Accounting for about 71 % of the earth’s surface and roughly 65% of our own bodies, H2O is the absolute lifeblood of this planet – connecting alpine glaciers to the jungles and lowlands, to the shorelines and oceans surrounding the land on the coastal shorelines, rivers are its veins. They carve out landscapes, form habitats and redistribute water and nutrients, around the globe.
For us exploration by river has facilitated some of the purest forms of adventure and we think everyone should take the chance to experience adventure by river. Here’s why…
You’ll Explore More
Roads will only ever get you so far but regardless of human built infrastructure, follow almost any river long enough and you’ll likely end up somewhere otherwise totally inaccessible. Around each bend is a new ecosystem, a new landscape, a new opportunity. In remote regions, rivers hold the key to exploration and with flexibility to haul out your boats and camp wherever you like it’s not even limited to the river.
You’ll Tap into Nature
With a pace dictated by its flow, travelling by a waterway provides unrivalled opportunity to tap into nature’s rhythm and to absorb the surrounding environment rather than simply watching your step. With everyday on the river different, you’re ingrained into the intricate nuances around each bend, the dynamic mood of the river and weather systems perhaps hundreds or evens thousands of miles away.
You’ll Engage with Communities
Wherever you go across the globe, humans have developed a deep relationship with rivers. A natural watercourse provides sustenance as a source of food and water, a form of transportation, a means of cleansing and an opportunity to harness energy. Travelling by rivers allows you to engage with these communities in a very direct way and in many cases to experience first hand a traditional subsistence way of life.
You’ll Travel Sustainably
Relying on the power in your arms and the flow of the river is of course fossil fuel free and, depending on your choice of craft, your boat will have the capability to carry a fair bit of weight making it a really efficient way to carry a load and cover distance on a self-supported adventure.
You’ll Develop New Skills
A paddling adventure means learning to adapt to a constantly changing environment and, if it’s completely new to you, you’ll be developing new techniques and fitness while you learn to read the movement of the water.
If you’re yet to discover adventure on the river or can’t wait for more, below are two epic river based expeditions available to join in 2019.
The Madagascan Peak to Sea
Experiencing first hand the Geographical significance of river systems, this island epic will take you from the Madagascan granite highlands to the shoreline of the Indian Ocean.
After trekking to the summit of Pic Boby, Madagascar’s second highest mountain, you’ll descend into the valleys and forests to the east forging a route through the dense vegetation to reach a remote jungle river. By means of two-person inflatable rafts, you’ll then navigate a way through the rolling lowlands and finally to the island’s eastern shores.
Equatorial Exploration by Packraft in Gabon
Deep in the Invindo National Park of eastern Gabon, the Mouniandje and Ivindo Rivers provide a rare interruption to the jungle canopy forming the Congolese rainforests.
Combining trekking and packrafting provides the perfect opportunity to discover one of Gabon’s least populated and otherwise inaccessible region. Along the way you’ll float through calm sections of river keeping an eye for wildlife, tackle heart-rate-raising Grade One and Two rapids and hike into the jungle to visit a remote clearing with fantastic opportunities for wildlife viewing, including forest elephants, gorillas, forest buffaloes and leopards. This epic journey will conclude at Kongou Falls, arguably one of Africa’s most impressive waterfalls.