Abseiling and Rapp Jumping into the Gorge
Directly below Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River gets squeezed suddenly into a narrow, very deep channel called the Batoka Gorge. The sight of the Gorge's tortured twists and turns (which incidentally are the previous "sites" of the Falls in centuries past) is the most well known image imprinted on visitors memories after the falls themelves! View the gallery here.
One of the more recent adventure activities available to visitors to the Victoria Falls is Forward Rappelling (or Rap/Rapp Jumping) and Abseiling (Rappelling) down the sheer sides of the ±120m deep gorge. Qualified staff will instruct you on the basics of the disciplines and then teach more advanced techniques to the brave, such as jumping out and swinging from side to side or around in 360° twists!
Abseiling (or Rappelling) at Victoria Falls | Rapp Jumping (forward Rappelling) in Batoka Gorge
Abseiling: Abseiling, is basically a method of descending a rope down a sheer vertical face in a safe and controlled manner. The activity has come to be thought of as a sport in its own right, but has a very widespread use in many fields such as climbing, caving, rescue, fire fighting, scientific field research and in the military - for the simple reason that it is often the easiest, quickest way to get to difficult-to-reach places. If you choose to do this adventure sport, rest easy as you''ll be in the hands of experienced and capable instructors who have your safety as their primary objective! Keep in mind that abseiling is a little more comfortable than rapp-jumping - just think of your basic anatomy :-)
Other interesting words for the activity gleaned straight from Wikipedia.com include: rapping or rap jumping (American slang), deepelling (Canadian slang), abbing (British slang for "abseiling"), jumping, roping down, roping, seiling, snapling (Israeli slang), rappling (Hindi slang). The term rappel / rappelling is derived from the French language: French, recall, return, rappel, from Old French, recall, from rapeler, to recall: re-, re- + apeler, to summon.
Contact us if you are visiting the Victoria Falls and would like find out more, or do either of these activities!
Forward Rappelling: The term 'Rapp Jumping' derives from 'Forward Rappelling' - a type of abseiling technique where the harness is connected to ones back, enabling you to run or walk down the cliff face facing straight down the gorge to the Zambezi! Rapp Jumping was developed in Australia by their S.A.S (Special Air Service) as a deployment technique into jungles and terrorist and hostage situations. Designed so that a combatant on a rope can descend using both hands to operate a weapon whilst his comrade at the bottom of the rope controls his speed and descent.
Rapp jumping (S.R.T) is a very new sport in Southern Africa, it's excellent safety record makes it a popular adrenaline activity. Rapp Jumping is like walking down a street except that's it's vertical and gravity is pulling down on you horizontally! A bit like the classic horror film "The Fly", once on the wall the jumper can run, jump, spin, walk even crawl at gravity's expense. It won't seem like any time at all before you're down at the bottom of the gorge wanting to do it again, or maybe trying to view the gorge from a different angle!