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Follow the Comic Relief Team down the Zambezi with Charity Challenge

11th March 2013 Print

Charity Challenge, the world’s leading fundraising challenge operator, is opening up the unique Zambezi River Challenge itinerary that they organised for the celebrity BT Red Nose Challenge: ‘Hell and High Water’ for anyone wanting to stretch themselves to the limit and raise money for the charity of their choice.

From October, you too can follow in the paddle strokes of six celebrities - former Spice Girl and current solo artist Melanie Chisholm, Waterloo Road actress and Strictly Come Dancing runner up Chelsee Healey, Radio 1 DJ Greg James, Olympic triple jumper Phillips Idowu and top comedians Dara O'Briain and Jack Dee. All of who canoed and rafted over 100kms of the mighty Zambezi River through Zambia, battling rapids and dodging dangerous wildlife while raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Comic Relief.

One of the toughest water based charity challenges available commercially, the Zambezi River Challenge consists of five consecutive days of the ten-day trip spent paddling down the river. Climactically finishing in the notorious Batoka Gorge  rafting  grade five white water rapids - the most technically difficulty level available for commercial rafting - each having names which  give an insight into what to expect: “Gnashing Jaws of Death” “Overland Truck Eater”, “The Washing Machine”, “The Terminator” and “Oblivion.”

Uniquely for this type of challenge, participants will start off paddling a mokoro – a traditional dug out wooden canoe - and then switch to inflatable kayaks, taking in spectacular landscapes teaming with birds and wildlife. As the challenge progresses down river, the team will move to using inflatable rafts in groups of eight and finish the paddle towards the top of the Falls where the waters of the Zambezi pour into a massive rift in the earth’s surface creating one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls.

Despite the sweltering heat, blistered hands, high humidity and harsh conditions, the group will finish their long days on the water with ‘wild’ camping and putting up their own tents on the banks of the river. The guides will do their best to help you avoid the bigger animals that share the Zambezi, namely crocodiles and hippos, Africa’s most dangerous animal.

The challenge ends with a sightseeing tour of the Victoria Falls, which is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The Smoke That Thunders” – referring to the spray which can be seen for miles upriver - and a celebratory dinner.

Simon Albert, founder of Charity Challenge said: “We’re very proud to have organised the BT Red Nose Day Challenge. It was tough – and at times terrifying – but mostly it was awe-inspiring, and so we’re delighted to launch this itinerary so others can stretch themselves and earn money for their favourite charities.” 

The Zambezi River Challenge, Zambia                                                                            
11-20 October 2013
15-24 November 2013
6-15 December 2013

To book see
Costs: There are a number of ways to fund the challenge including self-funding (£2208) or paying a deposit of £475 and raising a minimum sponsorship of £3850 for the charity of your choice.

To find out more about this or other challenges, check out Charity Challenge’s amazing global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs at

To find out more about the celebrities’ Zambezi challenge, see BT Red Nose Challenge: ‘Hell and High Water’ at:

Watch the BBC TV documentary on 14 March 2013.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge