Rafting Holidays – What Are They All About?

15th September 2021

Without wanting to state the obvious, many people understand given the title, that there is some white-water rafting involved, however many people don’t understand how a typical day on a white-water rafting holiday works. What happens when you land at the beach you are camping at for the night? Can you take a shower? Where do you poop? Will your beer and white wine be chilled?  What should you wear? This blog answers these and other questions we typically get asked:

A Loo With A View: Possibly one of our most asked questions – where do you go to the loo? The toilet is always set up with privacy as the key factor, but it has to have a great view. Our safety kayaker has the job of setting this up and dismantling it every day and a great deal of pride is taken on where it is situated. The toilet is a travelling portaloo – more luxurious that you may imagine in the wild – which our guides keep clean and stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Except for the time the loo roll went over board and our reading material had to pull double duty….

Setting up ‘home’ for the night. Each afternoon (unless your trip has a layover day) we pull into a pristine beach on the banks of the river and set up our home for the night. While the guides set up the kitchen etc, you get to choose where you set up your home for the night (your tent) or for many guests, they simply choose to use the tarpaulin in their sleep kit, to set up a sanctuary under the stars. For someone who has yet to do this, in our sunnier destinations such as Nepal, Peru and the Zambezi, we can highly recommend it! There is nothing quite as special as falling asleep to the sound of the river under a starry sky.

Barman! The focal point of camp tends to be our campfire, where the guides will typically be preparing an amazing feast. As well as coolers full of fresh food that are rowed down the river in the gear boat, we also make sure you have cold beers, as well as showcased wines from the region whether in New Zealand or Chile. Your guides will be on hand to pour you another ice cold chardonnay, straight from the bottle into your glass. You certainly won’t be roughing it.

Feed me. The first thing we probably need to mention is don’t plan on losing any weight on your holiday. From freshly brewed coffee and the option of cooked breakfast or fruit and cereal, to an amazing fire baked lasagna with a fresh salad followed by rum bananas and whipped cream or apple crumble. What about lunches? A choice of salads followed by fresh fruit and a siesta!

I need a shower! On many of our adventures we take a solar shower as part of our expedition gear. Guides set up the shower in a secluded spot where you can use bio-degradeable soap and shampoo to freshen up. We often also camp close to a waterfall and some guests choose to just take a swim in the river (lack of crocodiles, a pre-requisite!)

Image of group in front of waterfall on the Karnali river

Local Life: One of the amazing aspects of our river trips, are the areas which we visit are often remote and not open to mass tourism. Take our Papua New Guinea trip as an example. The Watut River in Morobe Province goes through a remote and stunning George, dotted with fascinating villages. Often the local tribes run down to our camps armed with fresh coconuts and machetes to take the tops off, so we can drink fresh coconut water!

Genuine smiles in Papua New Guinea

Genuine smiles in Papua New Guinea

Other rafters on your trip are only friends you haven’t met. We can’t begin to tell you how many people do a second and third river trip with people they have met on a previous adventure with us. These people share the same outlook as you – that life is there to be lived – and the fun we have on trips makes them something people want to do again and again. Even if you are travelling on your own, we guarantee you’ll make friends for life on your trip.












How much rafting do we actually do? As much as we love rafting, it really is, just a mode of transport to get us access to these amazing places. Typically you’ll get up in the morning as the sun hits the beach, have breakfast, load the rafts and set off. You’ll raft for a couple of hours before finding a suitably stunning lunch spot, where you may choose to hike, snooze or just chat to the others on the trip. After lunch another 2 hours or so will see you at camp early afternoon. See here how a typical day on the river works!

Paddling into the unknown

How much do I have to do? Ok, well lets face it, this is your vacation after all. We generally get guests to help out unloading their drybags from the raft and then its up to you to find a place to sleep for the night and pop up your tent if you decide to. The guides will be busy getting hors D’ouvres ready, plus preparing an amazing meal. On our Zambezi trips, we even do wine and cheese overlooking the Grade VI Moemba Falls. No need to do dishes, just relax and enjoy your holiday.

Over and above the cost of the trip, how much money will I need? Most aspects of the trip are covered, however you will need some cash to buy souvenirs (and possibly an extra bags if you are like some of our guests – you know who you are!) and some money to tip the guides. These sort of guidelines as well as equipment lists will be sent to you on our awesome app.

Unless you have done a trip, you will have questions. Never worry about picking up the phone and giving us a call, or use the Live Chat facility on our website! It’s time for some fun people, let’s go!




by Hamish McMaster

Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.

Recent posts

Rafting adventures for solo travellers

Considering a whitewater rafting trip but don’t have anyone to go with? No problem. Rafting makes an excellent adventure for solo travellers. And it’s a trend that is on the rise. Before the pandemic in 2019 just under 24% of our guests were solo travellers, however last year that leapt to over 41%. Why the big […]

The Top Five Most Adventurous Rafting Trips

We often get asked what the most adventurous rafting trips are that we offer. As a company we have a pedigree searching out and running these off-the-beaten-track destinations, often when others won’t. Why don’t they run them? Because getting rafts, guides and gear to these destinations is often very challenging, but in our experience, the […]

How to choose a reputable Zambezi rafting outfitter

The Zambezi is one of the world’s greater white water rafting destinations. If you are thinking about taking on this spectacular river, you will want to choose a reputable Zambezi rafting outfitter that will provide the best possible experience, both for you and the local people in Zambia or Zimbabwe. So what should you look […]