Rafting, kayak or pack-raft expeditions
Rafting, kayak, pack-raft expedition on distant rivers
In Morocco, Chile, Canada (Magpie), Kyrgyzstan to the Colorado Grand Canyon, discover a country or region.
For a week or more you will live to the rhythm of the river, the bivouacs, the meetings.
The river descent abroad, a way to travel along the water.
Like the most beautiful of the mountains, the rivers also challenge an imaginary linked to an experience, a story, a character. Without being a confirmed River Runner, we are all sensitive to the many facets of this exceptional natural environment.
Some will be charmed by the tranquility of a bivouac erected on a bank, the moment to embark on a new stage by being carried again by the waves, access to sites otherwise inaccessible as virgin, surprise the daily Of the residents, without forgetting all the same the pleasure of sharing in the crew the crossing of a beautiful section of rapids.
Our selection of rafting or canoeing adventures
To draw up an exhaustive list of the most beautiful rivers is not easy, they are so numerous, so different, ambassadors of a continent, an ecosystem, a mineral structure, its local use, Explorers.
But before presenting this selection and comparing with the legendary summits, we can quote Sir Edmund Hilary, the first winner of Everest, who, when asked "Why climb the mountains? "He said," because they are there ", one could also, thinking of the future of the rivers, of their present integrity, face certain projects that neglect the importance that it represents to our eyes , They are suspended, especially in the "emerging" countries solicited by this world of profit where the liberation of the hydroelectric energy, target them, a literature like that carried by Edward Abbey "The Gang of the Key In Molette "against the project of the Hoover dam on Colorado or with the filmography of John Boorman with" Deliverance "and the" Forest of Emeraude "affirmed for a long time the fragility of this biotope.
It must be stressed, however, that in the USA, which has no less than 80,000 hydroelectric reservoirs, and for 25 years with the destruction of 1100 dams, natural flow has been restoring the health of the river, revitalizing wildlife, Fish, restructures wetlands, floodplains, storing and filtering this resource, with considerable buffering effect during flooding, and simply reconnects communities with their environment
So let us discover them many times, frequenting them, contemplating them, defending them to support their preservation, and if this question is asked to you, "For what purpose are they to navigate these rivers? "You can answer simply" Because they are still, beautiful and good there!
Zambezi River ( Zimbabwe / Zambie)
Bordering waterway between Zimbabwe and Zambia, it is in Victoria Falls that this river broad of 1700m downstream of the Falls rushes between the Basaltes of Batoka Gorge, only wide from 40 to 60 m! The rapids are linked to the bottom of this 250m deep canyon where "High Volume" navigation is required.
On the first day, the most commercially exploited, it is no less than 18 major rapids, characteristic they are so they all bear a most evocative name, Stairway to Heaven, Devil's Toilet Bowl, Gullivers Travels with an exit Nicknamed Land of Giants, then Commercial Suicide imposing a portage on the commercial descent but where the Safety Kayak are there, then Overland Truck Eater, The Mother ... what a wave, and to finish in beauty with Oblivion where the most beautiful images of raft Brew through this surf and surfing in rodeo mode is the place!
The dish that precedes each break of the slope increases tenfold the sudden violence of the water movements, it is a lifting of the curtain at each stage, one quickly becomes addict, the satisfaction of having held the beautiful line, To be confronted to that more daring, an open bar of doses of adrenaline!
Having confronted in the day at the "Heroes Pass" for the most reckless or small arm in the "Chicken Pass", most often you are filmed and in the evening around a beer the video will judge the biggest " Rooste ", the longest surfing ...
Possibility to extend the Trip in 2-3 days, to find a Zambezi much less frequented and profited from the tranquility of grand bivouacs like that downstream of Moemba Falls. Sections composed of beautiful rapids interspersed with dishes frequented by a richer fauna like birds and Hippos
This river is impressive but by practicing it it is really amusing, powerful water movements certainly but in a water neighboring the 30 °, as in its bath it feels good.
Its wildlife, its history, with the explorer Livingstone and an engaging African culture, an unforgettable experience is offered to you.
Colorado Grand Canyon
A mythical river par excellence, a journey through time, through its geology, the strength of the Colorado waves have revealed deep geological strata of the 1.7 billion years old, there are discovered vestiges of the Anasazi people Who lived there until about 1300 to disappear without really knowing the reasons.
The place bears the spirit of the epic epic of the descent of Colorado like this old steel bark near Bass camp, dating from 1915, memory of this saga begun in 1869 by explorer John Wesley Powel, veteran of the war Of secession, who was the first man to sail in Doris (wooden boat). Only half of the expedition survived, the rest preferring to leave the team, trying to get out of the canyon by the "high" and unfortunately not to reappear again, some think of the Indians at the mercy of the conditions of the desert of " Arizona.
Nowadays there is the possibility of engaging on these waves with a minimum of 7 days between Lees Ferry downstream of Marble Canyon, near the Hoover dam to descend to Diamond Creek. The rapids are generous, waves and powerful rollers, legendary as Lava Falls, Crystal, Hermit Rapid, grandiose bivouacs, treks like Havasu making this magical place! Privileged nevertheless the access by private license to organized yourself with the help of logistics providers, than by a less intimist heavy commercial organization that will attenuate the impregnation of harmony these places. Fall is the perfect time to play "Into the Wild".
The briefing that is imposed on you by the rangers for the instructions, your obligations may seem strict but you will be impressed by this place preserved, erected are bivouacs on untouched beaches as virgin without any trace of this attendance of more than 20,000 pers. Per year, leads to a certain recognition of their conservation system.
Since 2006, it is by lottery that you can get more easily the Holy Grail, the old procedure by waiting list gave 25 years of deadlines ...
Futaleufu (Chile Patagonia)
This river carries you in the middle of a sumptuous nature, with this light proper to the southern lands, the natural elements are spectacular.
Its turquoise, deep waters are calm at times and invite you to contemplate all around the snow-capped peaks, glaciers, volcanoes and then in the middle of cliffs and blocks of rapids. Through explosive waves, massive rollers, it is necessary to hold and to succeed its line. The trajectories are technical to Inferno Canyon circles like Dynamite, The Perfect Storm then later Wild Mile, and the longest of all Terminator. Mundaca, Tiburon, Casa de Piedra ....
You will appreciate the interaction of the guides' role. Each trip in raft, kayak and catamaran ensures that your descent is played in the best conditions of navigation, a team spirit of this kind of rivers engaged.
Everything is breathtakingly pure beauty.
The daily of the premises corresponding to this isolated place 8 months of the year part of the climatic conditions. That is why the welcome you are given, this warm and personal relationship with the Patagons, triggers a special attachment to these places. The "Fou-Ta-Lè-Ou-Fou" as it is pronounced, is one of the last great navigable rivers in Chile. A first fight was won in October 2014 by the abandonment of a project of three dams, following the pressure of local and international organizations like Futaleufú Riverkeeper, Ecosistemas and International Rivers ... ..for how long.
In the eighties, Chile was coming down the BioBio, a river that was easier to access, on which it was possible to organize 7 days of expedition, it was a world reference for the River Runners, then the end of the eighties a hydroelectric project The drowned. Since 1991 the Futualeufu has developed. The ancillary services are of the generation "Eco-lodge", unusual, they offer a total immersion to the magic, beauty of these places. It is during these 4 months of watery seasons from December to April that you can enjoy it.
Rio Guayuriba, Colombia
RIO GUAYURIBA is formed by the rio Blanco of which 20 km of class III to IV and the rio Negro 15 km of class IV-V of more engaged type, the two rivers meet by mixing their color at the height of Guayabetal small village typical of the Colombia, colored and animated to wishes.
This river crosses several canyons of tropical types, rain forest atmosphere, butterflies, birds, monkeys, lush jungle and otherwise inaccessible.
Climate humid par excellence of many tributary regularly join the Guayuriba, like the rio Manzanare which allows us to go up in trek and to immerse us in the basins and these waterfalls.
The Colombian rivers really deserve to be recognized, this country is warm and open to very beautiful opportunities.
Ottawa River (Eastern Canada)
Riverbank between the province of Quebec on the east shore and the province of Ontario on the west shore, between francophone and anglophone our paddles perpetuate a navigation dating from the first Runners of Rivières, also called "Voyageurs".
This waterway opened exchanges in these savage lands, and favored the trade of the trap. Francophones call it the "Ottawa River",. It bears the name of an Amerindian nation trading the furs with the first French explorers.
These waters run for 1200 km between Lake Témiscamingue and the Saint Lawrence River.
Nowadays, since 1970, it has been practicing large-scale commercial rafting, the largest rafting company in the North American continent resides there, and hires not a hundred guides on the "weekend" of spring.
The Ottawa River has a characteristic relief of the "Canadian Shield" and offers a succession of slope breaks, forming voluminous rapids followed by long flat reception. This rhythm provides a serene, safe navigation, in the spring it is powerful and massive waves.
The summer with water around 26 °, it is a succession of spots for the Free Style kayak and rafting fun and pleasant. Most providers practice logistics in North America not necessarily compatible with our "Latin" habits but remains a model of professionalism ... rather privilege the small companies like Owl Rafting, and it will be "the fun at the end! "
The Magpie (Eastern Canada)
We are in shipping mode, east of this beautiful province of Quebec, on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence. Last preparation, distribution of the stock in Sept Iles for a flight of 3 hours in seaplane which takes us more upstream to paddle in perfect autonomy over 7 days.
An unforgettable sensation of isolation, when, after the removal of the group and the necessary stock on the shore, we witness the departure of our bush pilot, see him go away, the sound of the engine faded, the ultimate link of our daily.
La Magpie, also in the process of domestication, is threatened by a hydroelectric project. As she walks through it, she reveals her wild side, spruces as far as the eye can see, the peat-colored waters, a total immersion of the spirit "runners of the woods" or rather "runners of rivers", we treat the recognition of rapids, Fold to the culture of the portages, the technique of the cord is improved to avoid the impassable ones, the bivouacs and their soft bed on the fresh lichens, the coffee "western" on the corner of the lights, the likely encounter with Black Bears.
Half way through the Lake Magpie, the small thermal wind in the back wind, a blessing, aided by a spruce as a mast, a canvas as a sail, paddle as saffron, let us carry.
Miraculous fishing trips of wild trout. This river fulfills the wishes of our dearest childhood ... live at the Davy Crockett.
Sun Kosi (Nepal)
It is called so, the reflection of the sun on the glitter of mika illuminates the sand of these shores. Carried by the Bhote Khosi, its waters come from Tibet. Descending this river in the heart of the highest mountains gives a bewilderment to be present in this gigantic natural setting. Its assets are multiple, its waters have carved its environment, they give back to the few villages their autonomy, gives life but also spiritually is the symbol of the ultimate journey. Everything is grandiose tributaries like the Dudh Kosi mythical course said extreme in kayak in the 70s, forms like so many others at the confluence with the Sun Kosi, cones of several kilometers dejection.
A vision of disproportion, suspended bridges, makeshift mills on the banks, fords where passengers, around a tea, wait patiently for a crossing on long hollowed trunks. A succession of endearing places then wild passages where nature can seem austere as lush. This river, Nepal, Nepalese what generosity.
The best season of sailing is autumn, it is after monsoon, and the rivers are beautiful, very beautiful ...
Assif Ahansal (Morocco)
Navigable in the spring, nature is awakening, a symphony of colors, red rock, wheat fields and the snowy Atlas in the background
We must choose its slope in the Berber country. It is the northern buttress, the Anti Atlas, peaceful, where this kingdom unveils rivers rich in white-water. Fortunately for us it is in the South more frequented that one stays more massively for other activities.
The basin of the Assif Ahansal with the Assif Meloul makes possible a descent over 3 days. This country is dominated by mineral austerity, the river gives a lush life. It is also an opportunity to discover the Berber culture, the everyday life of the villages, without forgetting before setting up camp, permission by this protocolary welcome from the caid, the village chirr who will proudly present you the granary .
After the navigation, you will discover the meal under the Berber tent, culinary specialties.
The navigation is akin to the alpine style, lively, with a high level, its bed is drawn through magnificent gorges to end in the lake of Bin El Ouidane.
We repeat it too often but all the same Morocco a total change of scenery 2 hours flight.
Apurimac (Peru-source of the Amazon)
The Apurimac is sailing on the farthest source of the Amazon, it is a total wild adventure in the heart of a deep canyon of 3000m, it is a mixture of exhilarating rapids and impressive landscapes, rock formations Spectacular whitened and carved in periods of rains amplifying the levels of the river to tens of meters. These are pristine beaches, rare fauna, otter, cougar, Andean bears, condor. There are dreams of an amateur where adventure becomes reality.
Its proximity to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco promotes a special atmosphere and a respect to these places. The navigation is still intense, we sail in the middle of a gigantic chaos on waters with voluminous movement. The river guides on this river are famous and we fight to keep them.
With a minimum of 3 days, this descent into the "Black Canyon" makes this possible access to one of the hidden natural treasures of this world.
Gauley River (USA)
In the middle of the Appalachians flows this river, it is renowned for its festival since 1983 celebrating the cancellation of dam projects that could have disrupted the recreational access of these kilometers of rapids renowned like Pillow's rock, Lost paddle or Sweet Fall. This grouping commemorates the struggle of a small group of kayakers in the early 1960s who were exalted after discovering this route and who happened to be in a grocery store that the place was condemned by two hydroelectric projects. Their efforts proved that preserving a river was beneficial by its attendance in a region devastated economically after the fall of prospecting mining.
This festival during the period when the flora is part of the colors of the Indian summer, a time of the year when most other rivers are just a trickle of water, exceptional releases of the reservoir Of Summersville. On just two weeks ends, this place becomes a true pilgrimage for paddlers, and we travel from far away Chile or Alaska to celebrate the event. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are collected for American Whitewater, which uses it to protect and improve access to watercourses across the country.
We must live this event to see how far the passion of living water can be expressed.
Apart from this effervescence, the place exudes the typical atmosphere of the Appalachian rivers. Wetland develops luxuriant vegetation, this gives early morning when a light mist slips on the water an atmosphere conducive to the discovery of this New World.
The Kokomeren - Kirghistan :
It is one of those countries which has been open to tourists for about fifteen years.
Central Asia is a fascinating region in many ways. Everyone keeps in memory the tremendous radiance of this region of the time of the Silk Road.
Less is known about the rivers, largely unexplored, formidable field of play and exploration. The large massifs of the Tien Shan and Pamir Alai, a western extension of the great Himalayan arch, include impressive peaks of more than 7,000 meters, many rivers benefiting from these large watersheds. In the spring the torrents are very sporty, it is better to sail them in summer and autumn.
The variety of landscapes, steppes, canyons, high valleys, lakes and high mountains makes Kyrgyzstan an enchantment for the traveler. This enchantment is reinforced by the incredible hospitality of the Kyrgyz people. The space of exceptional purity and calmness that highlights the piercing cry of the royal eagle of Central Asia.
The yurt, the habitats will always be open to you. Amazing for all westerners, because at home this hospitality has long since disappeared!
The Kokomeren River, 70km south of the capital, Bishkek, invites us to discover this universe. Its turquoise waters transport you through these places and distant customs. Here you can cross wide canyons of ocher earthen chimneys, the Kyrgyz Bryce Canyon.
Sailing days continue on Class III to IV rapids. Some bivouacs by the river will never be too far from the camps of yurts where the nomads settled to spend the summer. We share with them a few hours of their life (treating mares, making koumis, cheeses). Lucky we may have the opportunity to attend the favorite game of the Kirghiz Ultimate Tartysh. In the evening we will leave with the Kyrgyz shepherd to gather his herd in the enclosure near the family yurt. Because the wolf is not far away!
Kaïtuna (New Zealand)
One wonders if the fact of sailing in the southern hemisphere, head down, overlooks the Kaituna this strange way of sailing. Here it is the jump of fall in raft that distinguishes them. It must be admitted that Mother Nature has served them with a water course in which this practice is favored and admitted.
A real natural aqualand, purely playful, composed of quiet part, where one enjoys surfing in raft, amidst a lush nature.
Then suddenly the most beautiful falls of 7 m, where the rafting companies invite their teammates participated in these acrobatic challenges.
Before each passage of jumps when the safety-kayak has just crossed first and disappear in the mist of foam, the guide motivates you by a Maoris dance to cross crew this test.
Here we go! You are there, hold your breath, raft glide, take speed, then you find under the surface of water aerated by foam,
You can burst again your enthusiasm in the light of day and in a breath of air your pleasure to share this place.
A special atmosphere to sail under this vegetation vault where the canopy filters out the rays of the sun and sparkles clear and fresh waters, volcanic rock formations and the mossy walls of the canyon that shine with moisture, surrounded by the beauty of the nature.
The rafting bases offer almost all the year of the descents, these are small structures of modest size facilitating this player spirit.
Rio Usumacinta, Grand Canyon Maya (Mexico)
One of the first functions of a river is to move easily in difficult regions of access, The Rio Usamacinta perfectly embodies this use to discover serenely its universe, immersion in tracking along the jungle of Chiapas d On one side and Guatemala on the other. It is a journey in the footsteps of the Mayan civilization, we come to old cities like Yaxchilan, Piedras Negras. You will be lounging on the many hot springs, under toucan flight, to the sound of the surprising cries of howler monkeys. Knowing that these places where the enigmatic Jaguar rocks, takes us to the rapids of the Gran Cañon de San José.
A trip on the Usumacinta is one of the classics in the world and not to be missed, the slow temperament of this waterway invites us more to contemplation than a sustained struggle amidst powerful rapids.
The Chiapas region collects natural wonders such as Agua Azul and many Mayan cities such as Palenque.