Zambezi – Day 6, Day Two of the Multiday Trip

The sun rose to clear the darkness and another glorious day started. Our stomachs were not on the happy side of life and things could have been better on that front. But this was the Zambezi and I could have thought of worse places to be at that point in time. Breakfast consisted mainly of bacon on a roll and by the time the first roll was finished the guides and their girlfriends had scoffed the rest. Nice one, we were getting our monies worth alright. Feeling a little disgruntled we headed off on our own towards number eleven and left the raft behind. They would meet us at 12b.


Eleven was a real winner and everyone got spanked nicely. I had a good run and managed to not even flip so that was a real bonus. Some of my other runs down eleven had been not as successful. It’s such a shame that Luke and I didn’t get any photos of ourselves running eleven. Sebastian and Norbert took photos and video of us though on that day. I sent them every photo that I took of them on the trip but they have never done the same for me. What a pity, perhaps one day they will return the favour.


We climbed on fairly early just below rapid number 10 again.


Our camp for that first night. Good setting!


The pool right above number 11. Bart and Marty are on the water and I'm on the right, at my boat. Photo by Luke Longridge.


Rapid number 11. Have a look at those boils on river left. BAD PLACE TO BE!  :-) 


Bart Verkoeijen getting spanked at the Overland Truck Eater, number 11. Look at the first photo, just to the right of where he is, is where that sweet barreling wave forms that people surf!


Marten Lagendijk rocking and rolling down 11. Note those EVIL boils in the last photo, on the left.


12b was good but with an upset stomach, playing around on the wave wasn’t too much fun. I wasn’t alone though and a couple of the guys were also not in great shape. That first nights meal was questionably beyond reasonable doubt. We were accused of not washing our hands before meals but I’ve been on enough kayaking trips and multi-day trips where I haven’t seen a bar of soap for days and have never had an issue with that sort of thing.


Adrian Tregoning getting some air on 12b. Photo by Luke Longridge.


Marten Lagendijk on 12b. What a great wave. A pity the water wasn't a little lower though for it to really cook!


Bart Verkoeijen on 12b. A good angle Luke. I bet most people haven't seen how 12b looks from this distance. Photo by Luke Longridge.


Adrian Tregoning feeling rather sick! Jeepers, look at my head. Too many accidents I guess. Must be the sun catching it. I'm sure my skull isn't that bad... hahaha. Photo by Luke Longridge.


At fourteen Luke and I ran far right and boofed the pourover there. It was a good line but one must first check with the locals (or scout) and make sure to avoid a heinous beating. The other rapids came and went and we didn’t have any problems. At eighteen we got out on the river left side this time to capture it from a different angle. On my run down I decided to try to surf the hole and spun around just before and stroked but I just missed the meat and bypassed it. Luke went straight for the meat and the invincible right brace came out and Oblivion could not flip him over even though it held him briefly. The hole below eighteen was awesome and we stopped here to play a little. Luke took my Fluid Nemesis for a spin and really ripped it up, throwing multiple end cartwheels and also a couple of loops. I did a few moves but then resorted to taking more photos of the others. The video of this trip will be shown in the final article. Luke made the video and I think it’s really great. Can’t wait to post it up!


Adrian Tregoning trying to catch the bottom hole on number 18, Oblivion. Photos by Bart Verkoeijen.


Luke Longridge giving a fine demonstration of the invincible right brace! Good show Luke! Photos by Bart Verkoeijen.


A raft getting spanked on number 18. Photo by Bart Verkoeijen.


Oblivion always delivers... Photos by Bart Verkoeijen.


Adrian Tregoning looping the Nemesis in the super little hole below 18. I would do anything to have that hole nearby!! Photo by Luke Longridge.


Adrian Tregoning cartwheeling the Nemesis in the same hole. Photo by Luke Longridge.


The other rapids were uneventful although still great fun. Luke got out at rapid number 23 and got some photos of us running through. It was really great fun and even though I was feeling really terrible I still enjoyed the day, it was impossible not to. The Zambezi is just such a great river and in the company of even greater people life does not get much better than that. I’ve found over the last two years or so that the people one meets along the way play a major role in the experiences one has on and off the river and can also make or break a trip. On this trip, the company was first class. Thanks guys.


The entry to the long and fun rapid number 23! Photo by Luke Longridge.


Adrian Tregoning running number 23, a really lekker wave train and a fun rapid to run! Photos by Luke Longridge.


Marten Lagendijk styling number 23. Photo by Luke Longridge.


Our raft finishing off 23. Photo by Luke Longridge.


We took our time and paddled down really slowly. Getting to the beach below rapid number 25 early would not be a good idea as the sand would be as hot as fire! So we got there pretty late, just as the sun was starting to lower itself below the rim of the gorge high above us. It was a glorious evening.


Supper was reasonably good although way too spicy for some of the guys and Luke was not impressed. I quite enjoy some hot food sometimes although at that time it wasn’t helping my already poor stomach situation. We sat at a large fire on the beach and ate our meal. The evenings are warm along the river and we had to sit away from the fire to prevent a sweat from building up. The evening past us by and soon sleep was calling too loudly to ignore it any longer. Luke and I crept into our home for round two of how-to-sleep-two-guys-in-a-one-man-tent.


The beach below number 25. Our second night was spent here.


Our campsite later in the evening.


But round two wasn’t going for too long when a massive thunderstorm approached and began to lash down angrily at us. Luke ran out to put the little ‘fly sheet’ on, if you can even call it that, and by the time he had fought the wind and driving rain trying to attach the damn thing, he was soaked. Tip: always sleep away from the door; you’re less likely to be the one going outside. So there we lay with the rain coming down so hard it was raining straight through the fabric of the material. Small drops were hitting our heads and the wind roared. “Is that all you’ve got?!?!?!” I shouted at the top of my voice and Luke quickly told me to shut the hell up. It was rather comical as the rain strengthened at my taunts. Hahaha. Eventually the rain must have stopped but sleep came in intermittent bursts and we slept the entire night in a pool of water. At least the floor of the tent was waterproof! The sun was shining bright and our final day on the river lay ahead of us. Everyone was feeling a lot better and it was set to be a good day...




Photography by: Adrian Tregoning, unless otherwise stated.

Words by: Adrian Tregoning.


Next article: Day seven, rapids 25 to Lower Moemba. (Day three of the multiday trip and the final article in this series)