10 Rules of Canoe Etiquette When on the Zambezi

| Tamlin Wightman

Cano Royal Chundu

The Tatler’s guide to yachting etiquette calls for “no shoes, swagger or silliness, please.” You could say the same rules apply to canoeing down the great Zambezi River. Here are a few of our own polite requests…

Our 10 Rules of Canoe Etiquette When on the Zambezi

  1. The Zambezi is great for many things, but a marvellous swimming spot it is not. Remain in the canoe.

2. Yes, that means keep ALL body parts out of the Zambezi – it’s not nice to taunt the hippos.

3. At least pretend to help your guide row. Go on, stick the paddle in the water…

4. But don’t try to outrow him either. The guide is Sensei. He knows all. Bow, accept and learn.

5. Ask all the questions you like, but once in a while, try a little silence. The birds are trying to talk to you.

Canoe Royal Chundu

6. Allow yourself to get distracted by the view. Take time to appreciate your host – the mighty river and its bank. Smile awhile and enjoy yourself.

7. This is not a pool party. Respect the guide, other fishermen, the locals on the banks, the ancestors… Keep your bits and bobs covered and leave the boom box at home. The 90s are over.

8. This is not the time to practice noodling – the art of fishing by hand.

9. Remain seated. Leave the air-surfing and headbanging for cocktail hour.

10. Leave only ripples, take only memories. And photos.


Above: She Said

Tailor-Made Tours featuring Royal Chundu

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