevated game-viewing/photography platform for up to two people at a time.
Rates: Morning or Sunset cruise inclusive of snacks and beverages US$55; lunch cruise including refreshments and lunch US$60. Minimum 2 and maximum 42 people. Also available for charter and special occasionsWild Side Tours & Safaris
Liso House (in Livingstone centre)131 MOT Rd, PO Box 60397, Livingstone, tel: 03 323726; Zimbabwe cell: +263 11 211 103; fax: 323765322895; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.wildsidesafaris.com. or in Victoria Falls at PO Box CT 450, Victoria Falls. Conveniently located in a beautifully restored old railway house in the 217 Area; look for the big 'i' sign indicating tourist information. This owner-operated company is run by the helpful Peter and Karien Kermer (who speak English, Dutch and German) and acts as a booking office for most trips. As one of Livingstone's long-time tour operators, they are very knowledgeable and will book guided tours to match your interests – be it the game park, village visit, local markets, museum and historical tours, or any combination thereof. They operate sunset and anytime 'coffee' cruises in the more serene stretches of the Upper Zambezi, and arrange trips throughout southern Africa. They also operate the Okavango Mama bus which runs between Victoria Falls and Windhoek.
Rates per person: Livingstone tour US$65 half-day including entrance fees and refreshments, full day US$110 with lunch; game drive US$35; boat cruise US$35, children half price; Chobe day trip US$145
Zimbabwean operators with a base in Victoria Falls
This list is by no means exhaustive. It contains just a few of those who are most notable (for better or worse – I make no quality judgements here), and doubtless will leave out many excellent companies.Backpackers' Africa
PO Box 44, Victoria Falls; cell: 011 406 584; fax: +263 13 42189; email: email@example.com. This is a long-established Zimbabwe-based safari operation running organised walking safaris around Zimbabwe – with a special emphasis on Chizarira National Park. Normally a vehicle takes your luggage ahead, and so you are free to walk with just your camera and binoculars.Backpackers' Bazaar
Shop 5, Victoria Falls Centre, PO Box 44, Victoria Falls; tel: +263 13 2189/45828/42208/44611, cell: 091 903709; fax: +263 13 42189; email: firstname.lastname@example.org@telcovic.co.zw or email@example.com. Convenient and efficient booking facilities for backpackers and independent travellers covering the Falls area as well as regional destinations (Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and more). Accommodation, excursions, overland trips, transfers etc.Bush Birds Flying Safaris
PO Box 157, Victoria Falls; tel: +263 13 43398; fax: +263 13 42411; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Operates scenic ultra-light flights over the Falls, leaving from Victoria Falls airport.Bundu Adventures
Parkway, PO Box CT530 Victoria Falls; tel: +263 13 43523 (or through Zambian office). Booking office and operator of rafting, river-boarding and canoeing (from Zambian side).
Bwaato Adventures Overland Connections, Sopers Arcade, PO Box 121 Victoria Falls; tel: +263 13 44375; fax: +263 13 45893; email: email@example.com. Booking agent, tour operator and transfers for both Victoria Falls and Livingstone.The Elephant Company
PO Box 125, Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe cell: 011 406 997; fax: +263 13 44341; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Book through Shearwater office. Operate elephant-riding trips.
Kalai Safaris Tel: +263 13 45843 or 44386; email: email@example.com. Tour operator and booking agent for activities and excursions including game drives, night drives, Hwange and Zambezi national park trips, village and Falls tours and crocodile farm. Associated with Kalai Lodge.Safari Par Excellence
Corner Livingstone Way & Parkway, Victoria Falls; tel:+263 13 42051, fax: +263 13 44510. Another very large operator which runs Thorntree Lodge and The Waterfront in Livingstone, as well as operating rafting, river-boarding and canoeing trips amongst many others.Shearwater Adventures
Victoria Falls Centre, PO Box 125; tel: +263 13 44471–3; fax: +263 13 44341; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Shearwater is probably the largest Zimbabwe-based safari operator, with extensive operations in most of the adrenaline activities. Their head office is in Harare, but you'd have great difficulty avoiding the publicity generated by their office (near the Wimpy) in Victoria Falls.Tandemania Shop
20B, 2nd Floor, Soper's Arcade, PO Box Ct 383, Victoria Falls; tel/fax: +263 11 211092. A small operator that pioneered tandem sky dives in the area. Also runs introductory sky-diving courses and rental of equipment for certified sky divers.Touch Adventure
corner of Livingstone Way & Parkway Drive, PO Box CT112, Victoria Falls; tel: +263 13 40073–5; tel/fax: +263 13 40075; cell: +263 11 209746; email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; www.touchadventure.com. With offices in both Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Touch Adventures operates white-water rafting trips, game drives, village tours, sightseeing tours and transfers in the greater Falls area.Zambezi Elite
PO Box 107, Elephant Walk Shopping Complex, Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe cell: +263 11 601 408; email: email@example.com. Operates smaller and more upmarket white-water rafting trips on the Zambezi than the larger, more mainstream operators.Zambezi Helicopter Company
PO Box 125, Victoria Falls; tel/fax: +263 13 44513; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Based at Elephant Hills Hotel (where there is a convenient heli-pad) they offer the Flight of Angels by helicopter, and other helicopter charters.Zimbabwe Travel
Tel: +263 13 41480; email: email@example.com. Travel agency and booking office catering to backpackers and budget travellers, with many activity options, and six-day budget adventure packages. Agents for the weekly coach service to Victoria Falls from Pretoria and Johannesburg.