Zambezi River From Above Istock 157666116 Credit 3Dan3
Zambezi River From Above Istock 157666116 Credit 3Dan3

The Zambezi Expedition

In 2022, we took on an epic fundraising challenge to celebrate our 30th anniversary. In 2022, we took on an epic fundraising challenge to celebrate our 30th anniversary.
What was the Zambezi Expedition?
Thirty-two years ago the Zambezi River in all its guises — waterfalls, crashing rapids, lakes, a meandering delta and a life giving waterway — inspired the birth of Journeysmiths. We’ve been on a pretty amazing journey ever since.

To celebrate our milestone birthday, in May and June 2022 we explored the entire 1,600-mile length of the Zambezi as it makes its way through four African countries.

As well as an opportunity to venture into Africa’s wild places, the focus of the expedition was giving back. We ran the expedition as a 'not for profit raising £30,000 for three partner charities — Ripple Effect, TUSK and the Northampton Saints Foundation.
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The Expedition Journey
On its 1,600-mile course, the majestic Zambezi River forms waterfalls, rapids and lakes, and brings life to millions of creatures. We took on the journey from its trickling source at Mwinilunga to the immense delta on the Mozambique coast in five, week-long (or so) sections, each expertly guided, professionally equipped and hosted by a senior member of our team.

From source to ocean we explored on thrilling safaris, hikes and by boat, canoe, raft and sailing dhow.
Section 1: From The Source

Tucked within Miombo Forest in northwest Zambia, the Zambezi River’s origins are humble, yet have been preserved as a national monument, signifying the importance of Africa’s fourth largest river to the country.

After trekking to the source and flying over the river's dramatic course through Angola, we followed it through Barotseland, a vast expanse of serene water and island-dotted floodplains. Here we met the Lozi people, and at night, enjoyed a combination of comfortable lodges and mobile camps echo the Barotse’s diversity.
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Section 2: In Livingstone's Footsteps

This once serene river gains momentum as it plunges over Victoria Falls, descending in mighty zig-zagging rapids before entering Lake Kariba. We begin with a few nights at Tongabezi Lodge and a visit to Tujatane School. River safaris and a magical night on an island retreat were followed by an afternoon tracking rhino on foot as we approached “The Smoke That Thunders”.

This section of our journey was wonderfully diverse, from gin tasting overlooking Victoria Falls, a spectacular helicopter flight over the vast, basalt gorge and culminating in a ride on the Elephant Express into a private camp in a remote corner of the game-rich Hwange National Park.
African Fish Eagle In A Tree Istock 661557304
Section 3: A Man Made Flood

After an exciting safari, we traversed the evocatively beautiful Lake Kariba, spending two days on a houseboat heading east along a shoreline fringed by petrified trees.

During the journey we travelled by boat and heard how Tusk supports the Painted Dog Conservation. Returning to land, we sought out the wildlife of Matusadona with some of Africa’s great safari personalities, gaining privileged behind the scenes access at African Parks HQ, visiting dinosaur fossil sites and learning about the heroics of Operation Noah. Passing the Kariba dam wall we headed towards the Lower Zambezi, camping each night under the stars on an island in the river.
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Section 4: The Great River Safari

The river flows along the entire Lower Zambezi National Park, where we enjoyed an unforgettable river safari. The Zambezi is then joined by the Luangwa River before broadening into Lake Cahora Bassa. We started at Chongwe River Camp, then journeyed downstream to Chiawa Camp for two nights. We heard about the work of Tusk supported Conservation Lower Zambezi.

Then, a safari by canoe and foot to charming Old Mondoro before continuing to Anabezi. We concluded our safari odyssey by motorboat through the spectacular Mupata Gorge to Redcliff Lodge near the Mozambique border.
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Section 5: Where River Meets Ocean

As our expedition neared its end, this final section saw us follow the river’s course before turning south to Gorongosa. One of Africa’s most biodiverse regions, after years of civil war, Gorongosa National Park is once again a haven for wildlife.

Following a unique safari, we began our journey back to the river. Our final few days were spent exploring the Zambezi Delta, spending time with pioneers of conservation in the region. Our final day saw us fly by helicopter to the mouth of the river where we celebrated our achievements and enjoyed a spectacular aerial safari.
Masai Mara Sunrise Wildebeest Balloons Istock Credit Rixipix
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