THE ZAMBEZI AND WHITE NILE are two of the best big water paddling runs in the world. In the following photos, Henry Munter gives a whitewater boater’s view of the rivers and some of their surrounding culture.

Victoria Falls

Ben Beddingham paddling at the base of Victoria Falls, Zambezi River. All photos by Henry Munter


Number 9

Mikey Amos grew up on the Zambezi, but number 9, "Commercial Suicide" gets him going every time.


Number 8

Rapid number 8 is classic Zambezi. Kelly Rinck shows the technique: take a deep breath and hold on.


Number 5

This is me... about to get eaten in Number 5.


Number 4

Zambezi Rapids have names, but are more commonly referred to by number. This one, Number 4, offers an airy surf for those who can handle what's behind it.


Zambezi Narrows

The Zambezi Narrows go on for kilometers, mostly calm as here, hemmed in by rock walls. One can only imagine how deep the river might be in places like this.


Day 3

Day 3 on the Zambezi Multi Day, Water By Nature Lead Guide Masauso Tembo explains the line through Chimumba Falls.



At the end of a long hike out of the canyon, Pete Harvey, the porter crew, and I share a pot of Nshima.


Number 10 take out

Most people who have done a day trip on the Zambezi will remember these. At the number 10 take out there is about 500 feet worth.


Rafting the Nile

The Nile's warm water and friendly pool-drop rapids make it an ideal place to push the limits of rafting.


"The Bad Place"

Called "The Bad Place", this part of Itanda Rapid swallows rafts. Luckily for its guests, Nile River Explorers offers the option to go around.


evening thunderstorm on lake victoria

An evening thunderstorm builds towering clouds above Lake Victoria.


Boda Boda

The Boda Boda is the de facto taxi of Uganda, with experienced riders going two and even three passengers. They'll carry anything, from kayaks to charcoal to coffins.


Bujagali Dam

Sadly, the Bujagali Dam, pictured here, has just finished inundating a one day stretch of the Nile that used to equal the lower section below the dam. Although local conservationists and tourist operators put up resistance to the project, electricity in Central Africa is in extremely high demand.


Monitor Lizard

Although most people associate African rivers with giant crocodiles, the monitor lizard is the biggest reptile you'll see on the rafting stretch of the Nile. I snuck up on this lizard after watching it swam Itanda rapid, the biggest on the section, rarely run in its entirety. It was the most impressive whitewater move I've ever seen by an animal.


Nile Special

Kelly Rinck surfs the Nile Special, a wave famous for its speed and air time.