Shearwater Adventures’ new subsidiary, Shearwater Jets, has re-launched its jet boat activity on the Zambezi River below the Victoria Falls.
The activity was suspended about 12 years ago owing to technical challenges of the boat in use then. The new boat is an eight-metre aluminium jet boat.
Shearwater Jets General Manager, Garth Fowler, says the jet boat gives clients the opportunity to get a feel of the gorges and the Zambezi River downstream.
“It will operate below the bridge (Victoria Falls Bridge) in the Batoka Gorge. It will run from the Boiling Pot, just below the Falls through rapids one, two, three up to rapid number four. It is a fantastic addition to the Victoria Falls adrenaline activities and showcases the gorges and the river. It gives the people the opportunity to witness the beauty of the gorges without necessarily going rafting, as well as the opportunity to see the power of the Zambezi River and the rapids in the hands of someone trained as a jet pilot,” he says.
Fowler says the boat was manufactured over a period of eight months in Cape Town. “We spent two or three years designing a boat specifically for this environment on the Zambezi River. We have tested it up the river (above the Falls) and now we are testing it in the gorge.”
He says: “There will be a large amount of time spent testing it to ensure that it is safe before it goes commercial. So obviously we have done all we can to ensure that the right people are involved right from designing to manufacturing. The testing period will be about two weeks, and it will be combined with training of crew members.”
The boat will not operate all year round, says Fowler, with its operations guided by water levels on the Zambezi. When water levels are too high, the boat will be taken out of the river completely and when the water levels are low, the boat will dock.
White-water rafting, gorge swing and bungee jumping are other high-adrenaline activities offered on the gorges.